A friend of mine was at her mothers group the other day, and was shocked to realise that since the group of 12 started a couple of years ago, 5 were no longer with the father anymore.
All relationships go through ups and downs, but there are a few situations that can really test a couple. One of these is having kids.
I know when me and my ex hit a ‘dry patch’ it always took a toll emotionally. We would both pretend we weren’t counting down how long it had been, but the longer it got, the more strung out we got. It felt so isolating but also made it harder to know how to approach each other anymore. All couples will have times like this, but add kids to the mix, and it gets a lot harder.
So many people have told me they weren’t really prepared for how their lives would change.
Women can be dealing with:
Physical recovery, exhaustion, and the challenge of a new role. It can feel as though her job is taking care of everyone else’s needs, with her own coming second.
It can be hard for men to understand exactly how demanding and stressful all of this can be and all of this can be a huge downer on her libido.
For men there are also challenges:
Men tend to get less physical contact from the children and the mother, and this can result in them getting a lot less touch in general. Many tell me that, silly as it might sound, they can feel quite left out and unimportant in their home life.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg for struggles that can come up! All of it can put a huge crunch on the 3 foundations of relationship - clarity, communication and intimacy.
Roles and responsibilities inevitably shift, and this can easily lead to either parent feeling unappreciated and silently (or not!) resentful. Making sure to check in with each other on your shared vision for your family and yourselves as a couple can make a huge difference.
This is more key than ever! As soon as possible, get some dates and couple time in your schedule. Try and do something where, for AT LEAST part of the time you talk about something other than the children.
This needs to be nurtured and prioritised if we want it to thrive. Our modern lifestyles are not conducive to intimacy and we need to literally make it a priority in our schedules and lives. But this can be done is all sorts of ways.
One couple I worked with chose a daily ritual of 3 compliments for her, 2 mins of eye gazing every morning, and she would put little notes in his work bag with nice messages for him. There are LOADS of little things couple can do for each other to feel loved and supported even if their intimate lives aren’t textbook perfect.
Now, of course, I would LOVE for couples to put effort into learning how to be amazing partners for each other and create an amazing relationship before the shit hits the fan, but I realise most people won’t even realise they can invest in this way until things are bad. But anytime is better than just hoping things get better.
It is one of the most positive signs a relationship will survive and thrive when a couple decide to invest in their partnership.
If you want a better relationship, hit me up for a free one hour discovery call. I have a program specifically designed to help you navigate differences and modern lifestyle challenges whilst still having ever deepening love and partnership. Book a call here.
Lots of love