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How to Rekindle Romance in a Marriage With a Baby

by Dr. Sonya Lott, studioD

Having a baby can be one of the most amazing experiences of your life. But trying to maintain a satisfying relationship as a couple after the baby arrives can be difficult. The two of you are probably exhausted -- all of the time. After a day of diaper changing and trying to guess why your sweet little one is crying again, getting frisky with one another is perhaps the last thing on your mind. But getting your romance groove back is essential to a fulfilling marriage and worth the extra effort.

What you are experiencing is normal. Psychologists and parents John Gottman and Julie Schwartz Gottman, who are also authors of the book “And Baby Makes Three: The Six-Step Plan for Preserving Marital Intimacy and Rekindling Romance After Baby Arrives,” say that it's very common for couples with a newborn to experience a decrease in sexual desire and marital satisfaction. Give your feelings of guilt or hopelessness a reprieve -- you aren't alone.

Talk about how you're feeling. According to the article “Sex after Baby” that appears on the “Two of Us” website; this is the best way to maintain your emotional connection. Maintaining your emotional connection is really the key to rekindling romance. You should try to set aside time to share your feelings about being new parents, as well as your emotional and sexual needs. With a baby this may be difficult to do with any predictability, but try to make this a priority.

Share your increased work load. Shared activities, even mundane ones like cleaning the kitchen or doing laundry, can help to increase emotional intimacy. Also, since mothers tend to take on more caregiving responsibilities, having fathers watch the baby will give moms a break and decrease the likelihood that fathers feel left out.

Have take-out food delivered for dinner. It will probably be some time before you are able to go out for romantic dinners. So be creative. Light some candles, turn on some soft music and serve each other on paper plates.

Try to shower together or snuggle when sleeping as much as possible. With all of the responsibilities of caring for your baby, sex may be the last thing on your minds. Physical intimacy does not always have to lead to sex. But the physical contact can increase your emotional connection and desire for sexual activity.

Send one another sexy text messages or emails to spice things up. Even though you may be spending a lot of time together at home, an unexpected text or email can create some spontaneity in your sexual relationship.

About the Author

Sonya Lott, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in Pennsylvania, who offers online and in office counseling to individuals struggling with grief, loss or a life transition. She also facilitates mental health workshops for educational, professional, and community groups and maintains a blog on her website www.drsonyalott.com.

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