How PPD Affects Marriage
It is common for couples to face marital problems during their first year after welcoming a new child into the world. Postpartum depression can make this lifestyle change even more difficult.
Depression of any kind can seriously strain a relationship. However, postpartum depression is directly linked to an increase in marital problems. There are many reasons why marriage problems occur during postpartum depression.
Facing postpartum depression is stressful enough on its own. When chronic sadness and anxiety combine with relationship tension, it can further compound the problem.
Postpartum Depression Marriage Challenges
There are many marital challenges that can occur due to postpartum depression. Often, both the mother and her spouse feel neglected, confused, unsupported, burdened or exhausted.
These feelings can lead to ongoing struggles that further add difficulty to being a new parent.
Causes of Postpartum Depression Marriage Problems
There is often not just one single cause of postpartum depression marriage problems. They are usually the result of different factors and situations happening all at once.
Here are some of the top factors that lead to postpartum depression marriage problems:
It is never possible for a couple to be 100% prepared for a new baby to join the family. Often times, couples underestimate the amount of work that is required during the weeks following childbirth. For mothers facing postpartum depression, this increased workload turns into an overwhelming feeling of possibly losing control.
Because of this increased workload for both parents, it can be difficult for each one to prioritize the other. Instead, priorities turn to the baby. In turn, one or both parents may feel neglected by the other.
Lack of Communication
Many new emotions and responsibilities arise after having a new baby. With the addition of PPD, it is common for couples to cut off communication. Couples may find it difficult to describe their feelings or fear that they will offend the other person. They may also believe the condition will simply go away on its own.
Regardless of why communication stops, it is often a contributing factor to marriage problems during postpartum depression.
Along with not being prepared for an increased workload, some couples are simply not prepared financially to deal with a new baby. Money problems create significant stress between a couple. Combine financial constraints with the symptoms of postpartum depression, and it further creates a problematic household environment.
Lack of Quality Time
One of the most common problems couples face throughout the first year of having a new baby is the lack of quality time the couple can spend alone together. When women are struggling with postpartum depression, they may find it difficult to want to make time for their partner. This is because a common symptom of postpartum depression is isolation.
To the other partner, this can seem hurtful and confusing. This creates a greater divide between the couple and spurs more postpartum depression marriage problems.
Decrease in Intimacy
Postpartum depression many symptoms, including fatigue and a loss of interest in sex. Due to emotional pressures, many couples lose intimacy during the postpartum period. This happens for many reasons, such as a lack of communication and not spending enough time alone together.
Lack of intimacy in a relationship triggers a set of additional postpartum depression marriage problems. These challenges include feelings of dissatisfaction and a loss of self-worth. This can affect one or both partners.
Postpartum Depression Marriage Tips
If you’re struggling with marriage problems during postpartum depression, know that you are not alone. Many couples face marital problems during this difficult time and learn to work through them in healthy ways.
Here are some tips to cope with and heal marriage problems during PPD:
- Recognize the Causes: It is important for couples to acknowledge the underlying cause of their marital problems. By taking a step back and looking at the root of their strained relationship, couples can make the healthy steps towards mending their partnership.
- Communicate: Communicating emotions is hard at any point in life, but may be especially hard during postpartum depression. Talking about your feelings with your partner will make you feel better and will shed light on how the other is feeling.
- Support Each Other: It is natural for people to become so focused on their own feelings that they forget about their partner feels. Showing support and concern for your partner can help to bring the two of you closer together.
- Seek Help: Seeking outside counseling—whether it’s together or separate—is a positive way to cope with postpartum depression marriage problems. A professional therapist or counselor can provide you with the tools you need to keep your relationship healthy. Simply talking about your feelings and having them validated by a professional is enough to make a couple feel more confident moving forward.
- Remember it is Temporary: Ultimately, it is important to keep the situation in perspective. If you are seeking postpartum depression treatment, then you know this condition will eventually pass. Remembering that the depression will go away can help you to stay realistic about any relationship challenges you are facing.