Having a baby fills a couple’s life with joy, but it also threatens the very existence of the romantic relationship. While most of us may not agree, emotional intimacy may deteriorate with the arrival of a baby. It is during the perinatal period that conflicts and hostilities increase, leading the couples become disrespectful to each other. Either of the partners feels unappreciated, neglected and lonely. It is at this juncture, that a couple must look forward to maintaining the relationship.
Be prepared: it is important to expect changes that are to befall once the baby is born and be prepared for it. Talk to your spouse and make attempts to bind your relationship. Realise that everyone has to make adjustments when he/she has a baby.
Change your roles: The arrival of a baby demands that you loosen gender roles a bit i.e. perform a role that your spouse did before the baby was born. Men must help their spouse in household chores while the latter takes care of the baby. Moreover, a father should try to bond with a baby by participating in every day ritual of taking care of the child such as by changing the diapers, playing with him/her, allowing the mother to take the much needed rest, etc.
Staying connected with your spouse: You can avoid a lot of confusion in your relationship by talking to and understanding what your partner feels. Don’t lose the communication once the kids come into the picture. Even if you have less time to spare, reschedule and pull out time for your spouse.
Love your spouse: Your spouse needs support to work things out. He/she was with you before the baby was born and expects you to be around when the baby is born. If you want a fulfilling relationship with children, you must give love and respect to your spouse first. Even if your wife is extremely focused on caring for the baby, do not ground her under your assumption that she does not love you anymore. Support and love her when she needs you the most.
Appreciate yourself and your spouse: Make your spouse feel good, appreciated, valued and admired. Thoughtful gestures such as ‘thank you’ are not just courteous but also show your support. Thank your spouse and appreciate the things that he/she does for you. Show interest in your spouse’s work, hobbies, interests and opinions.
Acknowledge problems in your relationship: You should not be defensive or throw accusations at your spouse. Accept your mistakes and think twice when you are talking to your spouse about problems you are going through.
Couples must continue to keep their relationship a priority despite the baby’s arrival by being cooperative in sharing responsibilities and ensuring that communication remains intact.