This is a familiar feeling for many couples after having a baby, and it can be a challenging situation to address. Your wife just had your baby, and now you feel neglected.
It can seem like your life has suddenly taken an unexpected turn and you are no longer welcome in your household.
Being left behind breeds feelings of loneliness and further deepens the depression you may be feeling.
Some people may not realize that postpartum can be a difficult time for women. Relationship satisfaction is especially low for new mothers.
Note: Alexandra is a professional Psychotherapist with specialized knowledge in relationships.– Worried Lovers
What to do if you feel your wife neglects you after having the baby?
1. Make room for sex, but take it slow.
The one thing that happens most often is couples distancing themselves sexually and no longer experiencing intimacy.
Touch is essential in relationships, and showing affection is typical, and it should be seen as a human need.
Women tend to have this problem. Having sex again can feel like a chore, mainly because penetration is more difficult after giving birth.
Next thing you know, you dread the moment it will happen again.
On average, couples take between 3- 6 months up to a year to feel ready to have sex again – physically, as well as psychologically.
If this is a difficult thing to do, you might consider other ways to start besides penetration.
2. Manifest how you genuinely feel about it.
You may be feeling depressed, anxious, or even jealous and, further, feel guilt or shame because of experiencing these emotions.
So if you feel like your wife is neglecting you after having the baby, voice your concerns, but in a healthy and non-aggressive manner.
The thing is, every little hidden thing in a relationship is a breeding ground for resentment.
Resentment feeds on these emotions, more so if they are not manifested; which brings me to:
3. Express your concern.
Communicate your worries to your wife by digging deep into your thoughts about the situation.
Most of the time, verbalizing thoughts in an emotionally intelligent way is not the first thing that men do.
One of the reasons is that men don’t have the habit of talking about their emotions. And I can’t emphasize enough how harmful that truly is.
Why is it so important to speak up?
Research shows that men are at a higher risk of having mental health issues and feeling lonely.
The quality of their relationships tends to affect them profoundly, albeit not necessarily in an obvious manner.
4. Exude togetherness.
You and your partner are a team. Building up a friendship is a never-ending life-long task. And you can always find new and creative ways to do that.
One recommendation is to create love maps with your partner. That means keeping yourself up to date with your partner’s daily events and thoughts, as well as their life in general.
5. Have stress-reducing conversations.
Get to know your partner day-to-day and show curiosity – this increases your bond even more.
The baby, money, and work stress aren’t the only things you should discuss with your partner.
Have supportive and affectionate daily conversations that lower the stress level. It can be as simple as showing genuine interest in what your partner says or asking for a hug.
Update your partner on other things that are in your life besides the baby. It also must be reciprocal – asking for updates back is essential.
6. Express fondness and admiration.
Instead of scolding your wife for the moments that she fails to give you what you need, focus instead on noticing the moments she does.
You can express your admiration when it comes to childcare. Motherhood is a full-time job; don’t minimalize the amount of work mommas have to do for their families.
For example, a simple “You do so much for our home” would suffice.
7. Verbalize your needs.
What can happen if you don’t verbalize your needs?
- You end up giving up on expressing them.
- You communicate your needs through criticism – “You never do [this or that].”
- They tend to accumulate and blow up all of a sudden. Next thing you know, you ask yourself where that came from
How can you do this? Speak with love and kindness. Of course, how you phrase your emotions is of the utmost importance, but this shouldn’t discourage you.
Let me help you with that:
You can simply tell your wife that you miss her. Acknowledge that it’s normal to want to spend time with your wife again and see the person she used to be before the baby came.
8. Offer your wife a helping hand.
If it can help ease her job, offer your wife time to relax.
Take on more responsibilities in the house and leave her extra time gathering her energy and giving back.
A fair split of chores to have more time for the two of you can do wonders. Trust me; you’ll both benefit from it.
9. Talk with other people about this.
I know, I know. This one is not easy to do.
Some communities help spouses deal with issues that may arise after giving birth. There are even organizations that do that.
Hearing other people talk about their experiences creates a sense of belonging that can make you feel less alone and thus more likely to look for possible solutions without feeling guilt or shame.
10. Give therapy a try.
Last but not least, you can ask for help from a certified couples therapist. A therapist can help you see the reasons behind your wife’s distancing and make room for connection.
A therapist can also see how other problems may affect your family dynamic. You can read more about it here.
They are also the ideal people to be on the lookout for possible signs of postpartum depression.
Postpartum depression is a real thing that affects many women, and the number of sufferers is constantly rising.
Motherhood and its struggles
It’s common for new mothers to disconnect from their husbands after having a baby – physically and emotionally.
I will help you better understand how this can happen and what you can do about it.
You may be feeling neglected because your wife is spending more time with the baby than she does with you, which causes her to ignore you.
She may not have enough energy left in the day to make time for both of you, or she might be exhausted from care-taking. But sometimes, the reasons go even deeper than that.
On top of this, I realized that men sometimes feel unappreciated when their wives do chores or tend to the house. Most women assume the role of the sole caregiver because they don’t know any other way.
The child-mother dynamic
Research shows that 2/3 of couples are less satisfied after having a baby, especially in the first few years. That’s more than half! And you can’t blame parents for that.
The main reason why this might happen is that the child has more needs. A child depends entirely on her mother – her body, her care, and her presence.
It just seems that that’s the one thing that they don’t have. Time.
It’s tough bringing a new human into this world. A baby is utterly unaware and needy, and everything around seems dangerous and triggering.
Then, you begin to have thoughts you’ve never thought that you could EVER have.
This can take a toll on a relationship, and as a result, intimacy suffers significantly.
Then again, a severed relationship between married partners can end up affecting the baby as well.
Other issues that arise after having a child
- Bickering becomes even more common (yeah, you heard that right!).
- Sexuality and intimacy are on hold.
- Different parenting styles start to clash and put distance between partners.
- Financial disputes tend to arise.
- You become a package of 3 now (not just 2).
Not to scare you or anything, but parenting is a hardcore job. And it should be seen like that. It can be emotionally taxing, as well as physically draining.
No wonder it’s so easy for couples to start feeling neglected by one another. Here are some ways in which you can fight this
Changing dynamics between partners when babies arrive
Women need more support after giving birth. Therefore, we must encourage honest talks on pregnancy-related topics, relationship discord after birth, and postpartum depression.
Your wife doesn’t have to put herself on the back burner after giving birth, but you also don’t have to hide your unhappiness.
Typically, couples tend to have disagreements, frustrations, and misunderstandings from time to time. But there is a better way to have them.
Many couples neglect each other during stressful times because they don’t exactly know how to handle such a challenging situation.
Childbirth represents a new paradigm in most women’s lives, and this new paradigm brings new challenges which can be overwhelming to a mother.
Because of this overwhelming factor, it can be quite normal for your wife to neglect after the first few weeks or even months after the baby is born, and that can feel like the relationship is dying.
But don’t worry! Not only can you survive this period in your marriage, but you can also allow yourself to grow as a husband and father.
In most cases, your wife neglects you because she is probably overwhelmed with the baby’s care and needs.
There is a way to bring value to parenthood (with all its struggles) and increase your quality of life.
After all, both of you are responsible for the miracle of birth. You’re in this together.
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