Cheeky Daddy

Alicia and Devon had been in a relationship for three years. They grew so fond of each other and everyone wanted the kind of love that existed between them. Their wedding ceremony was the talk of the town, it was elaborate and beautiful and they both had a great wedding night experience.

Nine months after the wedding, Alice was confirmed pregnant and though the journey wasn’t so easy, she eventually gave birth to a baby boy. A few weeks later Devon decided to buy groceries at the supermarket when he met his next door neighbor and good friend, Alfred, on his stop at the gas station.

“My wife hates me after having a baby”, he lamented.

Alfred, who was already a member of the Fatherhood club understood the message immediately and smiled.

Well, you might be experiencing something similar with your wife, so to help you, here’s a breakdown of all Alfred explained to him:

Help my wife hates me; New Family;

Figure 1. Source:

Changes in marital dynamics after having a baby

A major life episode such as the birth of a child, has the ability to cause considerable changes in marital dynamics. As couples manage their new parental obligations while maintaining their relationship, these changes can be both gratifying and difficult. Numerous aspects of marital dynamics can change after having a baby, ranging from priorities to communication styles.

Communication Patterns

Communication style is one of the first things that can change after childbirth. With sleepless nights, total focus on care for the newborn and the demands of parenting. This can take a toll on the quality of the communication between partners. Conversations tend to be centered around your baby’s needs. This leaves less room for the emotional connections that were previously the depth of the relationship. Effective communication is crucial. Partners must learn to express their emotions, needs, and concerns irrespective of the new challenges they are facing.


Often, once your baby is born there tends to be a division of household and parenting responsibilities. Depending on what the split of housework was like pre-baby, this can lead to feelings of inequality or resentment if not addressed.

Couples often assume traditional gender roles due to cultural beliefs help by you and your partner. For a large number of people, this is something that has not been anticipated by either party. If you fall in this group, you should have a clear and open discussion about roles and responsibilities. This will help prevent misunderstandings and provide clarity as well as address any relationship assumptions.

Intimacy and Romance

Another important area to mention is Intimacy and romance. It is natural and very normal that this part of your relationship may experience changes after childbirth. Women usually feel sore, tired, overwhelmed and some women can suffer postpartum depression. The months after your baby us born should be used recover and lean into this new phase of life.

Sleep deprivation, fatigue, and the demands of childcare can naturally lead to a decline in physical intimacy and romantic activities. This is something that is natural as you both adjust to the change of being a parent. New mums need to carve out time whenever possible to take care of their own sleep or rest. It is your role as a partner to encourage her to take time to rest.

Couples need to be deliberate about carving out time for each other. This will rekindle romance, and maintain your emotional and physical connection. Patience and understanding are key as partners try to adjust to these changes together. It will only be a matter of time before things get easier and you will find your intimacy returns.


Finances have the ability to have a major impact on relationship dynamics. First, the costs associated with raising a child, such as diapers, medical expenses, nutrition and education (as children grow), can lead to stress and disagreements. Couples often find themselves arguing about their inability to come to terms with their financial decisions. Hence, having consistent open discussions about financial goals, budgeting, and long-term planning are essential to ensure that both partners are on the same page and can manage these new responsibilities effectively.

The impact of sleep deprivation on relationships

Couple, relationship, intimacy,

Figure 2. Source

Sleep deprivation can significantly impact relationships, as it undermines emotional well-being, communication, and overall interaction between individuals.

Lack of sleep often leads to heightened irritability, mood swings, and emotional instability. New mums  who are sleep-deprived may find it harder to regulate their emotions, leading to more conflict and disagreements. Often times, the mother is the one awake all through the night, trying to put a baby to sleep, regardless of the pain she’s going through, either physically or emotionally. This emotional turbulence can make effective communication difficult for the short term.

Furthermore, sleep deprivation also impairs cognitive functions, including memory, attention, and decision-making. Partners may struggle to listen actively, understand each other’s perspectives, and find common ground, leading to misunderstandings and frustration.

Intimacy and physical closeness can also be affected. Sleep deprivation can lower libido and energy levels, reducing the desire and ability to engage in intimate activities. This can lead to feelings of rejection, resentment, and a sense of emotional distance between partners.

Addressing sleep deprivation requires a joint effort. Partners can work together to establish healthy sleep routines, create a conducive sleep environment, and prioritize rest. Seeking professional help, such as consulting a sleep specialist or therapist, can also provide guidance on managing sleep-related issues within a relationship.

Postpartum depression and its effects on the entire family

Postpartum depression also known as baby blues is a serious mental health condition that affects some individuals after childbirth. While its primary impact is on the person who experiences it, its effects ripple through the entire family unit. This condition which occurs after childbirth can strain relationships, disrupt daily routines, and alter family settings in several ways.

In Devon’s case for instance, his wife was feeling so inadequate and started to blame her husband for how she felt.

For mothers with postpartum depression,  the emotional and physical challenges can lead to difficulty bonding with the newborn, feelings of inadequacy, and overwhelming sadness. These symptoms can limit the ability of a mother to engage in caregiving. She might need to have a family member around or a close friend to support and care for her and the baby.

Spouses or partners of women with postpartum depression often face the challenge of understanding their own emotional responses while providing essential support to their wives. Feelings of frustration, helplessness, and anxiety, misunderstanding can arise as they try to understand and assist their partner. Therefore, relationship may experience strain as communication and intimacy are affected.

Extended family members, such as in-laws, friends, and caregivers may need to be called upon to provide additional assistance and support.

The importance of communication between partners and support during the transition to parenthood

Effective communication and unwavering support are key during the transformative journey of parenthood. This key phase, described by deep emotional, physical, and lifestyle changes, demands a strong foundation of relationship between spouses to operate successfully.

Communication serves as the cornerstone of any relationship since it promotes understanding, empathy, and mutual decision-making.  This enables couples to align their expectations and aspirations. Engaging in expressive moments about each other’s fears, hopes, and concerns can relieve anxieties and prevent misunderstandings. By actively listening and sharing thoughts, partners can jointly develop methods to handle challenges, such as sleep deprivation, time and financial constraints.

Practical support is equally crucial. From helping with diaper changes, preparing baby’s meal, giving one’s partner space to rest, treating your spouse to self-care, partners must actively engage in sharing the workload. A strong support system allows parents to recover fast, reducing stress and enhancing their ability to provide quality care for the newborn.

The shift which occurs with parenthood can strain even the strongest relationships, making the role of communication and support number one. The ability to communicate effectively helps partners withstand the heavyweight of parenthood while maintaining a strong bond. Support, in all its forms, ensures that partners not only survive but live better lives including in their careers during this  phase, setting a positive foundation for their child’s upbringing.

Wrapping it up

In conclusion, the journey to parenthood is a joint effort that requires partners to come together in order to thrive in this new stage of life. It is possible to do more than survive having a new baby. Couples who focus on communicating, practicing patience and empathy will be able to overcome challenges, share the joys and tears to be able build a strong, loving family.

The changes in marital dynamics after having a baby are a natural part of the journey into parenthood. While these shifts can be challenging, they also present opportunities for growth and a deeper understanding of one another. By prioritizing effective communication, maintaining intimacy, addressing role adjustments, and providing emotional support, couples can cope with these changes and build a strong and beautiful relationship as they embrace their new roles as parents.

PS: Devon got to understand that his wife was suffering from Postpartum depression. Of course she never hated him, but her responses made him think so. Apparently, she was going through a lot of things. Eventually, Devon took Alfred’s advice and he worked through the whole episode with his wife. Today they have 3 kids and they now counsel couples who are going through what they experienced after their first baby.

Scroll to Top

Join our Cheeky Daddy Mailing list!

Get all latest research, advice and dad questions answered straight in your inbox

Join The List

Sign up to receive the latest research, advice and dad questions straight to your inbox