After the Baby is Born: Recovering Passion in Your Marriage.

Every couple goes through specific developmental stages.  These stages are markers of growth and development in the marriage.  For example, you may find that there is a particularly tough stage that a couple goes through after the birth of their children. Because you want to be happy, it is vital that you recover passion in your marriage after the baby is born. It is important to notice, that this is true after the birth of each child.

After the first baby is born, one or both members of the couple will go into “parenting mode”. This happens because, for most couples, the spouses can intensely focus on being parents.  And they will find themselves doing what it takes to care for and raise a new baby.  In order to care for the baby, they shift out of being a romantically involved couples mode. And instead, they focus more exclusively on just being parents.  For most, this is an intense transition to find yourself in. It is so different, to suddenly be caring for the needs of a baby.  You will find, there isn’t always enough time, energy or desire to focus on intimacy between the spouses.

Where it Goes Wrong: When You Don’t Recover Passion After the Baby is Born

After about 8 months to 18 months, if all things go on schedule, the new parents start to shift again. In this shift you will re-focus your attention on rebuilding an intimate and loving relationship.   If the couple doesn’t go through this shift you may find yourself going through problems in the marriage.  In this case, both spouses may feel that something is missing.  You may notice yourself having feelings of loneliness, alienation and lack of support or love.   A couple may start to bicker and argue more. Or the couple may pull back in isolation from each other.  They may also develop a “friend-like” relationship.  And that relationship will have very little of the couple’s former love and passion.

Waiting too Long

If you are in such a relationship, one that has gone past the 2 year mark, following the birth of your child, and you haven’t made the developmental shift, you will benefit by taking action to push the shift to occur.

Being aware of it and being willing to take action is a good first step.  Another next step could be to start “dating” again with each other.  What this means is doing activities like going out to dinner or some other event, where it feels like a date.  This will require that you have a baby sitter for your children.  Now, it is important to understand that you are not on a date if your  kids are present.  For some couples, this will require some work at developing a list of trustworthy baby sitters.  You will find that it is definitely worth the work of developing a list of baby sitters.

If You Are Stuck

There are many other steps you can take to reestablish a loving and passionate connection with your spouse.

Finally, if you feel like you are stuck in this process and can’t more forward, take some action. This would be a good time to consult with a couples counselor.  Because, there is no limit to how long a couple can be stuck, it frequently happens that a couple does not move through this developmental stage. If that happens, a couple could feel isolated and find themselves in bickering conflict for decades.   You do not want to let this happen to you.  It is very important that you start recovering passion in your marriage after the birth of your baby.  Get help if this is not happening.


Donald Wallach offers couples counseling and individual therapy to those living in Sonoma County and Marin County. He helps clients find solutions to marital problems in their relationship. His office is in Petaluma and serves the surrounding communities including Cotati, Rohnert Park, Novato, Santa Rosa and Penngrove. He enjoys helping others have happier relationships and more fulfilling lives.

If you have any questions about this article, you are welcome to write Don Wallach, LMFT at his website: or call at (707) 583-2305.

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