Disconnected

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

My boyfriend and I have been dating for 2.5 years. I love him but lately it just seems like its not enough. We just had a baby and i think that is contributing to the problem.
We barely have sex, rarely sleep together. We are constantly at eat others throats about petty stuff. We were just talking marriage now we are living day to day. We used to be good friends now we barely get along..We are roomates who don’t like each other that much. He says he thinks I don’t love him anymore. I feel like our home life is just to boring for him. He works weird hours (4p-1a) which was ok before the baby but now we just pass each other… I just dont know what to do

A: Congratulations on your new baby! Babies are a wonder. But they also tend to create a major change in a relationship. However much a couple loves their child, having one tends to make it difficult to do the things you used to like to do. It’s harder to go out with friends. It’s harder to do things spontaneously. It’s harder to find opportunities for uninterrupted, leisurely sex. On top of all that, it’s hard to get enough sleep. In your case, you and your boyfriend are on different schedules. It’s no wonder to me that you two are having some trouble.

Your problem is that you two are on different sides fighting with each other instead of being on the same side fighting the problem. I’m sorry that no one has helped you understand that you are going through a very normal, typical transition. The stress you are feeling comes with the territory of being new parents.

You are smart people who are good friends. I don’t think the love has gone away. I think it’s gone underground. Please — call a truce. Instead of going at each other, take a deep breath and a big step back. Think together about healthy ways to handle the change in your lives. Can you get out together even once a week? Is there a relative or friend who would babysit for a few hours? Is it possible to swap babysitting with another couple now and then so that you could reclaim your sex life? The point is not to get your old child-free life back. You can’t. But what you can do is make a life that includes some couple-time as well as family-time.

And here’s the good news: Children grow and they bring new people into our lives. Your baby may be sleeping through the night already. Life will settle down as nap times become more regular and playtimes become more interesting. You’ll soon be making friends with other young parents who completely understand what you’re going through. If you two can embrace these changes, you will enjoy your baby and each other.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Jan 2010

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2010). Disconnected. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 25, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/01/21/disconnected/