Common Reasons for Marital Breakdown
There are many factors that may lead to a poor marital relationship. Read on to find more information and tips on what you can do if you are experiencing any of these issues.
Parenting is often associated with positive emotions such as joy, wonder, and gratitude. For some couples, having a child adds great joy to their marriage. However, parenthood can change the interactions between a husband and a wife greatly. It can become a source of stress and introduce strain to the marital relationship. Couples may have lesser time for each other, and there could be disagreements over parenting approaches, finances, roles, and responsibilities in the household. It is important for you and your spouse to recognise how parenting affects your marital relationship and resolve any issues as early as possible.
1. Taking on new roles and becoming parents
With the addition of children to the family, your identity will change. You are no longer just “husband and wife”, but have also taken on the role of “father and mother”. You may find yourself putting your career plans on hold or giving up certain hobbies to take care of your child. You and your spouse may also have differing expectations about your roles and conflicts may arise because of these. What is important is for the both of you to understand each other, have a common goal of where you would like your family to be, and discuss the expectations you have of each other clearly. You may need to have an ongoing conversation about these matters as the both of you bring your child up together over the years.
What can you do?
- Discuss any changes in your roles. Reach a common understanding and respect of the roles that each of you play in the family.
- There may be some dreams that you and your spouse may have to let go of when taking on a parenting role. These could be more financial freedom, more autonomy, or advancement of plans. It is important to acknowledge these dreams and support each other.
2. Caregiving Responsibilities
Parenthood brings a host of new responsibilities. The initial period of adjusting as new parents can be stressful as it would entail changes to your sleep cycle, mealtimes, and emotional availability. As children grow older through the different life stages, new responsibilities may continue to emerge for parents. Parenthood may also bring increased financial pressure, lifestyle changes, and new expectations in the marriage.
What can you do?
- Discuss and plan who will take on certain caregiving responsibilities and household chores.
- Create a financial plan (e.g. for the year). This will help to reduce uncertainty about what is needed and where the finances will come from.
- If possible, involve extended family members in caregiving (e.g. grandparents), and connect with other parents for mutual support.
3. Lesser time as a couple
With children in the picture, couple time is greatly reduced. However, the need for intimacy and emotional connection between both parties remains. It is important for you and your spouse to discuss and discover new ways of meeting these needs together.
What can you do?
- Have an honest discussion about the needs that both parties have.
- Show your appreciation and love for each other frequently and in small ways.
- Take time to do activities that both of you enjoy as a couple.
- Create shared moments.