Photo by Hollie Santos on Unsplash
Photo by Hollie Santos on Unsplash

New Baby

Question

We just had a baby. Now my husband says that I'm not interested in him anymore and that I love our child more than I love him. I'm just overwhelmed and frazzled. How do I make him understand?

Answer

This sounds like a classic case of two people struggling to be understood, resulting in a complete lack of understanding! Truly the birth of a baby into the couple system is a stressful time of adjustment. Most couples get so caught up in the immediate stress of it all, they can’t see beyond to the time when things will settle down.

In the midst of stress we can feel lonely and misunderstood and make matters worse by not being intentional in trying to reach the heart of our spouse. We encourage you to find a time when you are most likely to be somewhat rested and have a talk with your husband. Sit down with him and take his hand and tell him you love him. Let him know that you understand that this new baby is an adjustment for you and you are learning more about how it is an adjustment for him. Let him know that in your tiredness you have not always listened to him well and that you want to do that better.

Invite him to tell you more about how he has been feeling about your relationship. Ask him what he thinks he needs. Sometimes intentionally listening and sincerely seeking to understand can soften a hurting heart. When he is finished sharing, ask him if he thinks you understand. If he says yes, then ask him if, in the next day or two, he would be willing to hear how you feel and more about what you might need from him during this adjustment period.

Both of you need to stay open to each and find new ways to collaborate. You’ve probably read several books on becoming a mom but there are also some great books on becoming a new dad that many men have found helpful. Talking, reading and praying together will open new channels of understanding and insight and help you give more grace to each other. God can use this challenging time to deepen your understanding of each other and actually knit your hearts more tightly together in love and that is the best thing you can do for that new little one that has come into your home.

Gary J. Oliver, ThM, PhD
Executive Director at Center for Healthy Relationships | + posts

Dr. Oliver is the Executive Director of The Center for Healthy Relationships, and professor of Psychology and Practical Theology at John Brown University.  He has authored over 20 books and more than 350 professional and popular articles.  Dr. Oliver has over 40 years’ experience as a Clinical Psychologist, Marriage  & Family Therapist and Spiritual Director.  He leads seminars & workshops both nationally and internationally on a variety of counseling-related issues, healthy relationships as well as Emotional & Relational Intelligence (ERI).

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