Pregnancy has a habit of putting a lot of stress on couples. It changes everything – inevitably – and a lot of relationships have been known to crack under the pressure. The woman can feel slightly compromised as her body is being taken over, and may harbor feelings of resentment towards the man whose life continues as usual. The man in return may feel a little useless as he can’t do much to help carry the burden of a bump.
There are several key reasons as to why relationships can suffer during pregnancy. We’ll tell you about them here so you can think about how your relationship can stand up to them.
Like it or not (and not many people do!) hormones play a major part in pregnancy. Hormones are also linked to making women feel nothing short of psychotic (think PMT on a major scale!). There are a huge amount of hormones bouncing around a woman’s body particularly in early pregnancy (the first three to four months).
These hormones can have several effects – firstly they may make the woman very snappy, angry or emotional. They can also affect energy levels and we all know how hard it is to keep buoyant when we’re feeling dog tired. The man can do nothing but be patient during this stage.
Listen to the woman’s feelings, sympathize with her frustrations and above all offer reassurance that everything is going to be ok. After a few months these really high level hormones will wear off and the woman will be back to her bubbly self!
If there’s one thing guaranteed to make a couple fight it’s money. A pregnancy causes a lot of anxiety in the finance department. How will you cope when only one of you can work?
Is the woman even ready to have up to a year off work? Who is going to pay for all the things you need like a cot, a Moses basket, a buggy…? Don’t fret – all these things can be worked out but only if you work as a team.
Make a budget, talk it over and discuss how you are going to get around the difficulties. Be creative too – you don’t need to buy everything new – second hand baby equipment is absolutely fine and you may even have friends who can pass things onto you for free.
It’s perfectly natural for the woman to get anxious about the childbirth. And for the man too – he will be depended on a lot for support during the birth. When people are worried they tend to get snappy or defensive but this is the worst thing you can do. Work together as a team, reassure each other and you’ll come through the other end stronger than ever.
Having a baby certainly affects relationships but it is up to you whether your relationship is stronger or weaker for it. Make a commitment to each other that you will weather the storm together and you’ll find that the joys that your baby gives you will more than make up for the hard times.