4 Relationship Changes That Happen When You Find out You’re Pregnant
This post originally ran August 5, 2014.
Long-term relationships are not always easy, and when life brings big changes, whether they be planned and happy ones or unexpected, they can have a ripple effect on many things — including your relationship.
Last month, I passed my 10th wedding anniversary. A decade, plus four children later, things are still going strong. It' not always been easy and I'd say the hardest times for us have been after the birth of each child, but if you and your partner are able to work though changes while committed to working together, you can come out on the other side of these changes even stronger.
Truth is, even before you welcome your new bundle into your home, the relationship can go through changes far sooner. The reality is, once you find out you're pregnant and are on the journey to becoming parents, there are many changes — both situational, and let's be honest, hormonal, that can affect your relationship.
If you're newly pregnant or hope to be soon, there are some ways your relationship may change as soon as the pregnancy strip turns positive.
1. Intimacy may intensify or dwindle
If your relationship is used to a certain amount of spark, you can expect that once your pregnancy strip turns positive, you'll likely see some changes. For some newly pregnant women, their symptoms take over and are feeling all sorts of new pregnancy side effects and aren't up for being close. It can be due to morning sickness, fatigue, or hot flashes, which are all common in the first trimester. Some partners may be nervous to be intimate for fear of it hurting the baby and intimacy may change from what you're used to.
On the other hand, since no two people are the same, it can go the other way and you may not be able to keep your hands off each other. Either way, you can expect some intimacy changes early on in pregnancy.
2. You will need to readjust expectations
I've been pregnant a few times and each time, the first trimester knocks me down where I am so tired I can barely function. Because of my newly found fatigued status, my husband and I had to readjust our expectations on a lot of things, but unless you know that, it can be a stressful time.
Be open to having your expectations readjusted and to sit down and talk about a restructure of the roles you play. If you're usually the person who makes dinner, but you're finding the food smells to be too strong, talk with your partner. If you need help with other tasks like household chores or need to sleep in a little extra on a Saturday, having these discussions and expectations changed can be really helpful for your relationship.
3. You'll need to really roll with the punches
Pregnancy is funny — no really, it is and if you both have a sense of humor about all the situations that can come up, your relationship will be better for it. There were times where I was snappier than usual and reacted in a way I may not have normally (I blamed it on the hormones and being dead tired), but being able to laugh it off with my husband made it all seem okay. These changes are hard on both parties and if you're able to roll with the punches with a sense of humor and love, you'll get through it.
4. Communication will become even more important
Communication is an important tool for any relationship and when you're facing big changes, talking is more important than ever. Your partner is not a mind reader, no matter how much easier that would make your life, and so it's vital you talk about your needs and your fears, and encourage your partner to do the same. It may not seem like a big deal, but talking through all this while you're in it can give you new perspectives, can help ease fears, and keep you closer together while the ground shifts around you.
What changes did your relationship go through when you found out you were pregnant? Share in the comments!