Bringing a baby home, and the three years that proceed, can bring both joy and new challenges. Research conducted by The Gottman Institute shows us that: 67% of couples had become very unhappy with each other during the first three years of their baby’s life. Only 33% remained content. The 33% of Couples that remained content, what did they have in common? The research shows us that these 5 Actions can make a real difference.
Creating a sense of WE-ness
If new parents can feel like they’re “in the trenches together” rather than two passing ships in the night, if they can share in the highs and lows of parenthood, they can bond together rather than feeling separate.
Making time for each other
Carve out time for each other to restore and maintain emotional intimacy. Stay interested in each other, as humans, not just as parents. Continue to be open to learning new things about each other.
Building friendship through fondness and admiration
A strong friendship can be preserved during moments of exhaustion by expressing fondness and appreciation. Couples who report less distress during the transition to parenthood are able to stay positive and give each other the benefit of the doubt that they can and will get through. Kind words go a long way and build into our emotional “love bank”. Take 15 minutes a day to check in with each other.
Don’t do conflict when you are flooded or overwhelmed
As conflict inevitably arises, handle disagreements effectively by using constructive problem-solving techniques, especially when you’re feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. Raising issues in a soft and gentle way without jumping down your partner’s throat allows you to get your point across and feel heard. Be aware of being critical, defensive, withdrawn or contemptuous.
Allow your partner to influence you
Another strategy for keeping conflict at bay is to allow your partner to feel like they have valuable stock in the relationship. Taking advice from them, expressing genuine interest in what they have to say, and seeing things from their side makes them feel like they have a voice.
Couples in trouble statistically take 6 years to seek help! If you need support and or new ideas for your relationship move on that now not later.
Tracy Lynch Relationship Therapist –
Thrive Wellness Hub Newcastle