I recently had a new mom of one-year-old twins email me with this important and common concern:
“Having children magnified our differences . . . every decision became more about who was right and who was wrong, and pushed us very far apart. When you feel so far apart, you begin to question the relationship in general”.
So how do you stay aligned and a team after having children?
This is such a common concern and the answer is complex. There is so much to consider as you navigate the multitude of major adjustments, both as individuals and as a couple, after having children. There are major changes of your identity, your new roles and responsibilities, competing priorities with less time and energy for the couple relationship, more focus on parenting roles, and these are just some of the changes to consider.
It’s no wonder this can be such a challenging time! So what can you do?
Team Together! But in order to be a good team, you need to understand yourself and your partner . . .
Spend some time to create and discover your new couple vision after having children and how you want to be a better team. How do you each want to aspire to be in creating this adjusted team vision?
Take the time to define each of your important points, feelings, values, thoughts, desires and concerns throughout this family adjustment. Take turns really listening to each other. Remember listening does not mean agreeing, but showing your partner you heard their message. Doing this will lead you to being more of a couple team versus opponents.
In order to truly understand what you want and say it you need to slow down and tune in to yourself as you consider this important fundamental concept:
According to Ellyn Bader, Ph.D. and Peter Pearson, Ph.D. of The Couples Institute, the steps to defining yourself and saying what you want are:
The tricky part is taking the time to define who you are and what you may be needing, and balancing that with what your partner may be needing, and what you want your new couple vision to look like.
Once you’ve identified what you want and can say it in a calm way versus blaming or shutting down, there’s a very good chance your partner will be able to listen to you and vice versa.
Having a new, clear vision of the relationship you want to have, and talking through your differences with love and respect will help you each feel more understood and more equipped to be a better couple team.
Thank you to the new mom who submitted this common struggle that many new parents go through.
I would love to hear from you. What’s your burning question or challenge in your marriage/relationship after having children? Please click here and let me know.
Here’s to Building Couple Time with your family in mind,
P.S. Thanks for letting me know your #1 biggest question or challenge in your marriage after kids.
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Are you a parent with a young child or two? Then I bet you're feeling frustrated, exhausted, and overwhelmed with the never-ending To Do list that comes with growing a family. This "Date State" guide will help you feel closer and more connected in your marital/couple relationship!