5 ways babies kill marriages – and how to stop them

March 05, 2014 12:00 AM by

When you're getting ready for baby, everything probably seems like all fun and games. There's nothing as exciting as picking out baby clothes, mulling over names, decorating the nursery and imagining what your little one will be like. But once you reach the end of your pregnancy and your baby arrives, things might not be as wonderful as you thought. Particularly, you might find that your relationship with your partner is feeling a bit strained. Babies are notorious for putting a damper on marriages. Here are some of the ways babies can make your relationship worse, as well as several ways you can prevent your marriage from crumbling.

5 ways kids ruin everything

  1. They're time suckers. Newborns are cute and all, but they also take up a lot of your time. Every waking moment, you have to worry about whether your child's needs are met. Even as he or she grows into a toddler, most of your time at home will be spent taking care of your child. You won't have as much free time to hang out with your partner and kindle the romantic flames.
  2. They create more chores. If you and your partner had trouble divvying up household chores before the arrival of your baby, you'll probably have more issues now. There's a lot of work to be done surrounding your child, from bath time, to meals, getting dressed, changing diapers, playtime and bed time. Someone's got to shop for baby food, clean the nursery, pick up toys and bring your child to the doctor. If one parent does more, he or she will probably start to feel a little resentment.
  3. They cost money. Even the best newborn preparation plan ever can't always prepare you for the amount of money you're going to need to raise a child. You'll be shelling out a lot of cash for things like food, clothes, classes, school and other essentials your child needs – not to mention things like toys. This is probably going to last until your kid is at least 18! Arguments about money might start to become more frequent.
  4. They're life-changing. Simply put, you're no longer the same person you were before you became a parent. You're probably a lot more tired. You likely don't have a whole lot of easy conversation topics to talk about other than your child. As a woman, your body probably changed during pregnancy. The fact that you're different could impact the way you see your partner and the way he or she sees you, which isn't always a good thing.
  5. They make sex difficult. There are many ways kids affect sex. They don't leave much time for it. They make you too tired for it. Having them can make you feel self-conscious about your body. They touch you a lot – leaving you less likely to want more touching from your partner. They're just always around!

How to keep it from happening
You don't have to give in and let having kids ruin your marriage. First, realize that the goal here is to fit your baby into your life – not mold your life to accommodate your child. Strive to be the same person you've always been. After all, you'll get your relationship back on your terms once your children move out in the future. Next, make an effort to really prepare yourself for the strain that a baby might put on you and your partner. Sit down with him or her and start planning for the less-fun stuff, like sharing chores, budgeting and carving out time for yourselves. Another good idea is to engage in pre- and post-baby counseling with your partner. Studies have shown that this type of counseling can help couples stay strong in the face of this big life change.

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