Men and women have unique ways of getting on each other’s nerves, and they find even more once children arrive. It’s not intentional. Having children puts stress on a relationship, and there’s plenty of research to prove it.
Studies found that couples who are married with kids experience a much steeper decline in their marital satisfaction after children are born than those who don’t have kids. The odd part is that they are less likely to divorce than couples who don’t have kids. They stay together, but they aren’t happy.
Finding ways to keep each other happy in a relationship is key. If couples are going to stay together, they should make the effort to make each other happy. It’s also obvious to children when parents are just going through the motions without any good feelings behind it.
Though there is work to be done on both sides, there are specific actions mom can take to keep her partner happy. Without knowing it, women often develop bad habits after having kids, and their partners suffer because of it. Men don’t always come forward and tell moms what they are doing that is causing stress because they know women have more than enough on their plates when babies are born. However, the following things done over a period of time can drive a man nuts and make him much less satisfied with the relationship.
15 Constant Contradictions
Moms are often the ones who are with the children most of the time. That means they take the lead on schedules, discipline, and all the other details that go into raising children. However, dads are still parents, and they don’t want their partners to question their parenting skills, especially in front of the kids.
While mom may disagree with dad’s approach, as long as it doesn’t put a child in harm it’s best to talk about it later, not in front of the kids. Dressing down a partner in front of the children gives the impression that only one person is in control and can give children the idea that dad doesn’t know what he’s doing.
Dads sometimes have different techniques than moms, but that doesn’t mean they are wrong. Give guys a chance and support them when they take on parenting tasks. Everyone in the family will be happier for it.
14 Talk This Way
Baby talk is for babies, and it has major benefits when used on them. That’s why mom instinctively switches to a higher-pitched, slower-moving tone when talking to the baby. What’s important is switching back to an adult tone when addressing a man.
Men don’t want to be cooed at or spoken to like they are infants. They don’t want mom to call them daddy on purpose while cooing in baby talk. It’s not attractive, and most men feel it zaps the possibility of romance right out of the room.
For moms who stay home with babies all day, it can be easy to get caught using baby talk on adults. Since being with an infant the majority of the day means using a language meant for them, switching back to adult speak takes some effort. The effort is definitely worth it. Men enjoy having conversations with their adult partners when they aren’t being spoken to like they are still in diapers.
13 Perpetual Headache
The baby is going to wreak havoc on life in the sheets. There’s no way around it. Between healing from childbirth and providing food from the body, mom is tired and not feeling up to much those first few months. After that, sleep deprivation may still be an issue if the baby just really hates to sleep.
Hormone fluctuations can mess with mom’s desire as well, so it’s okay to not be in the mood for love every second of the day. What’s hard for men is when mom refuses to address the issue and simply acts like no sex is the new normal. If mom doesn’t have the desire to get it on, she should work to figure out why and find solutions. No one wants to live in a sexless relationship.
Dad might be a source of help in this area. Mom often needs some rest or some support, and her partner can provide that. Though a father should already be helping out as much as possible with his kids, the chance of intimacy for his efforts may make him even more enthusiastic about helping.
12 Does This Make Me Look Big?
The post-pregnancy body is hard to adapt to for most women. There’s a lot of loose skin, stretch marks, and extra sag, and it doesn’t all just disappear after the baby is born. Getting comfortable in our new skin takes time, and during that time we may drive our partners nuts.
Good men love us for who we are and see our bodies as vessels that brought life into the world. They also just want to see us naked. When a woman is so obsessed with the things she wants to change about her post-pregnancy body, she passes that unhappiness around, and it’s hard for a man to know how to help her.
There’s no way to deny that mom’s body has changed, and this leaves a man in the position of trying to convince her that he likes her appearance anyway. If he denies that she looks different, he’s a liar, and no one likes a liar. A good rule is that a woman shouldn’t ask a man a question she already knows the answer to. Love the body, let the man love the body, and move on.
11 Mom Versus Mom
It’s almost impossible to parent without looking around to see how everyone else is parenting. Moms tend to do this constantly, always comparing their choices to others and wondering if they are coming up lacking. It’s an exhausting way to live, and men find it exhausting to even hear about.
Though men may also look around and see if there are better choices they should be making, they aren’t as obsessed with it as most moms. It’s hard for a man to hear a new story daily of how mom is now doubting everything she has ever done and wants to start from scratch because that’s what other moms are doing.
Being involved in the Mommy Wars is also not an interest for most men. They care about what is going on with their partners and their children, and they don’t need to control what everyone else is doing with their own kids. Leave dad out of these details and he will appreciate it.
10 Kid Talk
Every parent is guilty of this, but moms probably fall under the spell more often than dads. When the baby is finally asleep and mom and dad have time to chat on their own, moms often fall into the trap of only talking about the baby. They share stories or discuss new developments, and fathers are very much interested in all of this.
However, most men want to talk about other things in life, and it can be hard to move moms from the topic of kids to something else. Because women are the ones to give birth, go on maternity leave, and spend endless hours with the baby, their worlds become very small. Men sometimes don’t understand this and simply find themselves frustrated that the conversation always revolves around children.
Remembering common interests and hobbies that were shared prior to the baby is a good way to venture out into other topics. It helps couples remember that they were together before the little ones and will be together when the little ones grow up and move on. Couples need to stay connected over other topics besides just the kids.
9 Overshare Time
No matter what phase of life we are in, trust in relationships is important. Both partners need to know the details of their personal lives will not be shared with everyone in the world to truly feel safe in a relationship. That’s why men hate it when women overshare the details of their private lives.
After a baby is born, the desire to overshare can be even stronger for some moms. Trying to make mom friends is tough, and many women bond over home life details involving their partners. Lackluster sex lives, men who don’t help, and resentment for the partner who isn’t changing diapers all day can all be conversation topics that help women bond.
Unfortunately, these topics make men feel left out or plotted against. Problems within a marriage or relationship should stay in that relationship, unless there is abuse that needs to be reported. When men find out someone they don’t even know knows about their erectile dysfunction, it can be hard to handle.
8 It’s His Fault
Dads are often portrayed as bumbling idiots who don’t know how to change diapers, hold babies, or put on onesies. Society keeps them under this umbrella of incompetence that often isn’t accurate or fair. However, it gives moms an easy out when something goes wrong: blame dads.
Men don’t like being thrown under the bus just because they are portrayed unfairly. Though a man will make mistakes in parenting just like a woman, he doesn’t like being blamed when whatever occurred wasn’t actually his fault. Nobody does.
Women need to take a team mentality when considering their partners and make sure they don’t get made the punchline of bad jokes for crimes they didn’t commit. It’s frustrating to constantly be blamed, and many men feel like they shouldn’t even try if their efforts are only rewarded with scorn. Also, don’t blame any perceived bad genes or bad behavior in a child on dad. Both partners contribute.
7 In-Law Bashing
Look, we know this one isn’t easy. There are some truly great in-laws out there, but there are some truly horrible ones as well. They don’t understand boundaries, don’t ever hold their tongues, and set out to make life a living hell.
Unfortunately, they are still our partners’ families, and though they may never feel like our true families, we have to find ways to express problems without in-law bashing. Men don’t want to be put in the middle of these fights, and it’s also not a good strategy to react in a way that might push them closer to their parents and further away from their partners.
It’s reasonable to express concerns or complaints, but do it in a way that doesn’t put a man on the defense immediately. He’s more likely to listen and the problem is more likely to actually be solved if mom responds thoughtfully.
6 Everyone But Him
Mom will receive tons of unsolicited advice the minute she walks out the door carrying a baby. It’s inevitable. Some of this advice may be helpful, but most of it is just a way for nosy people to get their opinions about parenting out in the open.
Friends and family members also chime in, and mom may take advice from trusted sources. The problem is mom may not take advice from the man helping to raise their child, and that can lead to problems.
We want fathers to take an active role in their children’s lives, but moms are still often reluctant to ask for or heed their advice when it comes to parenting. Mom may listen to everyone but her partner, and this is very belittling for the man. It’s especially hurtful if mom ignores dad’s recommendation and then takes the same advice from someone else later.
5 No To Date Night
It’s true that men often feel like a fifth wheel after babies arrive. It sounds immature and selfish, but the bond that mom and the baby create can leave a man feeling like he’s standing on the outside looking in. The baby wants mom in those early days, and mom doesn’t want to be away from the baby.
That’s why date nights or time for just mom and dad to reconnect is so important to a man. It’s his way of still feeling prioritized and like he has a place with mom. When women refuse to even consider having someone else watch the baby so date night can take place, men can feel rejected.
It’s not easy for moms to leave their little ones and go out, especially in those early days. Mom worries that she will spend the entire night out stressing over if the baby is okay instead of enjoying the evening. However, every effort should be made to sneak in time for just mom and dad if at all possible.
4 Bring In The Cash
It’s wonderful if mom can stay home with the baby full-time if that’s her desire. However, in many households it’s not an option. The days of having one breadwinner are gone for most couples, and they go into parenthood knowing that they will both have to return to work when the baby arrives.
What makes a man crazy is when a woman knows they are a two-income household but refuses to accept it. A woman who decides after the baby arrives that dad needs to figure out a way to be the sole breadwinner is being unfair to him. If it wasn’t possible before adding a baby to the mix, it’s not likely going to be after. Babies are expensive, and they don’t lessen the financial load on the family.
3 Bringing The Screen To Life
Women can be more passionate about their online lives than men. That’s not to say that men aren’t upset by what they see online. It’s just that women often emote about their conflicts in the virtual world more than men, and men can get tired of hearing about it.
Social media sites are spaces ripe for arguments and different viewpoints, and when mom has a day where some sanctimommy she doesn’t even know that well makes snide remarks about her parenting, it stings. However, men don’t want this online problem to seep into the real world and saturate the rest of the day with drama. A man can become frustrated when time that was supposed to be dedicated to him and his partner ends up being a gripefest because mom is still hurt over something that happened online.
2 Resisting The Obvious
Women have plenty of reasons to reach out for help after having children. Recovering from birth is hard. Adjusting to motherhood is no picnic. There are also issues, like postpartum depression (PPD) and postpartum anxiety (PPA) that make mom feel awful and alone.
The problem men have is when women refuse to ask for or seek help for problems. Men feel helpless when they know their partners are suffering but still trying to go it alone. Though a man may love that his partner is trying so hard for the family, he doesn’t enjoy watching her suffer needlessly when help can be found.
Women should understand this because no one wants to watch a loved one suffer. It’s much better for everyone when all of us ask for help when we need it and let those around us offer what they can to assist us.
1 Passive Aggressive
It’s easy for moms to get overwhelmed after babies are born and become frustrated with other people. The problem for men is when moms won’t just come out and say what’s wrong. Men aren’t always the best at guessing emotions, and if no one tells them otherwise, they often just assume everything is okay.
Passive aggressive comments are not a good way to get the point across, and they will fly over the heads of most men. When a man finally realizes he was supposed to be paying attention to the mumbled words or the sly comments, it’s already too late. Mom is mad and damage is done.
Deal directly with problems with men. Tell them what is wrong. Be specific. Most men really want to be a part of the solution, but they need every piece to the problem to know how. Don’t make it hard for them to acquire the pieces.
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