Has your partner changed after the marriage?
First relationship crisis: Often after the birth of the first child
Relationships have the potential for conflict, especially in some phases. It often crashes when there are drastic changes such as the birth of the first child. The crisis can already emerge during pregnancy or it can only occur after the birth.
Life is full of challenges, a particularly big one is the birth of the first child. Life changes, a new routine takes hold, lack of sleep and possible insecurities as well as the fear of doing something wrong are a strain on your nerves. This can lead to a reduced resistance to stress, the tolerance threshold is lower. It can happen that there are serious rifts in the marriage or relationship.
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Different expectations of the partner
Everyone is different, everyone has a different past, made their own experiences and deals with different situations differently. You can't and don't always have to agree. Maybe you don't meet the other's expectations. It is also possible that the other person does not meet personal expectations.
Peculiarities that are initially loved often become a nuisance
Sometimes it is the partner's peculiarities that were so fascinating at the beginning, but which after a certain period of time are perceived as annoying. The partner's disorder can initially be perceived as "sweet and chaotic" and later as unbearable. In extreme situations, such as a permanently increased stress level, such little things can quickly bring the barrel to overflow and trigger a big argument.
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Conflicts from the past
The often violent reactions that lead to quarrels can also be attributed to the fact that certain experiences from the past arise because one feels so strongly attached to another person. Perhaps one was only so strongly tied to one's mother or father in childhood. The fear of precipitation and disappointment or perhaps dramatic situations that one has experienced but repressed can reappear.
Find compromises and work together
If you are supposed to get used to each other without threatening your own identity or feeling robbed of it, there is no getting around making certain decisions and compromising. "All or nothing" can very easily and quickly lead to the end of the partnership. Here it is important to work together and to consider your own feelings and needs as well as the feelings and needs of the other and to have the courage to say "yes" or "no". Basically, however, you also have to exchange ideas about where the other person's wishes lie. A partnership means constantly working on it and mutually defining boundaries and free spaces.
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Will we stay together despite the crisis?
How crises and conflicts are resolved and managed at the beginning of a relationship or marriage affects the foundation for how subsequent crises are resolved.
If both partners are very young, the risk that they will develop in mutual directions is very high. Often the partners work in different areas, one or the other is perhaps at home, has a completely different "living environment" than the one who works. You're not exposed to the same influences.
It can happen that the partners slowly grow apart, unless both contribute to their further development together. This consists, for example, in an exchange and constant reflection on attitudes towards one another and the situation in life.
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The birth of the first child can change everything
With a baby, the time for two is over for now. A new orientation in the partnership begins for both partners, a new common ground has to be found, and that is very difficult if you are busy looking after one or sometimes several children every day (the birth of the second child can only trigger a Relationship crisis). What comes your way is subject to different expectations: On the one hand, you hear a lot about the exertions that an infant brings with it, and yet, before the child is born, the dream and the unrealistic, romantic idea of the magical and fragrant creature often comes before the child is born who is happy and smiling in the cradle in the foreground.
Being a parent is exhausting
The reality is usually different. Lack of sleep, a crying and restless child who wants to be carried around all the time are sometimes more realistic. Screaming is the only possible way for a baby to communicate and express needs. These grueling tests of everyday life often put a strain on a partnership.
The fathers look forward to the children just as much as the mothers. Nevertheless, they often get the feeling, even if they want to see it differently from the head, that the child is between them and their partner. Sometimes jealousy of the child arises, it is perceived as a "competitor" with regard to the attention of the partner.
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Often times, fathers are kept out of caring for the baby for whatever reason, which makes them feel even more isolated. This lack of closeness in the partnership can subsequently also have a negative effect on sex life.
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No more feelings for your partner after the birth?
Instead of the support of her husband, the mother gets a child. Since she feels herself fragile and inadequate, she reacts aggressively and hostile, and the man eventually feels even more neglected. In most cases, the mother has worked outside the home before the child is born and finds the isolation overwhelming as a result. Perhaps she also envies her partner for having a professional career and thus having contact with other people.
Despite the burden, there are also women who unconsciously prevent the father from contacting the child, who then gives up striving for a harmonious relationship and leaves all the responsibility to her.
In this "new crisis" after the birth, the communication between the partners is crucial. They have to say what is bothering them, what bothers them and what they are satisfied with. They have to find their new roles together.
Sexual problems after having a baby
It is possible that the mother is particularly busy with the child and is constantly tired due to the constant restlessness - especially during the night. The attention and tenderness she shows the child exhausts her, and there is not much left for her partner.
In this situation, the desire for sex is very far down on the desire scale for many women. Some women lose themselves so much in their motherhood that they can no longer find a distance from it. In addition, the woman may not feel so comfortable in her body after the birth. This is an important starting point for the man. If he wants to help his partner, he should show her that he finds her desirable despite the physical changes.
+++ More on the topic: Sexual problems of women +++
Missing sex as a trigger for a crisis?
The sexual problems after the birth of a child can sometimes be the starting point for serious crises and changes. Some women feel that the sexual pleasure has completely disappeared and withdraw. The men are disappointed and for their part frustrated and also withdraw. Sometimes at this stage in life it is advisable to talk to a doctor or family therapist about the sexual problems in order to get a thorough explanation of the connections so that the partners do not become further apart.
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Dr. Britta Bürger
Mag. Julia Wild
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