Ways a Couples Stays Close After Baby Arrives
The importance of Dads
Parents of new babies have it rough sometimes. Everybody is trying to do a good job of keeping their little one safe, happy, and healthy while still maintaining all the responsibilities they had before the birth of a new little person. They are tired, sleep deprived, irritable and lonely and are trying to power through individually with little time to focus on each other. Too often the relationship takes a back seat early on.
Keeping the couple bond strong during this time is challenging – so much so that statistics say 67% of couples are less satisfied with their relationship after the birth of a baby. But that means 33% maintain or improve their relationship satisfaction! Drs. John & Julie Gottman, renowned researchers of healthy relationships, call this 33% the “Masters” of relationships, and they focus their work on how to teach what happier couples do that keep their relationship intimate over time after a new baby arrives.
What they have found is that involved Fathers have a much more significant impact on the mental health of both Mother and the new baby. In those 33% who Master parenting, Dads stay present throughout the pregnancy and the bonding process with their new baby. Mothers make room for Dad in the parenting process and in the relationship, and includes his wants, needs and desires as equally important as her own. And Dads understand the new demands on Mom and are affectionate and caring. Happier relationships keep Fathers included and valued, and helping Dads stay engaged rather than withdraw.
Research conducted by Drs. John & Julie Gottman of the Gottman Institute find that a strong friendship carries couples through the parenting process – and through any major changes the couple may face. Couples who listen to understand each other, cherish each other as best friends and lovers, and genuinely see unmet needs as an opportunity to grow closer maintain their friendship over time. Valuing the “WE” in your relationship over the “I” builds emotional intimacy, and emotional intimacy builds physical intimacy. When couples genuinely look out for the well-being of the other and take action that meets each other’s needs, the relationship remains strong.
Need help parenting more happily together? We’re here for that! Give us a call at 850.450.7223 or make an appointment in our client portal at https://believehopeinspire.securepatientarea.com/portal/.
Dianne Presley, LCSW, BC-TMH
Believe, Hope, Inspire Wellness Services LLC
Anxiety, Depression, Loss and Relationship Therapy
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