Having a child with your partner is an exciting time in your life but it can also be a very challenging period. Research indicates that marital satisfaction declines during the first 2 years of your child’s life, so if you are feeling unhappy in your relationship you are not alone. There are many reasons for this: sleep deprivation, exhaustion, financial pressure, feeling out of your depth as parents, and being challenged to work as a team. You have gone from being a couple with lots of free time and “me” time, to feeling like taking a shower is a major achievement.
There are many different scenarios effecting new parents. You may be feeling out of control or overwhelmed. You may be missing a career that you enjoyed and where you felt part of a team. As a new Dad you may be missing the attention you used to get from your wife as she’s now focused entirely on your baby. You may be missing the ‘old days’ when it was just the two of you and going out for a dinner used to be spontaneous. You may have recently moved suburbs or countries and your network of friends is limited. Your baby may be unwell leaving you feeling tired and worried.
This level of stress can mean that you and your partner may start to play out that stress with each other and you may be fighting more. Perhaps you have slightly different approaches to child raising and these start to be the cause of conflict. Getting in early and sorting out any communication challenges or emerging issues can make a huge difference to the quality of your relationship and its long-term stability. Sometimes we tend to avoid dealing with our relationship or it goes to the bottom of the list of all the things we need to focus on as a new parent.
I work with individuals and couples every day on adjusting to their new identity as parents and the changes in their relationship. Within a few sessions, my clients begin to see improvements and have practical strategies that they can try at home. It can be hard to talk about how you are feeling especially to your partner. I create a safe, comfortable positive space where you can both speak without being judged or criticised.More and more new parents are suffering in silence with an overwhelming feeling of being alone and isolated at a time when they expected to feel joy and excitement with the arrival of their new baby.
The cost of isolation is high and the damage it can do to your relationship could be significant. Getting professional counselling support can make a positive difference to both your relationship and your wellbeing. If any of this sounds like you, then contact me now to find out how I can support you and your partner. Let’s talk before it breaks.