Relationship Problems During Pregnancy And Ways To Deal With Them
- Early pregnancy isn't always a positive experience and may not always bring out the best in people
- 40 and 70% of couples report some decline in their relationship during the first year of childbirth.
- Have an open conversation about the pregnancy - including both the positives and negatives.
- Pregnant couple classes can help with pregnancy and its aspects like labor, birth, breastfeeding, and early parenting.
- Couples can mend their ties by working on their relationship and spending some quality time together.
Pregnancy is a crucial time for a couple as it can turn a lot of things around. It's a unique experience to go through with your partner. However, understanding each other through all of it can be a task. This article will tell you all about dealing with relationship problems during pregnancy.
Pregnancy and relationship problems
Pregnancy and relationship problems go hand-in-hand. If you are pregnant now, or have experienced pregnancy in the past, then you know exactly what we are talking about.
Ever since you saw those two lines on your pregnancy test, you began daydreaming about the many lovely moments that you will create together with your partner: family and friends get-togethers, decorating the baby's room, and baby showers.
Though no one can steal these experiences from you, there might arise a few challenging moments and relationship stress during pregnancy that will test your patience and trust.
Truth be told, early pregnancy isn't always a positive experience and may not always bring out the best in people. As far as patience, understanding, and reasonableness go, you haven't got a lot going for you. This is how fights between you and your partner arise.
Maintaining relationships during pregnancy
The peri-natal period being stressful and overwhelming causes a strain on your relationship.
Hence, it becomes really important for you to have a strong relationship and push away anxiety and stress.
Having a strong and satisfying relationship helps you gain better physical and psychological health. But most importantly, it has a very positive effect on the health and wellbeing of the baby.
Between 40 and 70% of couples report some decline in their relationship during the first year of childbirth.
Everything happening in your life now becomes focused on your baby. This little person has a direct influence on the things you do daily and vice versa. Therefore, it is important to put out any little fires that might cause relationship problems during pregnancy, as it sets the tone for how you will act as a parent.
Dealing with fights during pregnancy
Being pregnant, you might experience mixed, changing, and strained feelings. You may move from excitement to complete confusion within a minute, causing a strain in your relationship.
There may be other ways in which pregnancy can affect your life as well. For instance, if one of you has to take leave from work, then there might also be the financial aspect that will come into the picture. So, each of you can be affected by the other's feelings about pregnancy and the changes it brings.
Your relationship will inevitably shift and be strained because no matter how small they are, babies will certainly impact you!
However, if you play your cards right from the beginning, you can improve things.
As you prepare to become parents, you'll need to start thinking about yourselves as a couple again. Your pregnancy and the development of your baby are very crucial - and you should focus plenty of attention on them, as long as you keep your relationship front and center. You don't have to worry about the baby coming in between you.
Common Issues During Pregnancy
Here are some common issues during pregnancy that are faced by almost all couples in a relationship.
1. An emotional rollercoaster
Ever get that feeling when something makes you cry or angry out of nowhere? Pregnancy is similar sometimes, but more intense. Your emotions are skyrocketing, with new hormones raging. There is a good chance that your temper will flare.
It is bound to be hard on your partner as well; however understanding he may be, to deal with the stress. Your conversations with your partner will be more productive if you can articulate your points in a calm and cool state of mind.
Take deep breaths and count up to three before you respond immediately, if you are upset or offended by what your partner said or did.
2. Financial problems
As partners, you would have promised to stay together through every thick and thin. What you probably didn't realize is how important managing finances is. Nowadays, money has become a big reason for conflict among couples.
Guess what a study from the Huffington Post says? Money is the biggest predictor of divorce. For some couples, it is already very difficult to manage, financially. And when you add an upcoming baby to that, the stress magnifies. "What if, due to an emergency, I have to spend a couple of extra days in the hospital?" "What if we run out of money?" "How will I manage my family?" Questions like these rush to your mind, every minute.
If money already causes conflict between you, make sure you sit down and sort your finances out mutually. Add in all the upcoming expenses during your pregnancy, including hospital bills, medicines, and home care. Being prepared by planning for 6 months can keep you on the safe side. This way you won't be surprised when any new expense pops up.
3. Personal issues
You will hear your partner say this often. You being busy caring for your belly and talking about it 24/7, your partner will start feeling a little left out of the bonding process. Sounds tough, right? Well. Try to include your partner in some exciting and bonding activities.
For starters, let your partner feel your belly when the baby kicks, or have him talk directly into your baby bump. Cheesy? May be, but it works. The important thing to note here is that you two are likely to become closer if your partner connects with the baby during pregnancy.
Healthy communication, healthy relationship
- Talk the talk. Even if you think you know your partner very well, you don't. You can't read their mind, and vice versa. You need to communicate with each other to avoid misunderstandings that may cause hurt during times like these.
- One way is to be clear while communicating, for your message to be received and understood. Having open and clear communication is no rocket science. It can be learned through practice.
- Becoming more aware of how you communicate gives you control over what happens in your relationship. Though it won't be easy in the beginning, opening up new areas of communication will lead to a more fulfilling relationship.
Tips For Healthy Communication
- Have an open conversation about the pregnancy - including both the positives and negatives.
- Be open and honest about your sexual feelings and needs.
- Talk about family planning in detail. Be open with your views and goals regarding it.
- Listening is the key. Good listening can encourage the person to talk openly and honestly.
Let us now look at 3 common 'fights' you will experience during your pregnancy if you haven't already.
1. Keeping it together
You already know what a roller coaster of emotions pregnancy is. Even a simple thing can cause great distress to you. But it is not always necessary that your partner will understand what you are going through. He may think that you are acting out too much.
2. Being mindful
Pregnancy causes food aversion, and yes, pregnancy can actually affect your digestion! You may not stand the sight, taste, or smell of a certain dish. And what if your partner has that around you? He better be prepared for a conversation.
Not just food, but there can be various things that will make you feel uncomfortable. Make sure to let your partner know what's 'allowed' and what's not.
3. Being sensitive
Your partner may feel as if he lives with a stranger. Pregnancy gets the worst of you. All the mood swings and tantrums are new to your partner. This can make him feel left out, in a way - causing arguments.
Arguments in relationships are pretty normal, but during pregnancy, it is inevitable. A little bit of understanding can go a long way.
Dealing with the effects of pregnancy
Handling the effects of pregnancy is challenging. But with practical preparations, you can easily manage them. Below are some tips to get you started:
- Attend 'pregnant-couple' classes together. These classes help couples be comfortable with pregnancy and its aspects like labor, birth, breastfeeding, and early parenting.
- Get some help on those bills. There are various professionals out there who help couples manage their money. This can help you be less worried about the finances of having a baby.
- Did you just get asked, is your partner emotionally unavailable? If you have answered yes, ask for emotional support during pregnancy. Get in touch with your cousin or that 'BFF' from high school and have a comforting conversation.
Couple Activities To Arouse Togetherness
We have discussed enough of the communication problems that might arise during pregnancy. But worry not! Where there is love, there is a way. You and your partner can mend your ties by working on your relationship, spending some quality time together, and sharing your innermost thoughts and feelings.
Here are some activities for couples to find togetherness during pregnancy:
1. Book a couple of self-care days
Amid all the pregnancy chaos, you both might forget about your selves, what you like, and most importantly how to relax. This can put a strain on yourselves and your relationship.Spending a self-care day together is a great way to relax and unwind together. The less the stress, the more space there will be for fresh communications and love to grow.
With both of you spending a stress-free day together and relaxing at the salon, massage center, or an aromatherapy center, you both will surely find some peace together.
2. Go to a drive-in movie together
Going to a drive-in movie together can help you reconnect with simpler times when you both were younger and more carefree. Watching a positive movie with an uplifting message can help in raising your spirits. Spending time together at the movies is a great way to forget about your worries and spend time with each other. Spending these 2-3 hours together in a drive-in movie experience can bring a sweet side to your married life.
3. Go for a picnic amid nature
Imagine a beautiful day in greens and colorful flowers, besides a lake, with the love of your life and your little one growing inside you. Dressing up for this special day out and carrying your favorite snacks to the picnic can surely be a time to fall in love all over again and bond with each other. Taking a day off and enjoying these special pregnancy times with your significant other can make this journey beautiful and even more worthwhile.
4. Cook together
As simple as it may sound, cooking together is a love language that many couples prefer over going out. It gives you the private space to work with your partner and make something scrumptious for the three of you! Cooking with your partner can be a wonderful experience. It can help you two discover how great you both have been as a team and a couple. Taking the time to understand each other and cooking something that both of you enjoy can spark joy and comfort in your relationship during pregnancy.
5. Go for a late-night walk for dessert
Late night walks with the love of your life are the definition of romance! Going out after a nice dinner, and taking a walk while enjoying the starry night with your partner can be as joyous as it sounds.
To make things even better, you both can get your favorite ice cream or dessert on your way. Enjoying these little moments can arouse feelings of love and togetherness in your relationship.
The later stages of pregnancy can make you feel like the love is lost, but staying together as a couple and fighting against all odds is what can make your life even more surreal once your child comes into this world.
This period of transition to parenthood surely causes some decline in feelings in a relationship. We saw how minor fights and arguments are inevitable. They are no one's fault in particular. You have to accept this fact and figure out ways to overcome them and build a more stronger and supportive relationship. Hence, dealing with relationship problems during pregnancy is kind of inevitable, where highlighting the importance of self-care and personal health are must.
Spending quality time together as a couple and keep trying out new things in your relationship is key to keeping the love and romance alive. Use these tips and you are good to go.
We hope the above blog has given you some insights into managing your relationship problems during pregnancy. Make sure you take note of the tips which may work best for you and have a healthy pregnancy along with a healthy relationship with your partner.
Keep reading our blogs to understand the importance of positive relationships in your life! and include our tips to improve wellbeing.
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- Salehi F, et al. Association between women's marital satisfaction and anxiety during pregnancy. Iran J Psychiatry Behav Sci. 2017 Sep 1;11(3):e7937.
- Newton TL, et al. Marriage and health: His and hers. Psychological Bulletin. 2001 Jul 1;127(4):472-503.
- Whisman MA, et al. Impairment and distress associated with relationship discord in a national sample of married or cohabiting adults. Journal of Family Psychology. 2006 Sep;20(3):369.
- Henriksen RE, et al. Relationship satisfaction reduces the risk of maternal infectious diseases in pregnancy: the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study. PLoS One. 2015 Jan 21;10(1):e0116796.