Does it feel like you are running a marathon, and you don’t even have time to stop and drink some water? When we become parents, it can be a wonderful experience, and it is also very challenging for many reasons. Becoming a parent can be a difficult transition on your partner relationship or marriage. You may be feeling overwhelmed by the demands of working, only to come home to cooking dinner, playing, bath time, bed time, cleaning up, and finally - the pause at the end of the day where you are finally alone and you can veg out in front of Netflix.
During the chaos, you might start to realize that the person whom you once loved so dearly has started to feel like a stranger, or maybe a roommate. Though you may or may not still have feelings of fondness for them - you continue to be ships passing in the night, missing each other. Connection is lacking, and you are burnt out. The idea of putting in more work is an exhausting one, though you desire for something to change.
So, what can you do?
There are a myriad of things that you can do to approach the situation, though if you are feeling that your marriage or partner relationship is headed towards divorce, it might be time to consult with a relationship counselor. Even if things do not feel in jeopardy, it can always be a good idea to seek outside support for your relationship and finding new ways to connect for the season that you are currently in.
It’s important to remember the basics of relationships. When we are busy and exhausted, we may forget to emotionally connect in the smallest of ways, when that’s what we are craving from our partner the most. Focus on ways that you can improve your relationship and invite your partner to participate in that with you. Simply asking your partner “how was your day?” may be enough to start the conversation again. If you want to go a little deeper, you may ask them questions like: “What was the hardest part of your day? What was the best part? What do you need to feel more connected in our relationship? I need ____ to feel more connected.”
Another important piece is to figure out what your relationship looks like for this season of life. You both might have more demands than before, and it may be a logistical matter. Do you need to find more outside support for taking care of the house? Do you need to prioritize finding a good sitter for date nights? If those aren’t options, then maybe you could discuss ways to change your schedule so that the kids are in bed earlier and you have the evening for a date at home. The reality is that you both have endured a big life change in becoming parents, and things won’t look the same as before, and that’s okay. But it’s important to prioritize conversations with your partner about what this season of life currently looks like, what your visions are, and what it has the possibility to look like.
You can break through the curtain again.
Know that you are not alone in this. Relationships can be difficult and life transitions are stressful and throw us out of sync. If you need help finding your rhythm again, reach out to a relationship counselor today.