Despite the happy event of a pregnancy, unfortunately marriage separation while pregnant is all too common. Couples fall into the trap of unmet expectations and emotional roller coasters that take the focus away from the impending bundle of joy, and instead onto negative issues that pop up.
Don’t let this happen to you! Here are some tips to avoid marriage separation during pregnancy.
Realize what negativity you’re bringing to the marriage
It’s always the other person’s fault—at least that’s what everyone usually thinks. It’s hard to see what negativity we are bringing to the marriage, but it’s important to do so. Because really, it takes two to tango. What that means is, if he’s angry or resentful, there could be a reason. Perhaps the wife is not meeting his needs or involving him in any of the fun baby stuff. Perhaps her nagging is turning him off. They are both to blame for negativity, so it’s important both people see that. Take care of it sooner than later, because the longer negativity seeps in, the more likely either or both may say or do something they might regret. This can lead to hurt feelings and eventually, separation during a time the couple should be coming together.
Open the lines of communication
When couples quit talking, especially during pregnancy, things can go south quickly. If either or both of you are scared about the possibility of being parents but don’t talk about it, the emotions can build and manifest in different ways. Pay attention to how the other person is acting and possibly feeling, and ask questions. Talk about your concerns. Make sure to help the other person feel comfortable talking about anything, even anxiety about the baby or pregnancy. Open the lines of communication so you can come together as a couple and work on things as husband and wife.
Let go of unrealistic expectations
Especially for first-time parents, couples may have a skewed view of what pregnancy and having a baby is like. The wife may expect the husband to do certain things or pay way more attention to her, perhaps even take over her household chores or know what to do when she feels nauseous. When those expectations aren’t met, couples can feel resentment or anger. Try to be more realistic and realize that neither of you have been through this before! Let go of unrealistic expectations and realize each marriage relationship is different and each pregnancy is different. Make it your own—together.
Spend some time away together
Sometimes, you just need to get away from it all and focus on each other. Being pregnant is stressful. There is so much to consider about what is happening to the woman’s body, how the baby is developing, and all the possibilities for the future. If you focus too much on that and not each other, your marriage relationship suffers. So plan a quick get-away so you can just be there for each other, away from work and other responsibilities. Reconnect and come back renewed and much more balanced in your lives.
Both of you go to doctor visits
Sometimes couples fall apart during pregnancy because the woman feels lonely in the pregnancy, and the husband feels left out of everything. One way to avoid that and bring more joy to the nine months is for both of you to go to as many doctor visits as possible. This helps the wife feel supported by her husband as they spend this special time together, and the husband feels involved as he also sees the doctor and takes part in the knowledge of how the baby is developing. They can both ask questions and discuss concerns and what to expect during the visits as well.
Go see a marriage therapist
Because of the extra stress of a pregnancy, sometimes just trying to be there more for each other isn’t enough. You might need outside help. Sooner rather than later, go see a marriage therapist. Talk about what’s going on in the marriage and what pregnancy has added to the mix. The counselor will help both of you sort out your feelings and understand each other better.
Talk about expectations during birth and thereafter
The birth can be a blissful time, but hurt feelings can happen easily. Emotions are heightened, and each person may have different expectations about each other’s roles. When those are not met, the birth day may not be very positive. So definitely talk about what you expect, and what each of you want to get out of it. Also continue to talk about your thoughts on parenting, and how each of you will help contribute to caring for your newborn.
Becoming parents is an exciting prospect, but pregnancy definitely changes a marriage relationship. Make sure that during these nine months to come together as much as possible, instead of apart. By being there for each other and making sure to focus on the marriage while anticipating your new baby, you can avoid separation during pregnancy.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.