Becoming a parent is rewarding. For some, it even provides a sense of purpose. While there are many beautiful parts to parenthood, it does come with its trials and tribulations–and will change the dynamics of a couples relationship. For some couples bringing a child into the picture can experate problems in the couples dynamics. Couples therapy in Los Angeles can help new parents like yourself sustain your relationship as you adjust to parenthood.
Perhaps you had planned a child with your partner for a few years or you were surprised to learn that you would soon become a parent, but now you have a child under your care. It is thrilling and also slightly unnerving. Logistical concerns may have clouded your mind initially but as the reality sinks in, things began to change that may have strained your well being or relationship. Many believe they can achieve normalcy and have life remain mostly the same, but unfortunately there really is no way to predict what will change once the addition to the family arrives. In fact, it is all too common for new parents to have curve balls thrown at them once a baby is born.
There are several reasons for tension. For one, people tend to prioritize the baby and neglect themselves and their partner as they become secondary. This can cause a divide, leading to either party feeling isolated and hurt. Women who give birth may feel physically drained or be in pain, whether recovering or breastfeeding which may trigger negative feelings that they project onto others. All caregivers involved may suffer from exhaustion which may cause eruptions of anger and frustration. Parents who stay at home or do not have a support system with a similar lifestyle may also feel alone. Some parents may also miss their lives before the baby was born and thus resent the child or partner, leading to deep guilt. All of these feelings and experiences are valid and normal. Remember, your babies optimum development depends on attuned, consistent nurturing from you. Self care and a healthy relationship between the parents are vital in producing a happy, healthy child.
Participating in couples therapy may help keep you and your partner navigate the many changes and new stressors that accompany parenthood. Working together to co-create a family while keeping the coupleship in tact can be tricky. Therapy can help each partner’s hear the perspective of the other, sort out fears and process some of the unexpected difficult emotions that can spring up. Acknowledging the need for a little help can be an investment in the new families future.
Couples Therapy: Tips to Transition Into Parenthood
While it may feel like life as you have known it is over, remember that you are in this together. It is usually not intentional if either of you becomes snappy, forgets something, shows limited interest, or you both are stressed. Noting and appreciating both of your efforts, setting up boundaries around sleeping schedules, assigning watch rounds, establishing times for connecting or carving out blocks for quality time, and committing to therapy will make the shift less overwhelming. The better you and your partner rest and communicate, the better satisfied you all will probably be.
For more information on couples therapy, call Trauma and Beyond Center ® at (818) 651-0725.