Having Relationship Problems during Pregnancy?
The euphoria of early pregnancy has worn off and you and your husband can’t agree on a single thing. Last night’s fight over the dishes (or the TV channel, or wearing shoes inside, or being too hard on the dog, or whatever!) was simply ridiculous. You both know it. But neither of you can bring yourselves to apologize. It’s more common than you’d think. Many couples experience relationship problems during pregnancy for any number of reasons.
What can Cause Relationship Stress During Pregnancy?
Mood swings are the number one cause of pregnancy relationship issues. Your body is undergoing huge changes and the hormones driving these can make you emotional (think PMT times 100!). The emotions feel very real at the time and it’s easy to lash out at those closest to you. But it’s hard to take back unkind words, even when it’s the hormone gremlins that said them! Hopefully, you have a patient and understanding husband, but that doesn’t always make it any easier.
Having to make important decisions:
To find out the sex of your baby, or not? Can your mother in law be in the delivery room? What do you think of this shade of paint for the nursery? Do you think Petunia is a pretty name for a girl? There are so many huge decisions to make and you and your husband will have to compromise like you’ve never compromised before!
Anxiousness, depression, and fear of the unknown:
All of these are common pregnancy symptoms and can put extra strain on your relationship. It’s easy to become very insular during pregnancy and to shop sharing your worries with your partner, which leads to a feeling of isolation for him.
Adjusting to change:
Becoming parents is probably the single biggest change in your lifetime. And it can make you view your husband or partner in a totally new light. Be patient and whether the changes together, rather than in conflict.
What about Your Sexual Relationship During Pregnancy?
Your sexual relationship can change dramatically during pregnancy. Some women have almost no libido during pregnancy. Some women go through periods of unusually high sex drive. Some men find their pregnant wife extremely sexually attractive. Others find it hard to do the deed when the baby is “right there”! And, unfortunately, the man and woman often seem to be at opposite ends of the spectrum. Unless your doctor advises against it, sex during pregnancy is perfectly safe. And, regular sex is a great way to maintain the intimacy in your relationship and remind yourselves how much you really do love each other!
Tips for Keeping a Loving Relationship During Pregnancy
Communication is key:
Talk about every little thing. Tell your partner about your symptoms – it’s pretty hard for him to understand what you’re going through if he doesn’t know!
Make time for each other:
Just enjoy being with each other as a couple – go for a walk and hold hands, go out on a fancy dinner date, or stay in with a movie.
Make time away from each other:
On the other hand, you don’t want to constantly be in each other’s space. Have time apart so that you can enjoy each other when you’re together.
Breathe before you speak (is it the pregnancy hormones talking?):
When you feel a mood swing taking over, pause, breathe, and ask yourself “is this really me?” It can stop a lot of arguments and issues before they start.
Seek help if you need it:
There’s no shame in seeing a counselor or mediator if simple strategies don’t help you to overcome relationship issues. Many couples find it makes their marriage or relationship much stronger. Seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
Make decisions together:
Even though only one of you is carrying the baby, you’re going to be parents together. And there are hundreds of decisions to make – big and small – from baby names to parenting styles. Speak calmly and truly listen to and respect each other’s ideas and opinions. Your marriage doesn’t have to be a battleground.
New Relationship Unplanned Pregnancy?
It happens. Many wonderful, happy, families begin with a surprise pregnancy early in the relationship. And, many people make wonderful parents on their own or co-parenting while living apart. There will be a solution which works for you both. As long as you communicate openly and treat each other as adults, you should be able to make the best of the situation. Seek professional help and advice (either together or on your own) if you need it.
Relationship Breakdown During Pregnancy
Unfortunately, this happens too. Sometimes differences are just irreconcilable. Sometimes a relationship is unsafe. You have to do what’s right for you.
But, unless the relationship is violent or harmful, think carefully before making any big decisions. Ending a relationship during pregnancy may seem like the only option when your hormones are through the roof and you’re tired, anxious, and depressed. And, there may be deeper issues than that. But, after a good night’s sleep and an open and honest conversation, things may look totally different. Parenting as a team is much easier than parenting apart.
Don’t be ashamed to see a couples counselor if you need to.
More Articles that May Help Your Pregnancy Relationship:
Relationship changes during pregnancy are inevitable. Your marriage or relationship is about to go through the biggest change it’s had yet – becoming a family. Check out our top relationship book recommendations and read what the experts say on building and maintaining a strong and loving relationship.
Men often feel really powerless during their wife’s pregnancy. This can put some strain on the relationship. But, understanding the changes in your body and what you’re going through can really help. Luckily, there are some great books on pregnancy written just for men. Browse our recommendations here.
Need to breathe, de-stress, and get those hormones under control? Yoga and meditation during pregnancy can really help! Check out our comprehensive guide to pregnancy yoga here.
Anxiousness is actually classed as a common pregnancy symptom. But don’t take your stress out on your partner… Take some time out instead! Check out our tips and advice for relaxing and enjoying some “me time” during your pregnancy.