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Relationship Issues During Pregnancy

Relationship Issues During Pregnancy and How to Deal With Them

The following article brings forth the various relationship issues during pregnancy that couples experience, as well as ways to handle them appropriately to build a stronger relationship.
Aastha Dogra
Last Updated: Mar 6, 2018
Many couples are simply thrilled at the prospect of being parents, so much so that they almost forget that pregnancy brings with it its own shares of ups and downs. There are innumerable instances wherein the initial euphoria to become parents dies down when relationship issues start cropping up. Knowledge of these problems beforehand helps the couple in dealing with them as and when they arise. Here is a discussion about the various issues that you may have to face when you or your wife/girlfriend are expecting a new arrival.
  • Understanding:
    According to estimates, around 20% of pregnant women feel depressed, experience mood swings and irritability, and are constantly fatigued. Hormones play havoc with a woman's mind and body during pregnancy. A man might not be able to fully understand what his wife/girlfriend expects from him, and the woman on her part may often taunt that her husband/boyfriend does not do anything to help her situation. To the man, the woman's behavior might seem very strange. On the other hand, the woman feels that he is being insensitive towards her. This lack of understanding can cause lots of problems during pregnancy.
  • Physical Intimacy:
    Relationship strain during pregnancy could be attributed to the unsatisfied sexual needs of the man and the woman. Usually what happens is that when a woman gains weight during pregnancy, she does not feel comfortable being intimate with her partner. Somehow, she starts to feel that she is not attractive enough. Also, other symptoms, such as tiredness, body pain, nausea, etc., may further alienate her from getting physically close with her partner. The man on his part, due to lack of knowledge, starts believing that if they have sex, it might hurt the unborn baby in some way. Due to these various reasons, the couple does not have sex and it further deteriorates the relationship.
  • Communication:
    One of the worst changes in a relationship during pregnancy is when both the partners fail to convey their needs to one another. The woman might feel neglected by her husband/boyfriend, who on his part could be working round the clock to meet the added expenses which a pregnancy and a newborn bring. This can create a rift and communication gap between the couple, with the woman feeling angry that her husband/boyfriend is not caring enough and the man feeling overwhelmed, managing both work and his wife/girlfriend's hormonal outbursts.
  • Finances:
    Issues may also arise due to finances, especially if it's only the man who is working. Pregnancy and taking care of a child costs a lot, so if the couple have not planned the finances in advance, it can trouble their relationship.
  • Attention:
    It's not just the women who feel neglected, even fathers can experience the same things. When it comes to pregnancy, it's all about the woman, although technically it takes two to make a baby. So, if the husband/boyfriend is not directly involved during medical check-ups or social events like baby showers, he might find himself isolated from his wife/girlfriend and the unborn baby. This causes a lot of disconnect between them, leading to problems.
How to Manage
If couples feel that these issues will resolve on their own, they are sadly mistaken. They have to be worked upon constantly to make them disappear. A useful advice for the couple is to communicate their feelings of fear, insecurity, isolation, happiness, etc., with one another. If they both know what each one is going through, they will be in a better position to help one another. Also, it is the woman's responsibility to see to it that the father does not feel isolated. So, both of them should go together when the woman needs to get examined by a doctor.
To improve upon their physical intimacy, a man has to constantly assure the woman that he finds her desirable, irrespective of the changes in her body. The couple may even consult a doctor and ask him/her to suggest some sexual positions that are safe during pregnancy. As for the finances, ideally they should be taken care of before the couple thinks of having a baby. However, if they have not, buying the baby stuff from second-hand stores might cut down the costs and put finances in place.
In the end, it can be said that relationship issues should be dealt with immediately before they become reasons for a break-up. Also, any kind of stress or tension that a mother feels due to these issues can be very harmful for the health of the baby. So, to avoid such scenarios, couples need to keep the communication between themselves strong and plan the pregnancy well in advance.