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New baby hard on a marriage?

Along with shopping for sippy cups and strollers, expectant parents may want to consider another task for their to-do list: honing their marriage skills.

Numerous studies have shown that a couples' satisfaction with their marriage takes a nose dive after the first child is born. Sleepless nights and fights over whose turn it is to change diapers can leach the fun out of a relationship.

Now, a growing number of mental-health professionals are advising couples to undergo pre-baby counseling to hash out marital minefields such as divvying up baby-related responsibilities, money issues and expectations for sex and social lives. A growing number of hospitals, midwives and doulas (birth coaches who provide physical and emotional support) are teaching relationship skills alongside childbirth education classes.

About two-thirds of couples see the quality of their relationship drop within three years of the birth of a child, according to data from the Relationship Research Institute in Seattle, a nonprofit organization focused on strengthening families. Conflict increases and, with little time for adult conversation and sex, emotional distance can develop.


Asked by tasches at 7:16 PM on Apr. 29, 2011 in Relationships

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Answers (8)
  • This wasn't true in our marriage. In fact, I think the opposite was true. Each child drew us closer together.

    Answer by NannyB. at 7:19 PM on Apr. 29, 2011

  • Well, I find it extremely true! It's a true test of any marriage as far as I am concerned. It's a make it or break it.

    Answer by m-avi at 7:24 PM on Apr. 29, 2011

  • I do agree that the 1st few months after my dd was born, was difficult. My dh  I did tend to snap at each other much more during that time. I think it was because we were both so exhausted. But now she is 16 months old and everything is fine.


    Answer by cherylw993 at 7:40 PM on Apr. 29, 2011

  • It also depends on how long you were together before your kid/s are born... Newlyweds are still adjusting to each other and might be affected more than folks who've been together for years before baby makes an appearance...

    Answer by GoodyBrook at 8:34 PM on Apr. 29, 2011

  • I think its an awesome idea! Along with pre-marital counseling, it can be a great asset to help the couple understand how hard its going to be before it happens.

    Answer by hopeandglory53 at 8:56 PM on Apr. 29, 2011

  • My 1st child was a piece of cake i had a c section and was out of it for so dh bonded so much with our dd he loved getting up baths dipars feeding lol. now my second one i had postpartum and i was crazy but he was amazing again it made me love him a million times more. what we have a problem with is discipline they are 6 and 3 and hes a softy and they know hes a push over im mean mommy dont ask me ask daddy and it gets me upset.


    Answer by whitenena at 9:15 PM on Apr. 29, 2011

  • Yeah, my hubby was all about having a baby until she was born. After he threw her I left the bastard and moved out of state.

    Answer by emmyandlisa at 7:54 PM on Apr. 29, 2011

  • then maybe they should have thought about that before having kids. condoms, pills etc. Even without children or with children its hard enough to keep things fresh and exciting... its a partnership and thats the basic.

    Answer by kkbird at 7:29 PM on Apr. 29, 2011