You, Your Children, and Your Relationship
Your family is complete. Babies have been born, children are growing and healthy.
Maybe you have the job, the house, the minivan, the family dog, and the white picket fence of your dreams… You both wanted this, dreamed of it, discussed it, planned it. Media shows us images of happy, glowing couples, holding their baby, gazing at their adorable toddlers, visiting Disneyland with young children, all the while smiling and holding hands blissfully. What? Your marriage is not feeling so sweet and harmonious? No bliss?
In reality, parenthood can’t help but place a great deal of strain on the best of marriages regardless of how prepared you and your partner may have been. However you and your partner came upon parenthood, it is a huge transition. Life as you knew it changes permanently. Your relationship with eachother is the cornerstone for your family, but it is no longer just the two of you. There are new people in your relationship now. New little people who depend on you, require a great deal of time, energy and attention, and who do not have a sense of your need for couple time, or date night, much less even fifteen minutes of privacy.
You notice that your marriage might be heading for trouble. You are less then satisfied. Your partner is complaining about your lack of interest in him/her.
Feels like you and your partner are on different planets since having children? What worked before, may not work now.
Rifts that were small before, feel huge, increasing with the added responsibilities and challenges of parenting.
You feel at a loss when it comes to communicating. You wonder if you are speaking different languages.
You and your partner are embattled over parenting approaches.
You have trouble resolving conflicts.
Are you feeling angry, resentful, disappointed with your relationship?
You feel horrible guilt for arguing in front of the baby, great sadness that new parenthood is not the blissful happy couple experience that Babies R Us promised, angry at your partner for his or her reaction to your lack of energy
You may be experiencing extended family drama (rude in-laws, nosy grandparents, judgemental aunts) that puts additional pressure on your relationship.
Maybe you have suggested getting professional help, perhaps your partner refuses to go to couples counseling. Or neither of you feel you have the time?
You are not alone! We have all been there to some degree or other! Parenthood will force you both to grow and change. You get to decide whether to do it intentionally and together, or to fight change and battle your partner the whole way. Parenthood will highlight your differences. Unresolved issues that were easy to ignore or push aside before children (such as religious values, disciplinary views, priorities) will pop up. Parenthood will also highlight each of your strengths, leading to new levels of appreciation for eachother. While each relationship has its own set of specific challenges to work through, there are certainly common themes and struggles as couples grow into families with children.
If you are here reading this, I venture to guess that you may be questioning your marriage, or at least searching for ways to improve it.
I work with couples or individuals on improving their relationships. Having been in practice for over 15 years, I have worked with many, many couples in distress, as well as many individuals who’s partners were not willing to participate in couples counseling. I can tell you first hand that either approach can have significant benefits to both you and to the relationship dynamics.
Please contact me today to talk about what will work best for you!