Pregnancy affecting intimacy?

  • Children are generally a result of some level of intimacy between partners. Maintaining that intimacy during the pregnancy and after is not always easy however. Because my wife was very sick during her pregnancy physical intimacy was not an option, instead we used other ways to show our love. Romantic dinners, surprise gifts, and other small but powerful means worked to help us convey our intimacy without being physical. After our daughter’s birth, there was a need to be slow and careful in resuming old habits but in doing so we were able to re-explore each other, which helped bring us even closer. How has having a child affected your and your significant other's love life?

  • Through my second pregnancy, my husband was battling Hodgkins lymphoma, so intimacy on both sides was something that was put on the back burner. Yet through both of our struggles, we still made sure we took comfort in connecting with each other every day. Whether it's curling up on the couch with pasta and tomato sauce dinners and watching TV, or running our weekly erands together, we found little ways to keep our relationship strong sans sex.

  • OMG I hope your husband is doing well.... my uncle has it too and is having a really bad time. Anyway, as to the post, there is so much to more to life with a family then just practicing for the next addition.  This pregnancy has been hell for me, but my husband and I just cuddle and he feels my belly as it kicks the crap out of his hands.  He gives it raspberries so he'll know what to expect when he's born ( then he gets kicked in the nose )  we try to do things together but its hard when he works 6 days a week and I'm asleep before he gets home.

  • That is very true, finding time is never easy - with or without children. But it is important to show each other you're still important to one another in the face of all the other changes going on in your lives. I am glad that through everything you are able to still find time for each other.

  • Thank you for the kind words, Farrell. He actually just celebrated two years since his last chemo treatment and he has been in remission for 18 months or so. He's doing very well. His oncologist said that if you're going to get a blood cancer, that his was the one to get. Treatments are generally effective and the recovery rate is good. I hope your uncle is having as much luck with his condition.

    That's so cute what your husband does! That's a great way to bond with him and maintain that connection. I remember being in bed with my huband in the mornings and purposely spooning with him so that the baby would kick him in the back. He loved it and it gave us extra cuddle time!

  • Intimacy on my part doesn't exist with this child. It has gotten worse with every baby. We do other things as well to keep us close together. When the kids are at grandma's house we like to have candlelit dinners and watch a movie, go out shopping together, or just cuddle on the couch. I told him that if we never had sex again it would be ok with me because I like to just be with him and spend time together. He didn't seem to like that idea very much.

  • Amanmart03, it is good you two still set aside time for activities together, but it sounds like their is something deeper troubling you. Are you overdrawn from child-related activities, or has having children in general affected the way you feeling? Have you spoken with your husband about how you are feeling? It is important to talk to one another about these things before it can become a serious problem in a relationship.

  • I agree with Strong Dad on that point; there may be something else going on that has caused this change in your sex drive. Could be hormonal changes or even emotional stresses or even some underlying dissatisfaction with something in your life. Talking about it, either with your husband, with a friend or even with a counselor may help you find that balance that you once had.

  • I'm new to the board and I read this post, so I figured I'd share my experience.  My husband and I already have a 5 year old little boy, so we don't really have much intimacy anymore.  I even told him that if we didn't have sex anymore, then I would be ok with that...and my husband had the same reaction as in an earlier post.  Now, we're pregnant again, and it's been almost impossible to be intimate on any level.  This pregnancy hasn't gone very well at all.  I'm epileptic to begin with but it was able to be controlled with medication.  In my first trimester...I started having seizures more often...they weren't really that bad...just partials for the most part.  Because of that we couldn't really be intimate since we weren't sure when I would seize again.  Now, thank goodness my doctor got my level stabilized, but now I'm in physical therapy for sciatica...so since it's so painful to move...the idea of renewing our relationship on that level is out the window.  Unfortunately, we don't really go out, and we don't know anyone in our area well enough to be ok with them watching our son...so as a result our whole relationship has suffered.  I only have a month left until my due date and I was wondering what else we might be able to try to keep our relationship strong even after baby is born...?

  • The first thing to do with any relationship is to talk. Open communication helps relationships work through their harder times. Because of your health and late stage pregnancy it is understanably hard to be as intimate as you might like. But even after if physical intimacy remains an issue there may continue to be tension between you both, which means you both need to work all the harder to be open with each other.

    Try simple activities that let you be together without sex - massages and making out are both easy fun ways to show each other you still care. Ask other parents you know to recommend babysitters, you can always rely on your friends to tell you who's good and who isn't. Once you find one you trust a few evenings out can go a long way to helping boost your relationships morale too. Remember, be creative - you know yourself and your husband better than anyone else - just look for the opportunities to make each other smile and don't hesitate to take them.

  • Thanks.  We'll try some of those ideas...we might have found someone to watch him periodically.  Hopefully that'll mean we can get some quality time.

  • Hello, I am new to this board but wanted to add my two cents. My hubs and I are expecting daughter #2 in 7 weeks and the girls will be almost 13 years apart in age. This was NOT a planned pregnancy by any means, but as soon as we found out the real trouble started in our marriage. Jason (hubs) and I knew we needed help with our marriage, we were living more like roommates that a married couple. We were at a turning point in our 13 year relationship, a crucial one at that! We seemed more the individual persons that the couple and we never talked or communicated any more. It was then that hubs told me he was having feelings for a friend of ours and that he was scared that it would turn into more.

    That statement sent me into a huge puddle of depression and hubs and I decided that it was time to call a marriage counselor or we were finished. Here I am pregnant with a "whoops" baby and he's telling me that he has the hots for a friend of ours. Wow, life sure can turn on a dime! We started seeing a marriage counselor to deal with everything that was happening and we discovered that yes, we were married, but we were on a best friend level than anything else. That alone was a huge eye opener and a sad point as well....where had we gone wrong? How were we going to fix the mess that we now had?

    The first thing that counselor told us was "communicate", ok sure...not a problem....but how? Jason and I both come from families where our parents divorced at really bad times in our teen years. We had zero role models to learn from about healthy relationships and had been going through the motions of our marriage for the last two years! (at least) So where do we start...she gave us a tool that is amazing! Its called an "I" statement, and we used it and it actually worked! We stopped arguing and started talking and started to understand one another again.

    Now here is where my point comes in...we stopped having sex when all this counseling started because we had realized that we used it as a band aid when our arguments couldn't be resolved. We would argue, say mean things to make mute points, apologize for saying those things, then have sex to make up and no resolution was ever found. Obviously we were both missing something in our relationship, and the sex just died off. It was very hard to deal with from my point of view because my body had changed so much and I was feeling like a whale. So to have my hubs not want to be with me sexually made me very, very self conscious. Then when we started to figure it out, I already had body image problems from being over weight my whole life, and he was resentful of those feelings I had and took them as a personal strike against him. He felt that we had been together for 13 years and I shouldn’t be self conscious around him at all, like walking around naked or sharing a shower. I could never bring myself to do those things, unless I had been drinking heavily!

    Things have gotten better on my part, with some help from the counselor and some real deep self analyzing I had to do. I am still a bit self conscious, but it’s getting better everyday as I try to do something that pushes that panic button in my head. I deal with the panic, tell Jason what it is that pushes me to panic and we talk about it together and we’re supportive, even if we don’t agree 100%.  I also realized that with that part of our marriage being a missing piece of the whole puzzle, it may have made him want to be with someone else because I made him feel that he wasn’t good enough. So I have to take some of the blame there. We were both missing very vital pieces that we needed to survive in a marriage, we both started looking outside for those missing pieces and realized that we were about to lose one another because our needs weren’t being met.

    Now that we have 3 months of counseling under our belts, we can have a disagreement with no yelling or slamming of doors, or stonewalling or any of that anymore. We talk and find a resolution, no matter what! There is no more feelings for a friend of ours, I am no longer depressed and life in general is getting better everyday. We just started having sex again in the last few days, and we both recognize the spark that was missing is back. And we know why it had died, and we know that we fixed it. But the most important thing is that we can connect on the right level now, and it makes us closer. We were missing a lot of key things in our marriage that killed our spark and damn near killed our marriage and family.

    My heart goes out to anyone who is having problems in their relationships, but especially when your pregnant! It just makes it all magnified and all the more serious and all the more important to fix before you have a new born in your arms. That baby will take every moment of your time and every sane thought you have for many months. And the only way that you’re going to survive with your partner by your side is to get those feelings out and dealt with now.

    I am so sorry this is so long!! It turned out to be a lot longer than I intended, but I sincerely hope that my story helps a bit. ~ Candy~

     

     

  • It may take some time to read this LOL but it really is an eye opener and thank you SO much for sharing it with us.  I truly wonder sometimes how long my husband and I will go before we start to crack as a couple.  We started on rocky grounds, essentially got married because we were pregnant, NOT that we weren't talking about it anyway, but I still think to this day going on 4 years of marraige that if we hadn't gotten married when we did, we wouldn't have gotten maried at all.  I love him to death, but I struggle with him all the time because we come from complete opposite families that its beyond stressful to deal with sometimes.  I know he loves me but he has NO idea how to show it, nor does he even really tell me that often.  Its very hard to explain the dynamic we have, it works somehow or another, but I thought it'd be so much more different than it is, ya know?  We'll get through it all like always, I'm optimistic, he just buries himself, in himself usually.  I think thats our biggest downfall.  I'm a talker and he's not at all.  He supresses everything and won't talk to me about anything. I dunno, just had to vent. Sorry.

  • FarrellClanMom - dont give up just yet! I was (and still am somewhat) just like that, it took a lot of work, love, and more than one argument to help me see I needed to be more open and communicative with my wife. Every day we work at our relationship and do our best to show each other how we feel and to talk about the things that bother us instead of running away from them; it's been a memorable road filled with lots of effort and even more love.