Being pregnant is beautiful but hard; being in a stressful relationship while pregnant is even harder. Pregnancy can and often does happen to a couple who is already in a shaky relationship. For others, unfortunately, the stress of the pregnancy seriously jeopardizes otherwise quite a good relationship. In both cases, women find themselves in a difficult relationship in the most untimely moment. However, relationship stress during pregnancy can be overcome with the right advice.
How pregnancy affects relationships
There are many effects a pregnancy might have on someone’s relationship. Especially if this is your first time being pregnant. So many dilemmas, so many changes, so much insecurity and anxiety. The hormones, the physical and psychological changes, the practical issues that need to be handled. This is hard not only for the partners individually but is also maybe the ultimate challenge for their relationship.
If you’re pregnant, you might become extremely clingy. This clingy attitude is one of the triggers for relationship stress during pregnancy. We can blame it on hormones or the sheer psychology of a pregnancy, but in any case, women tend to become especially needy of their partner’s attention and presence. They can behave irrationally, and demand that he checks in every 15 minutes, or might worry that he would be hurt in an accident. And if the partner doesn’t respond to this adequately, such disbalance between the need and the “supply” of attention might cause serious friction in the relationship.
Another way in which pregnancy affects a relationship is the fact that men and women seem to get into the parental mode in very different times. The woman will usually start feeling like a mother as soon as she sees the test results. And many much before that, when their instincts tell them that they’re pregnant. On the other hand, men don’t have many ways of realizing what is going on at such an early stage. They don’t have any physical symptoms, they don’t feel their bodies changing, they don’t get to feel their child moving around for months before they see him or her.
As a consequence, men and women often don’t seem to go through the same experience of pregnancy. Which most commonly causes that the woman is feeling abandoned, and the men left out. This is a serious stressor for both, as it manifests itself in their behavior. Women will often try and force the man to be as excited about choosing the crib as they are, while men will usually become more and more withdrawn.
How relationships break down during pregnancy
Apart from practical problems surrounding the new family member, these and other psychological effects of a pregnancy will usually cause the relationship to become very stressful. And, the truth is, this can happen to anyone and happens much more frequently than people are willing to admit.
However, some couples get over these hurdles, and some don’t. For some, unfortunately, pregnancy marks the beginning of an end for their relationship. Why does this happen? How pregnancy destroys relationships? By the couple missing the basic skills that make for a solid and healthy relationship.
As in any relationship, when tense times come, partners might react in one of million ways. For many pregnant women, unfortunately, the reality becomes that they are now pregnant and in a stressful relationship filled with misunderstandings, quarrels, lack of support. Which is an extremely difficult place to be in. Fortunately, there are ways to rescue the situation, with the baby’s well-being coming in the first place.
What you can do about relationship stress during pregnancy
As we already mentioned – whatever you do, you must have in mind that your baby’s well-being it is the ultimate priority. And, with him or her growing inside of you, that means that you have to take care of yourself. This is the only time in your life when being selfish actually isn’t being selfish. You cannot be stressed, because every single thing that you do during the pregnancy will have an impact on the being inside of you.
With that said, there are less and more dramatic ways to accomplish this. The first thing you should try is to mend the relationship. Talk, be honest and direct, express your anxieties and doubts. Be open to your partner’s viewpoints. Consult the therapist. That doesn’t mean that something’s horribly wrong with you or your relationship. That only means that you’re willing to make things good before the baby comes.
But, unfortunately, if nothing works, you might need to consider if taking some time apart might be better for everyone. That doesn’t mean it needs to be a definite separation. But sometimes a bit of distance can help to put things into perspective.