Intimacy After Children
Study after study has shown that, for most couples, marital satisfaction decreases significantly after children. Between sleepless nights, temper tantrums, strained finances, battles over homework, and soccer practices at the Haverford Reserve during dinner, it’s easy to understand how a couple’s relationship takes a back seat. What once may have been a conversation about current events or a novel you were reading has been replaced by figuring out which of you is going to leave work early to pick up the kids from their after school activities at Lower Merion High School.
Before long, you may think of your partner primarily as a co-parent. Furthermore, fundamental identities may change: from wife to mother; husband to father; from best friends and lovers to parents. Whereas you may have once been best friends and lovers, now, your relationship with your partner is more transactional. The “spark” is fading. Or gone.
What’s more, sometimes, when the children leave the nest, the spouses discover that they no longer have any shared interests and there is nothing keeping them together.
As a clinical psychologist, I have years of experience working with individuals to enhance intimacy in their relationship while raising children. It’s not easy, but it can be done.