Dealing with a difficult partner after having kids can strain your relationship. To overcome challenges: identify the problem, communicate openly and assertively, focus on the positives, seek outside support, set boundaries, and practice self-care. By addressing these issues, you can improve your relationship and create a more positive family dynamic.
Dealing With A Difficult Partner After Having Kids
Having children can be a joyous experience, and it can also put a strain on your relationship – especially if you feel like your partner’s being difficult. Parenting can be hard enough without having to deal with a partner who’s argumentative, uncooperative, or uninvolved. In this blog post, I offer some tips and advice on how to deal with a difficult partner after having kids.
1. Identify the problem
Dealing with a difficult partner? We often make assumptions about what’s going on with people, but it’s more helpful to ask some gentle questions to identify the problem. Approach your partner with curiosity and compassion to gain a better understanding. Is your partner struggling with the demands of parenting? Are they dealing with their own personal issues? Are they simply not interested in being an active parent? Once you’ve identified the problem, you can start to work on a solution.
2. Communicate openly and assertively
When dealing with a difficult partner, it’s important to communicate openly and assertively. Use “I” statements to express your feelings and needs, and avoid blaming or criticising your partner. Be clear about what you expect from them, and ask for what you need directly. You may think your needs are obvious, but when you communicate more openly, you might find they’re not so obvious to them.
3. Focus on the positives
When we start to think of someone as being difficult, we can often become focused on their negative behaviours. It can help to shift your focus onto the positives, starting with what first attracted you to them. (Often this is the same stuff that starts to bother us later!) Acknowledge and appreciate the things they do well, and look for opportunities to reinforce positive behaviours.
4. Seek outside support
If you’re struggling to make progress on your own, consider seeking outside support. A relationship therapist can provide valuable insights and strategies on how to deal with a difficult partner. Alternatively, joining a support group for parents or seeking help from friends and family can also be helpful.
5. Set boundaries
If your partner is behaving in ways you find unacceptable, it’s important to set boundaries. Be clear about what you will and will not tolerate, and make sure to stick to your boundaries. Remember that it’s only a boundary if something changes when it gets crossed – otherwise it’s just a protest. You have a right to a healthy and respectful relationship.
6. Take care of yourself
Dealing with a difficult partner can be emotionally and mentally exhausting, so it’s important to take care of yourself. Make time for self-care, such as exercise, hobbies, and spending time with friends. Remember, taking care of yourself is not selfish – it’s essential for your wellbeing and your ability to be a good parent and partner.
Dealing With A Difficult Partner
If you feel like your partner’s become difficult since having kids, it could be a sign that your relationship needs some attention.
Most of us are pretty reasonable most of the time, as long as our needs are getting met. When kids become our focus, we often let each other slip to the bottom of the list. We put our needs last – and sometimes that includes our needs to feel loved, appreciated, understood, accepted, important, and close to our partners.
Sometimes when people are being difficult, they’re actually deeply unhappy, and don’t know how to express or address it. If this resonates, please don’t hesitate to reach out for support.
Dealing with a difficult partner after having kids can be a challenging experience, but there is often lots you can do to overcome those challenges. By identifying the problem, communicating openly and assertively, focusing on the positives, seeking outside support, setting boundaries, and taking care of yourself, you can improve your relationship and create a more positive family dynamic.
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Note: Blog posts are for information only, can’t compare to tailored therapeutic support, and do not apply to situations of abuse. If you need help with an abusive situation, you can call Women’s Aid on 0808 2000 247 or the Men’s Advice Line on 0808 801 0327.