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Are You Surviving the 'Baby Quake' In Your Relationship?

  
Are You Surviving the 'Baby Quake' In Your Relationship?
Do you find yourself longing for time alone as a couple, worrying you're losing your identify or fighting more with your partner?

Relationship Earthquake

Having a baby can put a relationship under extreme pressure as each partner tries to adjust to their new role. According to new research from relationships charity OnePlusOne, for some couples it can be almost like a mini earthquake:
Bullet  29% of new parents said they thought they were less close as a couple after having a baby and just over a quarter (27%) longed for some time alone;
Bullet  almost two-thirds (64%) of new parents (with their oldest child under 3) had a concern about their relationship which was not there before they had a baby;
Bullet  one in 10 found that changes in their lifestyle had a negative effect on their relationship with their partner, and
Bullet  40% of new mums, who had a concern about their relationship, felt they may no longer be sexually attractive to their partner.

Help and Advice

One Plus One's survey results (of over 1,400 parents), published in the report, Sleep, Sex and Sacrifice: The transition to parenthood, a testing time for relationships, highlight the need for help and advice before relationships reach crisis point; nearly two-thirds (65%) said they believe support is just as important when couples are getting on well as when they have relationship difficulties.
, said: "Much of the advice that's out there for new parents is focused on parenting itself rather than looking after and maintaining a healthy relationship. Nearly a quarter (23%) of parents are no longer with the partner they had their first child with. We want to make it normal and natural for couples to be able to seek support before they start to feel strain in their relationships."

Tips to Strengthen Your Relationship

One Plus One's top tips on strengthening relationships, which can be found in the report, include:
Bullet  Making time for each other as romantic partners rather than just as 'Mum and Dad' – try to keep something of your original identities.
Bullet  Don't compete with your partner over who has made the most sacrifices – realise that you've both given up something and enjoy your new roles.
Bullet  Remember if your partner has given up work to take care of the baby, they may be feeling isolated from the world – make time for them to remain connected to their old identity and have a girls' or boys' night – or the time for an interest or hobby.
Bullet  And, if you find that you're arguing a lot, check out online course 'How to argue better', designed to help couples resolve conflict.

Penny Mansfield continued: "Helping couples stay together is vital as previous figures show family breakdown costs around £46bn every year – and that's before you factor in the emotional cost to the family and particularly children."
One Plus One

Sleep, Sex and Sacrifice: The transition to parenthood, a testing time for relationships is part of a project funded by the Department for Education that encourages couples to see accessing relationship support as a normal thing to do to strengthen their relationship, rather than something sought at crisis point. OnePlusOne is working with Netmums, Dad.info, YouthNet, Student Room and Contact a Family to create online spaces where people can get advice and discuss their relationship in forums with their peers.

More Information

Bullet  OnePlusOne is a UK charity, which aims to strengthen relationships; helping couples and parents through a range of online resources including the Couple Connection and the Parent Connection. It provides online training for frontline family workers to equip them with the skills to offer timely relationship support in a face-to-face setting. Based on latest research evidence, it promotes early action to equip couples to deal with relationship issues before they become entrenched.
Bullet  ICM surveyed 1,403 parents, including 512 new parents who have one child under the age of three. The research was carried out between April 19th and 24th 2013. ICM also hosted an online community followed up by focus groups to gather qualitative data referred to in the report.
Bullet  OnePlusOne was recently commissioned by the Department for Education to lead a high-profile campaign to encourage couples to see seeking support as normal in strengthening their relationship. The charity will be working with expert partners, including Working Families, Contact a Family, DAD.info, Netmums, Student Room and YouthNet, to create online spaces where couples can find tools to help themselves.
Bullet  The Relationships Foundation, a think-tank on relationships and society, calculated the cost of family breakdown as £46bn in March 2013.

Bullet  For more information, visit the website www.oneplusone.org.uk

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