Ever since we had the baby, there’s been a lot of stress between my spouse
and me. We never seem to have time just to sit and talk anymore. I can’t
seem to say how I feel. Do you have any suggestions?
With all the extra work a baby brings into your life, it is hard for parents to
make time for each other.
You may have all kinds of feelings that you need to talk out. You may feel
resentment, or you may feel guilt or anger.
Not talking about your feelings can hurt your relationship. As hard as it
may seem, you must make time to be alone together. Your spouse probably
has things to talk about, too.
Here are some tips on how to talk to each other about what is troubling you:
- Don’t blame each other. This will only make the tension between you
worse. Avoid saying “you always” or “you never.”
- Take turns listening to each other. Listen, and then use your own
words to repeat what your spouse says. “So you are saying that you feel
left out when I spend so much time with the baby?” Don’t interrupt.
You will have your turn next.
- When it is your turn to talk, use “I” messages, such as, “I feel like I
have to do all of the work.” Avoid using “you.” Don’t say “You never do
anything around here.”
- Don’t expect your spouse to read your mind or guess what you are
feeling. Say how you feel.
- Be specific about what is troubling you. You can say “I get upset when
you say you’ll clean the bathroom, but then you don’t do it.”
- Be sure to say what you like about what your spouse does. You can say “I like how you’re patient with the baby,” or “It’s good how you handle
Having a new baby can make many things in your life more complicated. It
may create more work for you and your spouse. Talking through these
matters may help you work things out. Talking together often may keep
things from getting out of hand.
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