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Does Your Relationship Matter After Having a Baby?

It is quite common once a child is born for couples to focus solely on the new child.  The go from being a couple to instantly becoming a parent.  There is no transition in life that is greater than becoming a parent.  But what happens to the couple?

John Gottman explains in his program Bringing Baby Home Program that the parent-child relationship becomes the family focus and the couple’s relationship is not a priority and it puts stress onto the relationship.  Nevertheless, more and more research is being completed emphasising that the parents need to work on their own relationship whilst transitioning into parenthood.  If parent’s feel that their relationship as a couple is becoming strained it will naturally take a toll on each person’s physical and mental well being.

If a couple worked on their relationship to keep it strong the couple will have:

  • higher self-esteem
  • Greater social success
  • Increased desire to be social, involved
  • High flexibility, willingness to change
  • Increased commitment
  • Better physical health
  • Ability to love

If a couple did not work on their relationship it would lead to:

  • Increased stress levels
  • Impulsiveness, poor decision making
  • Anger and hostility
  • Decreased creativity
  • Difficulty problem-solving
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Self-consciousness (Gottman, 2007, Bringing Baby Home program – Children and Parents: A Delicate Relationship, p.21)

Therefore it is extremely important for couples to foster their relationship and keep building on it in order to have a strong family relationship.  Below is a list of strategies you could implement on a daily basis to strengthen your relationship:

  • Say I love you
  • Send an I love you text
  • Sit down and watch tv together
  • Talk about each other’s day
  • Acknowledge that things are stressful and simply listen to each other.
  • Acknowledge that your partner is doing a good job.
  • Organise a date every month
  • Remember why you love your partner
  • Eat dinner together
  • Make sure you laugh!