There’s nothing quite like the arrival of a beautiful baby to reinforce the love between husband and wife. However, caring for a constantly crying and needy little one with limited sleep, in addition to your existing responsibilities, can also take a toll on your marriage.
In times like this, it’s easy for tension and conflicts to arise, notes Anoushka Beh, a psychologist and family therapist (www.abehpsych.com). “It will also start emptying that tank of compassion and goodwill, which is essential to fuelling your relationship,” she adds. If you feel like you and your spouse have lost that loving feeling, give these gestures a go.
TAKE TIME AWAY FROM BABY It may sound cruel to suggest this to new parents, but it’s imperative that you and your man make time to do things without bub. It doesn’t have to involve elaborate planning (or shaven legs) and you don’t even have to go too far as long as you both get a few hours to yourselves . Get doting grandparents or relatives to babysit junior and run away for a nice meal, a walk or a movie. It’s your time to be carefree, laugh a little or just catch up – even if that involves talking about your peewee 80 per cent of the time! Aim to do this once a week so that you both can experience more together.
FIND SMALL WAYS TO CREATE INTIMACY If the hubs has had a rough day at the office, pick up a sweet treat so you can both share it after bubba has gone to bed. If the wife has had a particularly gruelling day at home with the little one, offer to do the night shift so she can get a good rest. The more you pay attention to your spouse and make them feel special, the deeper your intimacy gets.
REDISCOVER YOUR CHEMISTRY Your post-partum body and hormones, plus breastfeeding may prevent you from wanting to initiate sex with your man, but that doesn’t mean you can’t relight the fire in other ways. Wake each other up with kisses every morning, end every phone conversation with “I Love You” (or, okay, ILU), and send flirty messages throughout the day. Dr Martha Tara Lee, a clinical sexologist at Eros Coaching also suggests other ways to get physical, such as giving each other a relaxing and sensual body massage or holding hands.
COMMUNICATE An emotional connection is just as important as physical intimacy. This can only be achieved if you are both willing to open up and talk about everything, even the most unpleasant topics. Ladies, if you feel unattractive about your post-partum body and feel like your man is not paying enough attention, let him know instead of fuming inside – he’s not a mind reader! If you are both stressed out about the finances, sit down and draw up a plan or at the very least discuss your options. It may be the last thing you want to do at the end of a long day, but having such heart-to-heart talks will make you both feel better and closer.
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