Does it feel like parenthood has stolen your marriage? Do you worry that you feel closer to your kids than your husband? Do you snap at your partner for no reason? Or fight over everything? Are you so exhausted from the daily grind that you Just. Can’t. Anymore.
You’re not alone.
It’s well known that marriage is full of ups and downs, but the intensity of the downs after a new baby arrives often comes as a surprise to new parents. And the first few years of parenthood have shown to be some of the most challenging of those years. Everyone is exhausted, stressed, and pulled way too thin.
During this time, it is common – and completely natural - for couples to fight more frequently. Starting a family or adding a new baby comes with new identities, new family roles, and shifting relationship responsibilities. Each of these needs to be processed and adapted to - ideally together. Add in the sleep deprivation, and it can all feel overwhelming, desperate and so frustrating....almost as though you and your marriage are falling apart at the seams.
However, when approached in a healthy way, the ensuing conflict and disagreements can actually work in your favor. Of course, all couples fight. But happy couples have a way of embracing those disagreements instead of pushing them aside. They often use fights as an opportunity to work together, to find a solution and to move forward - while also maintaining respect for each other. They are a team. An approach and pattern that leads to a major strengthening in their marriage over time.
This type of approach to disagreements is not out of your reach either - no matter how much it may feel that way. It’s actually quite simple and a few easy steps can alter your marriage and the ability to resolve conflict peacefully with your partner - forever. Use this ultimate game plan to tackle the disagreements - and to maximize your marriage’s potential:
When a new baby comes home, it can truly wreak havoc on a relationship – even one that was previously solid. Research done by the Gottman Institute shows that 2/3 of couples report significant decline in satisfaction up to three years of having a baby. Being happy often takes a backseat to just surviving! Yet, when you're exhausted, it can be hard to know what may be short term "baby blues" and what may be a more significant issue with a longer lasting effect on your partnership. Here a 5 signs that couples counseling could be beneficial to both your relationship and your own happiness:
Jennifer Howard, CLC, CHBE
As a maternal mental health and pediatric sleep expert, I am passionate about helping tired mamas thrive throughout the many seasons of motherhood. I'm a Nationally Certified Professional Life Coach and Masters Level Therapist specializing in parental mental wellness, marriage/partnership strength and pediatric sleep and soothing.
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