When you meet someone and fall in love, you go through a transition where you decide if you want to stay with them for the rest of your life. You get the chance to decide whether you want to move forward and commit, or you want to turn onto a different path. Marriage, or single status – the choice is yours. If you decide to go through with a marriage and settle down together, you go through more than one transition. You become legally and emotionally intertwined, ready to face the future with your hands clasped together.
And then you make the monumental decision to try to have a baby. And life starts turning upside down.
Bringing a new baby home is a big deal; it’s joyous, scary, frustrating and overwhelming all at the same time, and most couples find themselves becoming people that they don’t even recognise anymore. Before the baby arrives, a pregnancy is going to happen and pregnancy alone can change the way you behave as a married couple. Some couples embrace the challenge of the transition into parenthood, other couples are on the phone to family law experts and unable to get over the change that happens between them. Here are three ways your marriage will be different when you add a baby to the mix.
The Big Change
If anyone ever tells you that their marriage didn’t change with the arrival of a baby, they’re lying to you. You are bringing in a small, very reliant human being who cannot speak or do anything for themselves. You go from just you two, doing what you want, whenever you want to do it to being a three; confined and at the beck and call of someone who cannot survive without you. That’s a big change and pregnancy may change a couple because as a woman becomes more vulnerable, how her partner reacts will determine whether they make it to the birth together.
When you’ve spend time sat up in the night with a baby seemingly endlessly feeding from you while your partner snoozes, the resentment can shock you. There he is, lying there with his useless nipples and you don’t get to sleep while he does. To overcome this, work together. You may be the feeder, the one with the nourishment, but he can change the nappies and bring the baby to you in the night. You supply what goes in, so he can sort what comes out, giving you a chance for rest. Being equal through the day can only happen happily if you’re equal through the night.
You Forget Each Other
Romance. A long since forgotten notion because the squalling baby interrupts date night more often than you’d care to admit. Making time for each other is so important, so give your partner a hug. Make time for a kiss as you pass in the corridor. Tell them you appreciate them. It’s very easy to forget that you were a couple before you were parents, but this should always be something you remember.
In the end, you have to want the magic to continue and that means working together to embrace change and roll with it.
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