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Fight or Flight: When Couples Fight During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a great time for the expectant mom and dad, but it is ironic to see couples fight more than they usually do during pregnancy, what gives?

Yes, the growing baby inside mommy’s tummy is indeed a blessing, but this doesn’t mean that it will all be ponies and rainbows for the expecting parents. For new parents, there is pressure, anxiety and fear. For non-new parents, there is the challenge of balance. Either way, parents are presented with new hurdles throughout pregnancy and sometimes, arguments cannot be avoided.

Parenthood is definitely tricky. If it was easy, there won’t have to be so many parenting books or articles out there to help parents out. Parenting starts during pregnancy, as couples have to make decisions as early as that. The big problem is, expectant couples fighting during pregnancy may or may not be good for the relationship or marriage in the long run.

You see, you may find yourself fighting with your partner over the silliest and trivial things, only to realize that it wasn’t worth the stress at all. The cold truth is, relationships get damaged due to constant fighting, especially about small things. So, what you need to do is to always find a solution at the end and always find a middle ground where you can agree.

Expecting a baby puts pressure on both mom and dad. To prepare you for what’s to come, here are the ridiculous and non-ridiculous things that expectant parents fight out and of course, how you guys can overcome them:

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8 She’s too emotional. He’s insensitive.

Her story: A pregnant woman is indeed emotional at this time. Her hormones are going whack and she can’t even explain the ups and downs of her emotions too. She’s like a ticking time bomb. You’ll never know the right words to say because even if you try to be nice, it blows up in your face.

She cries a lot, even over little things. She wants this and that and will be disappointed if she doesn’t get her way. She feels like her partner doesn’t understand or even understand what she’s going through—the physical discomfort, the emotional confusion and the mental strain that pregnancy has brought her.

His story: He acts cool and calm, even when he is stressed out just to not make you worry. He tries to get you what you like every now and then, but he simply can’t give in to your every request. You’re pregnant and it’s not like it's your last day on Earth. He cannot understand why you’re so moody. You are happy one minute and then fuming by the next.

He doesn’t know why you have to cry a lot, even when there’s nothing to cry about. If he says you look good, you tell him that he’s just being nice. If he tells you that you’re getting fat, he is rude and mean. Your husband is also on an emotional roller coaster and even if you don’t see it, he feels pressured, scared and anxious too:

The Fix: Husbands should be more patient with their pregnant wives as this is really a hard time for them. They don’t want to be an emotional mess, but they just can’t help it. It isn’t their fault. Their hormones are going crazy and that’s how their bodies respond to it. On the other hand, wives should be more reasonable with their demands. If you feel like you’re being too moody, do things that make you happy or be in a good mood. No one wants to live with a Grinch, not on Christmas time… not ever.

7  She’s paranoid. He doesn’t mind.

Her story: Apart from the emotional distress, her mind is also in panic mode. When she is in panic mode, she gets paranoid. She thinks that you don’t find her attractive anymore, that you only see her as a vessel that carries your offspring. She thinks that when you go out with friends for a drink or some socializing, that you are already abandoning her.

Worse, she thinks that you are cheating on her with another woman when you come home late or go out. It is not uncommon for men to cheat when their wives are pregnant, look it up on Google. And then, when she sleeps at night, she also dreams of your cheating ways. No, she doesn’t like to feel that way, doubting you and not trusting you. Her emotions and mental exhaustion are taking a toll on her.

His story: He can’t wrap his head around your paranoia. Why are you paranoid all of a sudden? It’s not like nothing has changed in your relationship, except now, you have a growing tummy. He can’t just stay at home the whole time because he wants to de-stress with his co-workers and friends after a tiring day from work. After all, taking on the role of a father is something stressful for him too. Going home doesn’t mean that he is abandoning you or preferring the company of others over you. It isn’t his fault you can’t go with him all the time.

This goes without saying that if he does go out, it doesn’t mean that he is cheating on you. Also, your dreams may feel true, but there’s no proof that it is really happening in real life. Cut your husband some slack.

The Fix: Despite so many cheating stories during pregnancy that you read about, don’t believe that you are simply another case. It doesn’t happen to everyone. Also, when your husband compliments you, appreciate him for it instead of throwing a fit. As for the husbands, take initiative to be with your wife and growing baby as much as you can. If this pleases and appease her, give it to her. Your wife is going through so much right now and stress can’t be one of them.

6  She likes Blue. He wants Violet.

Her story: The name game sounds fun, but when it comes to expectant parents, it can be a serious full-blown argument. You want to name your baby girl or boy a name you’ve really wanted ever since you started dreaming of having a family. You are hell-bent on giving this name to your child that you will take no for an answer.

You might have plans of naming your baby after someone who has been significant in your life, but your husband doesn’t like that name at all. You fight over names and no one is backing down. You feel like you have more right to name the baby because you carried him or her for the past nine months.

His story: Why do you have to name the baby a cute name that the baby will grow up hating anyway? Maybe you preferred a name on the top 20 list of baby names last year, but your husband wants a more unique name. He believes that he has every right to name the baby, just as much as you do. He isn’t backing down, he wants his chosen name to happen.

The Fix: Fighting over a name may sound a bit silly or ridiculous, but this is a big argument that expectant couples really have. And often, even when they start joking around, somehow, somewhere, someone is going to be pissed off!

Both of you have equal rights to name the baby. No one has a higher privilege, you are both the parents. In my personal experience, I’ve tried to avoid the name fights through simply giving my baby two names. I give one and my husband gives one. Which name becomes the first name? If it’s the girl, my pick will be the first name. If it’s a boy, his pick will be the first name. Additionally, I also suggested that both names should start with the same letter as our own names. He had no problems with this and naming the baby didn’t become a problem.

Now, if having two names is an idea that you don’t like, then discussing the reasons behind the name you picked should be a good talk between the two of you. The goal of discussing is not to change the mind of the other, but to simply weigh in on what’s a better name.

5  She wants him involved. He thinks he is involved enough.

Her story: She’s carrying the baby and she can’t be more involved than that. She wants you to be more involved with her pregnancy too. And it’s not just to make you feel better, it is also for you both to bond over the nine months.

She goes to the doctor with or without you because she needs too, but of course, she prefers you to be by her side. She’s happy when you’re with her through every ultrasound session and hearing the baby’s heartbeat through the Doppler. It brings her so much joy to have you by her side at this time.

His story: He believes that he is involved enough and is trying to be more involved as much as he can. He knows that the attention is on you now that you’re pregnant and he is completely fine with that. He feels like you don’t have to bond more in these nine months because you’ll have a lifetime to be together anyway.

He doesn’t go to every doctor’s appointment because he has to work or has a meeting. If he can be with you, he will. But if he can’t, don’t punish him for it. He is very happy and excited too, contrary to what you may think.

The Fix: Expecting mothers really want their husbands to be as involved as they can. This makes them feel assured and secured that they are really into this endeavor together. Husbands, please try to be there for your wife as much as you can. There’s no better time to go an extra mile for her than now.

On the other hand, expecting mothers shouldn’t hold a grudge against their husbands if they can’t make an appointment or spend more quality time. Trust that he knows what he is doing and that it is for the best. Know in your heart that even if he’s not there 24/7, he doesn’t love you or the baby any less.

4 She follows her culture’s tradition in raising kids. He wants a modern parenting style.

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Her story: She is not American. Her ways growing up are different. She saw her parents follow a parenting style that she believes worked great for her and her siblings. So, she wants to follow this kind of parenting style and apply it on her baby.

Their cultural traditions and rituals are different. You don’t understand why these traditions must be followed in the modern world, which has no scientific basis at all.

His story: He is American and his ways growing up are different than yours. His parents raised him differently, with a different parenting style and a different perspective on family. He believes that what his parents did worked for him and his siblings, so he wants to apply that parenting style on his child too.

His cultural traditions are different too. You also don’t understand why these traditions must be celebrated. Further, he only believes in a parenting style with a scientific basis and because of that, the parenting style you like becomes obsolete.

The Fix: Picking a parenting style will definitely be a hot topic for couples when trying to raise a child, even during the infant stages. You want to co-sleep with the baby, but your husband believes that putting him the cot is better. The fact is, whether or not you have a different race or cultural background, your beliefs and opinions will still differ.

When it comes to arguments like this, meeting in the middle is the best way. There must be compromise, even if it means discussing everything long and hard. Present the pros and cons of your parenting style and let him present his. When you’ve assessed everything, take note of the benefits and mesh your parenting styles together. No one ever said that only one parenting style will work. Bear in mind that every set of parent is different and the same goes for every baby.

2  She wants to have sex. He doesn’t.

Her story: Her hormones are going haywire and her libido is greatly affected. In the first trimester, she has forgotten all about making love because she’s battling her way through morning sickness, nausea, fatigue and sleepiness. She is not interested in sex, but at this time, you are because your wife’s body hasn’t changed that much yet.

By the second trimester, her sexual interest is returning and will peak at this time. You are very surprised to see that your wife is again sexually active, only for you to turn her down this time around. You don’t feel comfortable making love with her because you fear for her safety and your child’s. This refusal or rejection leaves your wife feeling hurt.

His story: He wanted to make love to you in the early stages of pregnancy because your tummy hasn’t grown yet. So, he believes that he won’t be poking the baby or hurting the baby when you make love. However, you keep ignoring and rejecting him at this time. He feels hurt.

By the time that your libido is back and you want to make love with your husband, your tummy has grown and he feels uncomfortable. His fear overcomes his sexual desires, but this doesn’t mean he is no longer interested.

The Fix: Sex is going to be one of the more usual fights expectant couples have. It is because the sexual interest between the man and the woman peaks at different times. It isn’t true that a man will always be sexually aroused when their wives are pregnant. There are also times when they are not in the mood, which is around the third trimester. Instead of thinking about sex, this is the time when their paternal instinct kicks in.

Being rejected at this time shouldn’t be taken personally by both husband and wife. There must be a clear understanding of the physical and mental status of both parents to avoid issues about sex. Nonetheless, husbands should know that pregnancy sex will not hurt the baby as long as proper positions are done.

1  She wants to buy this. He said they can’t afford it.

Her story: Soon-to-be mommy is very excited for the baby. She has window shopped for the baby’s clothes, shoes, cot bedding, diaper bags and whatnot. She’s going crazy with all the selections, but has managed to narrow down her best choices. She wants the baby to have the best stuff and make sure that every single thing needed is bought.

She knows that baby gear like car seats, strollers, rockers, high chairs, carrier, crib and swings are the most expensive things to buy. And yet, she tries to squeeze in as many as she can without thinking how much your expenses will shoot up. You simply don’t understand why she needs to buy all these things, so you say that you can’t afford everything she wants and she’s left disappointed.

His story: He is excited for your baby, but isn’t particularly excited with shopping for numerous baby apparel and gear. His eyes are set on the necessities and he is also set on the budget for that. Yeah, clothing and shoes are cute, but he knows that the baby will outgrow them soon enough. He is being practical when he doesn’t approve of your purchase, this doesn’t mean that he is being selfish with the money.

You don’t understand why your husband isn’t too eager buying all these things for the baby, even if the baby will need them. You feel like the budgeting is just overboard and too much.

The Fix: Financial problem between expecting couples is very common. Many new couples are surprised at how expensive having a baby is. The best solution to avoid financial problems and issues is to set a budget together. Many couples will not do this, but this is crucial.

Both of you should talk about your savings and expenses. Set a budget and set priorities. Don’t buy things that haven’t been discussed or agreed upon. When you set a budget, stick to it because once you go over the budget, it will be a bad habit to have. Explain why you need this and why you don’t. When it comes to finances, communication is key. Saving up isn’t for you, it is for your baby.

I know how overwhelming it can be to expect a baby, but with the right attitude and communication, both of you can get through it. Solve issues as early as you can, don’t leave any issues unresolved. Don’t change each other’s minds, instead, discuss both your sides and come up with a compromise. Marriage and parenting goes hand-in-hand, improve the quality of your relationship now that you have a baby on the way!

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