Relationship breakdown during pregnancy happens more often than many may expect. Pregnancy is usually presented to us via media, commercials, and memories of our friends and family, as a blissful and a harmonic period of love and accord. However, the reality of it is that it can also be an extremely stressful and difficult period for a couple.
The mother-to-be can surely experience inexplicable happiness and calmness. But, other than that, pregnancy can present the most challenging trial for any couple if relationship breakdown happens with soon-to-be-parents.
What pregnancy brings into a relationship
Pregnancy happens to couples in different ways and in different points in the relationship, but one thing is certain – it is an announcement of the greatest change in the life of the partners and in the relationship.
From the moment a couple gets pregnant, nothing will ever be the same. Yes, it will be beautiful, and couples rarely would ever change it once they get to see their baby. But, the truth is also that it does change every little thing and many get extremely anxious about it.
What could be bothering the soon-to-be-parents is any one of the following things – finances, romance, social life, future, new life role, freedom. In essence, any little or big change can trigger a relationship breakdown and cause other marriage problems during pregnancy.
Both parents can be extremely anxious and scared about hundreds of things. They can both be needing additional support and reassurance. Men, especially, tend to fear the loss of their partner’s affection and care.
Why is it so challenging for the couple?
All of the changes that we mentioned put enormous stress on both partners. There are two-fold pressures, one that regards the individuals in the relationship, and the other that relates to the dynamics of the relationship itself.
For both men and women, this is a challenge for their personal identities as well as their relationship.
Women can fear whether they will lose themselves in the role of a mother, and become just moms instead of lovers. They can fear how their bodies will look after the pregnancy and whether they will become unattractive to their partners.
Soon-to-be-mothers can also suffer from emotional breakdown during pregnancy. They fear their relationship falling apart while pregnant and experience relationship stress during pregnancy. And both, men and women, are usually terrified of how well they will handle parenthood.
Every doubt and self-doubt puts a strain on a relationship, and these doubts can often lead to a marriage breakdown. Pregnancy might be one of the most challenging periods in any relationship, as it announces the end of one era and the beginning of the next one.
It is at this moment that most people will begin to wonder if they can handle such a change. Their relationship will inevitably change. Their tolerance will be put to test. Support will be in high demand. Any transgression during pregnancy can count as ten times more hurtful and selfish. Not to mention, possible problems when it comes to sex life during pregnancy can arise.
Pregnancy and relationship problems
Relationship breakdown is common because relationships change during pregnancy. We often hear couples complaining about experiencing marital problems during pregnancy as they find relationship issues during pregnancy challenging to cope up with.
Relationships during pregnancy go through many ups and downs. The pregnancy hormones tend to make the expectant mothers feel more vulnerable or anxious as they experience a mix of emotional highs and lows.
Some are unable to cope with the symptoms and the changes their body goes through. Also, complications during pregnancy cause extra stress leading to unnecessary relationship problems during pregnancy.
This temporary relationship breakdown, if not handled with care can lead to separation and divorce.
Counseling can help young couples deal with pregnancy relationship problems and save their marriage from a temporary relationship breakdown.
How to prevent relationship breakdown during pregnancy
All of what was being described can put enormous stress on a relationship. Not surprisingly, relationships that were more functional and healthier prior to the pregnancy stand a better chance of surviving it. Although becoming parents is a challenge on its own, we will discuss how to prevent relationship breakdown during pregnancy.
If you trust that your relationship is standing on a solid foundation, that is good news! But, even then, it is advisable to have a conversation with your partner about your perspective and your expectations.
However, if your relationship was shaky before the pregnancy, it might need extra help to make sure it grows stronger before the baby comes. After all, breakups during pregnancy are not unheard of.
The most important advice is to communicate
This means talking about every single doubt and fear, both relating to the pregnancy and parenthood, and to the relationship itself. Talk, talk, talk.
This advice is always at play, in any relationship, and at any stage, but in pregnancy, it is more important than ever to be entirely open and direct about your needs, fears, and desires.
Avoiding the problem won’t help. There are many couples who, for the sake of the baby, try to sweep the disagreements under the rug. This will backfire once the baby arrives.
So, the best thing you can do for your relationship, and your family, is to visit a psychotherapist.
This is something even people in great relationships should consider doing during the pregnancy, but it is an essential step for everyone who feels their relationship might suffer from the stress surrounding pregnancy and end in breaking up during pregnancy, following the relationship breakdown.