When couples start to consider having a child, often times those considerations are followed swiftly by panic or fear. While some couples choose to have a baby to save their marriage and others haven't the slightest, even lingering trepidation about bringing a baby into the mix, many are (rightfully) afraid that having a baby ruins your relationship no matter what.
And honestly, it's an understandable assumption: When you have a baby, you're no longer capable of focusing on just the two of you all of the time. Responsibilities shift and patience is tested and a strain is put on your relationship, even if you're ridiculously compatible and have the healthiest connection imaginable. But along with those hardships and challenges comes an opportunity to actually strengthen your relationship, a fact that is often overlooked when couples contemplate starting a family. Sure, it will be difficult and yes, sometimes it will seem downright impossible, but there's a beautiful chance for your relationship to grow in ways you couldn't have possibly imagined, and for the two of you to become even closer than you were before bellies grew and contractions started and spit-up became a regular thing.
Of course, like any other relationship situation, growing stronger after having a baby requires conscious effort and work. But there is also an underlying force, a palpable connection you cannot see but are always aware of, that somehow makes the work seem less hard. You'll have your trying days and your frustrated days and your downright "I'm running away and never coming back, someone please do all of this for me because it's just too much" days, but they'll be bookended by reminders that your relationship is better, because you had a baby.
Here are just a few signs that your relationship with your partner is stronger, all because you decided to start a family of your own.
Your Expectations Have Been Lowered
I understand this doesn't sound very romantic, or even very nice, but if your expectations have varied from your once-steadfast, constant Love Actually references, chances are your relationship is stronger than ever. All too often, couples allow romantic comedies or big, grand gestures or simply societal standards in general, to define their relationship for them. Having a child is a big, healthy dose of realness, and that can help you manage your expectations within your relationship, for your partner, and for yourself.
When you truly know your partner, you know what is realistic and what isn't. You're not going to hold them to some fictitious standard of romance because hey, it isn't fair and you don't want to put them through the inevitable guilt of failing to live up to it.
You Can Talk To Them About Anything
From your fears for your new child to your downfalls as a parent to the massive bowel movement you were finally able to pass now that you're no longer pregnant and constipated, you're able to talk to your partner about anything. Communication is flowing with ease and after being vulnerable with them — probably during labor but most likely throughout your pregnancy — you feel safe telling them the things you would have otherwise kept to yourself.
There's Genuine Sacrifice By Both Partners
No, I don't mean you're taking turns sacrificing small animals to the sleep gods in the hope that your child will make it through the night without screaming at the top of their very healthy lungs. I'm talking about helping one another out because you want to, not because you feel obligated to or because you've been constantly asked to.
You're More Understanding Of One Another
Because you're both sleep deprived and both scared and both trying your best to be the best parents you can possibly be to your new baby, you're both more understanding. Any mistakes — from the seemingly minuscule to the possibly problematic — are quickly forgiven and forgotten because your eyes are on the big picture. You're essentially handed this opportunity to be in one another's shoes, because you both know what it is like to try and raise a tiny human. Babies are the great equalizer, and it's much easier to forgive someone when you know where they're coming from (and how hard they're trying).
The Sex Is Better
Yes, you read correctly. If your sex is better after you've had a baby (and after you've been cleared for sexual activity) chances are the baby has strengthened your relationship. The emotional ramifications of reproducing with someone can seep into the bedroom, and having sex with your partner becomes even more meaningful and impassioned. Now, this isn't to say the two of you still won't enjoy a quick romp (because sometimes those are the absolute best) but this does mean that when you're intimate with your partner, you're connecting in a way you didn't know possible.
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