Keys to a healthy marriage?

All relationships take work and commitment. Instead of thinking that having a baby can save your marriage or relationship, it's best to work on your relationship before parenthood to feel happiest and most fulfilled.
All relationships take work and commitment. Instead of thinking that having a baby can save your marriage or relationship, it's best to work on your relationship before parenthood to feel happiest and most fulfilled.

‌For many couples, it can be hard to transition from the honeymoon stage and the excitement of a wedding and early marriage to daily life. All relationships take work and commitment. It’s important to understand that you won’t always agree on everything and that’s okay. Learning healthy behaviors helps you work on your relationship or marriage so that you grow together.

Many couples may feel that having a baby will help them feel more connected. However, working on your relationship before parenthood helps you to feel the happiest and most fulfilled.  

To have a successful marriage or relationship, there are many healthy behaviors that you as a couple should prioritize.

Clear communication

Speak with your partner clearly. It’s the best way to keep a relationship honest. Also, becoming a better listener can help you understand what your partner wants or needs from you.

The way that partners or spouses think and respond to one another depends on a variety of factors, including communication style, emotional boundaries, and past relationships. Learning how your partner communicates can help you achieve the most productive conversations.‌

Gratitude

Tell your partner that you’re thankful for them and your time together. It only takes a few minutes, and it helps them to feel appreciated for what they do for you — whether it be cooking dinner, running errands, or being a source of support. ‌

Quality time

Spending some quality time — which is not part of your daily routine or responsibilities — together can allow you and your significant other to bond on a personal level. ‌

Trust

Many marriage therapists believe that negative communication behaviors such as criticism or defensiveness can increase the likelihood of a divorce or breakup. A healthy relationship involves learning how to argue without hostility and taking responsibility for your actions.

Deciding to become parents?

Some people just know that they want to be parents while others remain unsure, and it’s no secret that it’s a tough decision to get pregnant as a couple. When considering if you want to have a baby, be honest with your feelings.


Money can be a major argument topic for couples. Look at your finances, and make a list of expenses related to a child alongside your budget. This can help you decide if having a child is financially responsible at this time of your life.

Being discontent after having a baby

When you decide to have a baby, many couples may experience discontentment. In a study, nearly 67% of the couples saw their satisfaction with their marriage or relationship decline after having a baby — which is normal. 

Having a baby could mean that your entire life has changed, you are more tired than before, and you are struggling to keep your head above water. Ensure that your relationship is strong before parenthood can help keep any conflict with your partner at bay.

Having a baby should never be an attempt to save a relationship or save a marriage. The problems you've had before having a baby will remain, and more problems or concerns are bound to develop with the added stressors of becoming parents. 

Keeping the spark alive ?

Learn ways to ignite the spark or keep the spark alive helps you to keep a relationship or marriage strong after parenthood. Intimacy is an important part of a healthy and functional relationship.

Having children can change intimacy a lot. Many couples’ sex lives decline simply because of the lack of time or energy. However, many couples find this decline continues even after their child is no longer a baby because their priorities have shifted. This is dangerous turf. ‌

Prioritizing connecting helps keep the spark alive after having a baby. Communicate your needs including what you need to feel sexy or connected to your partner. Have a voice in your relationship’s intimacy, and talk freely about how you feel.

The more honest you are as a couple, the more likely you’ll be intimated. Intimacy brings a couple together. It’s normal to redefine intimacy and what's most important to each partner. By having these important conversations, you ensure that your partnership continues to grow now and in the future. ‌

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Medically Reviewed on 8/30/2021
References
SOURCES:

American Psychological Association: "Keeping Marriage Healthy, and Why It's So Difficult," "Parenthood detrimental to marriage? Not necessarily."

John Hopkins Medicine: "Keep the Spark Alive in Your Marriage."

NPR: "There's Never A 'Right' Time For A Baby – But These Questions Can Help You Decide."

University of Rochester Medical Center: "The Keys to a Successful Marriage."