How did your relationship change?(19 Posts)
Apologies if I've not spotted another thread on this topic. Baby no. 1 due in January and I've just been musing about my (good) relationship with DH and wondering how things will change, especially as everyone bangs on about things never being the same again etc! And the general effects of coping with a newborn, which we've not done before, of course.
(How) did your relationship change? How did you and your partner feel about those changes?
I’m 14 weeks in and we have a lot less (zero) time when it’s just the two of us. Partly because we have a tricky sleeper so I go to sleep at 8 when the baby does to make sure I get a lot of sleep (in total, rather than in any decent chunk).
There’s a new quality to our relationship too. It’s lovely seeing him spend time with our baby, and we’ve survived the very difficult early days. On the flip side, I’m breastfeeding so there can be some resentment about how things are easier for him - he can sleep through the night and go out for a few hours with no worries. But that’s just biology rather than his fault!
Less sex but otherwise no change. DS is 20 months.
Things went pretty shit between me and DH and and I walked out on him when DS was 4 months. Our relationship had descended into not a nice place, we argued all the time, we never spent time together, I was resentful of the fact he got to escape parenthood with work and socialising etc and things just became unbearable.
I was only away from home for about 5 days but it gave us both some time to look at what our relationship had turned in to and what we could do about it. Things didn't really start to return to normal between us though until DS was about a year old. We agreed to accept that we were going through a very tough time but that we had to just see it out and always remember that underneath the current difficulties we did love each other.
Having a baby can be very tough on even the best of relationships.
On a happier note though, we've just had our second baby and our relationship hasn't been negatively affected at all, if anything it's better because we knew what to expect this time in terms of what challenges will arise due to having a baby.
Every relationship reacts differently to the arrival of a baby but I imagine a lot of women will have periods where they hate their partner for some reason or another.
It may be a good idea to talk to each other beforehand about how you think your relationship may change etc and what support you think you will need from him etc, but as the saying goes "Nothing can prepare you for having a baby until you actually have one."
Congratulations on your pregnancy OP, and although your relationship may be absolutely fine always bear in mind that things will still be tough and rather than let any resentment build up try and talk to your DH honestly about how you are feeling of things start to annoy or upset you.
We don’t get the same amount of quality time. We could have a full Saturday together but not have a good chat etc because always interrupted with our toddler. We are tired a lot and evenings one of us is either out at gym etc. It definitely is different, but we consciously make time for us at the weekend, meal with wine after he has gone to bed. Also when we do get a chance to go out us two, it is so exciting and enjoyable! I do miss lazy Sunday mornings in bed but I know that time will come again.
Ps. We found the newborn stage incredibly hard and I was a bit resentful of my DH who just took to it so well and basically handled everything. But you communicate and work through it. As long as you are both of the same page you will be fine. Just important to remember newborn stage is literally just a stage and you will get your freedom and routine back again.
Our relationship is much better. I realised how lovely he is, he puts me and our daughter first in every way it’s amazing.
I think you need to tell him what you expect beforehand. Ie just because you’re on maternity doesn’t mean you can do all the cleaning and cooking etc. You’re going to be sleep deprived, not everything is your job. Make sure he takes responsibility.
Most of my friends had amazing relationships and now their partners don’t do anything for their babies. Two of my friends have 9 month babies and their partners have never taken them even shopping to give them some time away etc. Just let him know what you expect and I think you’ll be okay
I had the same experience as rolling: it really made me see how lovely he is
this was nearly 21 years ago, and every crisis of parenthood has made us grow closer together
he never bought into that shit that men don't have to do parenting if they find it boring, I felt confident enough to admit that sometimes I was bored
I’m 12 years into being a parent, and my relationship with DH is strong. He’s a great dad and we agree on most aspects of parenting (and back each other up if we do have different opinions).
However, the physical side has suffered. We’re both tired with work and kids, so we have sex a lot less often. I worry he’d like more and is too nice to say so.
I had my first in august
Less time for intimacy and romance but amazing seeing my DP with my son and makes you love them in a whole new way
Also when you do get alone time it's so worthwhile
DS is 20 months. Mine and DH’s relationship is stronger because now we need to work as a team. But, we were one of those weird couples who never really argued. Now, with tiredness on our sides we are more likely to pick up on things and argue. Some people would say that it’s healthier than the weird passive aggressive silences we used to have instead of arguments.
I fall more in love with him every day when I see how he interacts with our son. And as our son gets older, their relationship gets stronger. They’re a real double act and I love watching that.
Fatherhood has bought a tender side out to him which I’d never seen before.
Less quality time is a big thing, we miss being able to go out to dinner at the drop of the hat or cinema. But the positives outweigh the negatives.
The newborn stage was hard for us, I was massively resentful that DP seemed to continue his life as normal while mine was upside down. I think the sleep deprivation was also a big part of that and the adjustment to new priorities. Now at 6 months we’re getting our relationship back, seeing him with our daughter makes me love him even more and we talk about things a lot more. A bit of a turning point was us both stopping an ongoing ‘competition’ of who is more tired, busy, stressed etc and just accepting that neither of us had it easy.
Our relationship didn’t change much, we still joke around and have banter with each other but we do have a lot more petty arguments because we’re both tired! Lol, but I think we’ve been quite lucky as our little girl who is 5 months is quite good, she’s a happy baby, but a baby has definitely tested our relationship but we’re stronger now, but one thing you can forget about is sex! Haha I’d say make the most of it whilst you still can haha 🙈😂
For the first six months we just put our heads down and got through it. (With each child, we have two). First time I was surprised and a bit sad how little I saw him, second time we were prepared.
We prioritised sleeping over spending time togerther!! On a weekend one of would be asleep all day. When he got in from work I would eat with him and then go to bed.
Literally an hours walk to the park was a mASSIVe deal.
Then it got easier and our relationship is brilliant. That we could rely on each other in those early days kept us going.
(Children are now 6 and 2).
Thanks so much for all your responses, everyone! It's so helpful to get an idea of what to expect - so many other people have done this before us, it would be silly not to draw on your wisdom
We're lucky that DH will be off work for the first 2 months of baby's life, all being well, so I hope that will be a lovely time in our lives together. However, we're then moving abroad (due to DH's job) for a year, which would be a challenge even without a tiny baby! We're going to Argentina, from the UK, so will be a huge adventure. I'm definitely keen to bear in mind the comments on sleep, and honest conversation!
We’re eight weeks in and it is very difficult. I don’t have the words to explain to him why I’m resentful of the freedom he has. He feels like he’s giving his all to help me and I’m still not satisfied. I’m not sure what I could have done in hindsight to avoid this.
My partner was off for two months also, felt very lucky to have all the help in those first two months! And I also resented my partners freedom when he went back to work, I almost felt jelous a little
About 5 months I, and it's changed a lot less than I'd expected. We have less time to do nice little things for each other, but still spend lots of good quality time together, have been out for dinner (both with a sleeping baby, and by ourselves), we are still very affectionate and loving.
I think I love him even more now, because of how much he loves our child, and thoigh we have occasionally been a tad snappy, we still knock that on the head pretty quickly.
For us though, the key is sharing parenting. We share feeding, night feeds, the baby admin, the chores, and that (a) means that neither of us is particularly tired (b) there's no reason for resentment to grow (c) we each understand the challenges etc, and act as a team.
If one of you is doing all the parenting, then that person is more likely to be exhausted and grouchy at the other person. Nurturing your relationship and sharing are my tips personally.
We have 2 dc, aged 2.4 and almost 3. Our relationship has certainly changed.
- dp is a great dad. Really great. I love seeing him with our dc and it's a wonderful quality
- there is a certain spirit of togetherness that comes with having a shared experience.
- less time for each other
- less money (orders of magnitude less!)
- less sex
- we tend to be a bit more snippy with each other.
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