Relationships

Relationship Strain After Giving Birth: Why Does My Partner Piss Me Off?6 min read

If you’re a new mum, then I bet you’re wondering what the heck is happening to your relationship. How did you guys suddenly go from cloud 9 to being frustrated at each other almost all the time? Why does your partner seem distant?

 

If you’ve been driving yourself crazy trying to figure out why your relationship is taking a beating, relax! You’re not the only one whose relationships has changed after giving birth.

 

It happens to most mums. In this post, I’ll share with you the different reasons why relationships strain after childbirth and offer some valuable tips on dealing with the changes.

 

 

Okay, let’s get started.

Hormones! Bloody Hormones!

It’s normal to experience a range of emotions after giving birth, from happiness and excitement to fear and anxiety. However, for many women, one of the most common post-birth emotions is frustration or anger towards their partner.

 

So what’s going on? Why does the person who used to make you so happy now drive you crazy? Blame it on the hormones.

 

When you’re pregnant, your hormones keep fluctuating, and unfortunately, that doesn’t change immediately after you give birth. Before your hormones settle down, it’s normal to feel irritable.

 

As long as your hormones are on a see-saw, your physical and emotional stability will be affected, which explains the change of feelings towards your partner.

How to fix it?

The good news here is that postpartum hormonal shifts usually end a few weeks after giving birth, and you’ll probably start feeling like your old self again. If you still find yourself experiencing frustration and anger towards your spouse, then there’s another underlying issue you need to address.

 

Good thing I have a couple of reasons that might explain the shift in your relationship. Keep reading to find out (we’re on a discovery journey together).

Big Shift in Interest

With a newborn, almost all conversations with your friends, family, and even your partner are about the baby. It seems like no one cares about the mother, and if they did, they do have a funny way of showing it.

 

With your needs on the back burner, it’s easy to feel like your husband doesn’t care about you anymore. Slowly you start feeling resentful towards your partner, cue in the frustration and arguments.

How to fix it?

Agree with your partner to have a few minutes to yourself to catch up about everything else but not the baby. I know you’ll probably drift off mid-conversation and find yourself chatting about your adorable baby, and that’s okay.

 

Just bring up something else when you notice the conversation change. Use this time to bond with your partner. Share the struggles you’re going through and ask about his day as well.

Sleep Deprivation and Fatigue

If you’re like most parents, your sleep schedule has been turned upside down since your little one came into the world.

 

Between feedings, the unending diaper duty, and just trying to keep up with your new routine, getting a good night’s sleep seems like a thing of the past.

 

And with sleep deprivation comes in (drums roll please!) Irritability, little to no patience, anger, and stress. No wonder you find your partner annoying all of a sudden. Hello, baby-induced insomnia! 

How to fix it?

Try and catch up on sleep during the day when the baby naps. I know how hard it is to sleep during the day if you’re not used to it, but for the sake of your emotional and mental stability, you have to rest. 

 

Once you’re rested, and feeling refreshed, then maybe your partner won’t piss you off the minute they walk through the front door.

 

Another excellent fix for getting some much-needed sleep is taking turns taking care of the baby at night. In our case, my husband used to stay with the baby from 9:00PM till 1:00AM (1st shift) while I slept, then I’d relieve him and be up for the 2nd shift.

 

With each of you having a shift, you get to have a few hours of uninterrupted sleep, which will significantly improve your mood. And a happy mama means a happy household (with the usual banter here and there).

Unrealistic Expectations

Once you find out you’re pregnant, you start having an idea of how you’d want your partner to parent. You might not realize it, but you’ve already put him in a “perfect dad” box that you expect him to fit perfectly.

 

And so when he doesn’t behave or act the way you expect them, you become upset. It’s unfair to expect your husband to be perfect because he’s going through a range of emotions as well, and it will take him time to adjust as well.

How to fix it?

Get rid of that “perfect dad” image you have in your head. Communicate to your partner about your expectations and talk about them. 

Here are a few ways to help your partner be a better father.

 

  1. Encourage your partner to take the baby out for a walk (especially if you have a baby carrier/wrap), change the diapers, or participate in bath time.
  2. Don’t criticize him (Oh, I know this is hard, even for me!)
  3. Give constructive feedback and add a sprinkle of praise when he does something good.
  4. Be patient. Your partner might not bond right away with the baby, and that’s okay. Give him time to figure out this fatherhood gig. 
  5. Ask him for help. Don’t wait until you feel extremely overwhelmed to ask your partner for help. No! By having your partner take care of the baby for a few hours (even if it’s one), you get to relax, and your spouse can bond with the baby. Talk about hitting two birds with one stone!

Takeaway

As with any change in life, having a baby will bring about some significant adjustments – especially in your relationship. But that doesn’t mean that it has to be all doom and gloom from here on out. 

 

Once you acknowledge that you’re now in a new space where the baby’s needs come first, you can work as a team to build a stronger relationship than ever before. The best way to prevent unnecessary arguments is to communicate with your partner about your frustrations (and theirs!) openly and honestly. 

 

If you were curious about why your partner pisses you off so much, at least I’ve been able to put your mind at ease or tried to. 

 

Did you love this post? Why not go ahead and share it with a friend who might find it helpful. And don’t forget to check back soon for more tips on adjusting to life with a baby.

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this post. Leave a comment, or better yet, send me an email at hello@wanjirumwangi.com.

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