Relationship problems after baby arrives are common. It’s a high-stress time when no one is getting much sleep. It’s also the time you most need to work as a team! Who planned this anyway?! Luckily, there are things you can do to help strengthen your relationship after baby arrives.
One of the best ways is by using the five love languages by Gary Chapman. I don’t pretend to have all the answers but here are some things that helped my husband and I survive this rough season and come out stronger on the other side. I hope they can help you too!
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Knowing your love languages is an important part of any relationship. Re-evaluating them can really help to strengthen your relationship after baby arrives. My husband recently asked me to retake the 5 Love Languages quiz.
My primary has always been quality time and his was physical touch. But as any new parents know, those are both in short supply when your day is run by a 6 month old dictatress.
So, he asked that we check in on what our secondary love language in an effort to find out how we could show each other love in a season where our primaries have to take a back seat.
Our postpartum love languages
After taking the test it turns out that the secondary love language for both of us is acts of service.
Acts of service can be so many things! For me it might look like buying his favorite foods at the store, buying him a new shirt he’ll like, doing all the dishes, bringing him coffee, or cooking him breakfast.
For him it might be bringing me a milkshake on his way home, getting up with the baby in the morning and prepping her for her morning feeding, letting me take an extra long hot shower, or watching the bachelor with me without making any snarky comments!
Little acts of service and selflessness go a long way during the stress of new parenthood. They serve as little reminders that we still love each other when quality time and physical touch are hard to come by.
During this season we have to find other ways to give and receive love for one another. Taking a few minutes to focus on each other can help to strengthen your relationship in a time where old ways and old ways of connecting may not be practical.
How to learn your love language(s)
If you haven’t taken the test yet you should! Too often we try to give love the way we like to receive it and then wonder why our partner seems dissatisfied. And as you’ve seen, if you’ve taken it in the past, it’s a good time to take it again.
Another good one to take is the apology language. Just like you need to give love how it will be best received you need to apologize how it will best be received as well.
5 Love Languages after Baby
Once you identify your love language and that of your spouse or partner it’s time to act on it. Use this infographic as a basis to get you started!
This exercise is really about getting to know your partner better, on a deeper level, and finding new ways to connect.
More ways to strengthen your relationship after baby
How else can you strengthen your relationship after baby and keep the love alive during this busy season? I’m usually not one for acronyms but as I was typing this up they started to spell out a word that went along great…PHASE.
Pause. Pause before speaking in anger, emotions run high when you’re tired and stressed and you need to have some extra grace for your partner.
Have grace. Grace for yourself when you lose your cool or don’t finish your to-do list.
Accept help. Let family and friends spell you for a date night or help with the chores. Your little one will be ok for a few hours. And it’s only your pride that won’t let you say yes to family or friends helping with dishes or sweeping the floor.
Stay connected. Check in with each other regularly. Take a few minutes before bed to ask about each other’s day or just see how the other is doing. Find out what each other’s stressors are and how you can help each other.
Enjoy! Remember this is just a season. Before you know it your little ones won’t be so little anymore and you can focus more on your primary love languages again.
What tricks do you use to stay connected to your significant other during busy seasons?