No matter how much you love your child or how much you’ve looked forward to giving birth, having a baby can be stressful. When you consider all of your new responsibilities, the lack of sleep, and time spent caring for your young child, it makes sense that most new parents feel like they’re on an emotional roller coaster. Many couples are surprised however, by how that stress also effects their relationship with their spouse or partner.
Regardless of how you expected to feel after giving birth, anxiety and depression are extremely common in new parents. As many as one out of every five women experience some form of postpartum anxiety or depression. These disorders aren’t limited to new mothers… One in ten new fathers may experience symptoms of postpartum mood disorders, as well.
If your irritability, anxiety, or depression don’t subside (or worsen), you should seek professional help. This doesn’t mean just individual counseling or psychotherapy though…
If 20% of women suffer from postpartum anxiety or depression, and as many as 10% of men also suffer postpartum mood disorders, you can bet more than a few relationships are strained following the birth of a child. When not addressed, the effects on a couple’s relationship can linger well into their child’s preschool years and beyond.
In fact, 67% of couples suffer a profound drop in marital satisfaction within the first three years of their child’s life. (The Gottman Institute)
How Couples Counseling Can Help…
Just as young children need to form a secure attachment with their parents, we ALL need to feel a sense of emotional security in our relationships. It’s part of what makes us human. We all need to be able to turn to our partners for emotional safety, protection, and support.
Fortunately, when a couples’ relationship is strained by the arrival of a child, professional marriage counseling and couples therapy can help. My work with couples is informed primarily by Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT), an attachment-based couples therapy approach. With this method I can help you and your partner:
- Address attachment-related insecurities
- Better understand your partner’s and your emotional needs
- Learn to better express your feelings, so you can ask for and receive the support you need
- Develop means of interacting with each other in more responsive, emotionally-connected ways
Bringing about a more secure connection in your relationship with your partner that also benefits your relationship with your child is what I’m all about!
If you’re experiencing anxiety, depression, or mood swings, or are having relationship difficulties since the birth of your child, I encourage you to get the support you need and deserve.