The Parent Trap: When Having Kids Turns Your Marriage On Its Head
What do you do when you have kids, and suddenly your marital bliss feels like it's gone out the window, replaced by endless to-do lists, grabby kids, and feeling totally maxed out on energy and patience?
This video blog is here to help you understand that you're not alone, why it happens, and provide you with a key skill to bridging the divide.
When you have kids, it is super easy for connection to decrease and other, more negative emotions like frustration or resentment to increase. I work with my clients all the time on this extremely common, but important, issue. In the best case scenario, working through this adversity as a couple will make your communication and marriage stronger forever. At worst case scenario, it makes moms wonder if they're in the right partnership, whether they'd be better off on their own, or even makes them feel downright isolated and unloved.
What happens during the early parenting years especially is that you're maxed out. You're giving your body, emotions, mind, energy, everything you have to give, to your kids every moment of every day. Forget about even restoring yourself. So what's left for your partner? Barely a thing. The result is that we show up as our worst versions of ourselves in our partnerships during this time.
We also worry about the impact of factors like decreased intimacy (never mind passion); physical connection can become a chore. But what's happening is lack of emotional and personal connection by day is feeding lack of physical connection by night. It's all one big feedback loop.
In this video you'll learn one of my main techniques for developing language skills with your partner to establish mutual understanding, step into vulnerability, and open you eyes and ears to the respecting the reality of each other's experience.
The video guides you through the best ways to open up having this discussion with your partner.
The activity, for your reference and which is also described in greater depth in the video, is outlined as follows:
1) What is my honest experience of my partner right now? (share and listen each one after another without interruption or defense)
2) What I think my partner feels about me right now. Targets projections and allows for honest discussion of the validity of these fears/feelings.
3. What are we going to do about it? Selecting no more than 1-3 of the presenting issues and creating a plan for connection, support, and maintenance.
Laying the foundation for productive and open communication now is essential. I hope this post is a helpful start for you as you navigate the challenges and joys of life with little ones. Remember, you don't have to go it alone -- with the help of myself or another professional, you can change the way you and your partner experience this time in your life and change the way your children experience a functional connection between their parents, both now and in the future.
Lauren L. Drago, MSEd, LMHC, LPC is the founder of Lauren Drago Therapy in Old Saybrook, CT and in greater CT, NY & PA. She specializes in working with smart, insightful and capable women to overcome stress, anxiety, loss of identity, self-limiting beliefs, perfectionism, marriage strain, and the pressure of "trying to do it all". Lauren has a passion for helping others to achieve the happy, fulfilling, productive, and meaningful life they deserve by changing how they experience and understand their world. She believes that every woman can and should live out her personal definition of her own best life. Follow Lauren on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Call (860) 339-6515 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up your complimentary initial consultation.