Help! We’ve had a baby, but I lost the partner I married!

Published on June 13, 2017

parenting affects sexHow amazing is it to find someone you love, sexually desired and is fun and amazing. It is one the best experiences people have and they celebrate it through marriage. As result of this deep love there comes a desire to create a family and have a baby. A baby is an expression of your love and the next step in a relationship that you believe will only bring you closer. Except when it doesn’t!

Leaders in marriage and relationships like USA marriage and sex therapist Dr. Marty Klein and the Gottmans have published many articles on this impact. Couples are grossly underprepared for how a child will change their relationship. A child is a huge adjust that takes up to 2 years for the couple to recover from.

In my practice, I often see that couples are struggling with the adjustment period of a new child which can last for 24 months or longer if they have a second child. Parent/clients come to see me 24-36 months after a child. Often one person, the woman, is more profoundly changed by her new role and identity of motherhood. The man’s adjustment to his role and identity can be profound as well. But often I see the woman’s experience more dramatic.

This article I’ll focus on the woman.

So what happens when you feel like you lost the woman you married after you have had a child. Well, one thing is that people evolve and change as new life circumstances happen. No on knows how their future self will be impacted by becoming a parent, or relocating to a new country or taking a new job or a death of a parent or a major illness. Life experiences and events shape and change.

When we are courting a person we are evaluating that person based on the needs and desires we have at that moment as well as what we think our future self MAY NEED. But the later part is a guess. It is very hard to anticipate what your future self will want.

So what I often see happening is that after the birth of a child, and as a woman moves from being a wife to also a mother, she may need different things or needs met from her partner that she did not even know she needed to evaluate him on. The father may evolve or change to or not. His needs may have changed or not. However, if a wife’s needs have evolved in a way that the husband cannot provide because he never could nor was evaluated on, this can create a huge dilemma in the relationship.

Conversely for the man, if his wife is so profoundly changed by her experience of becoming a mother that the things he fell in love with and wanted diminish or go away, he may experience a crisis. He may not have anticipated the changes that are now a part of his wife and new mother.

So couples must now learn how to evolve and grow their new identities and expectations together. They didn’t nor could they possible imagine or evaluate each on how a baby would change them and the new needs that would arise as result of having a baby and becoming a parent. This shocking realization can be painful and scary.

Therapy helps couples identify and talk about this in a productive and meaningful way so that couples can grow together and integrate their new identities and needs. If this is something you are experiencing, counselling can help you with the adjustment. Please call us at +6590307239 or email our lead therapist Tammy Fontana at  

Category(s):Couple Counseling, Marital Counseling, Men's Issues, Parenting, Post Partum Depression, Pre-Marital Counseling, Pregnancy & Birthing, Relationships & Marriage, Sexual Problems / Sex Therapy, Women's Issues

Written by:

Tammy M. Fontana, MS NCC CTRT Sex Therapist USA

Ms. Fontana is a relationship counsellor specializing in helping people with their relationships whether it is dating, marriage, parenting or with their extended family. Her clients call her approach practical and found solutions to their problems. Ms. Fontana has obtained her Master Degree in Mental Health counselling from the United States and is a USA Nationally Certified Counsellor. She is also a Certified Choice Theory Reality Therapist and is USA trained Sex Therapist.

Tammy M. Fontana, MS NCC CTRT Sex Therapist USA belongs to All in the Family Counselling Centre, PTE LTD in Singapore