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5 Tips To Save Your Relationship During Your First Few Years As A Dad

These 5 tips will save your relationship in the first few years as a dad

A study found that happiness in life in the year before and after the birth of the first child is higher than before, then decreases and after a few years, it returns to the level before the birth.

These 5 tips will help to keep the downward swings in the love happiness curve as small as possible: This is how you steer your relationship safely through the turbulent early days with a child.

1. Divide the household fairly!

Who likes injustice? A fair distribution of housework is more important for relationship satisfaction than a reasonable income, a nice apartment, and common interests. Spending time with young children is a drain on any relationship. A man doesn’t have to make life (together) even more difficult just to have a beer in front of the TV while mommy is cleaning up the kitchen.

How you distribute the tasks, i.e. what you consider fair, is a matter of negotiation. Fair can mean equal use of time. Or: We do everything together. Or: Everyone does what is particularly easy for him or her. Or what he or she is particularly good at. In practice, it will certainly be a mixture of all these approaches.

This is worth discussing because people who share housework fairly are happier in their relationships. Those who know exactly who is doing what and do not constantly renegotiate or leave it to chance are even happier. So create a cleaning plan, just like you did in the flatshare, and bring love back to a shine! And don’t forget the so-called mental load. Because this problem really burdens every relationship.

2. Show staying power!

A recent German study found that two-thirds of all parents sometimes feel overwhelmed by their role as parents and that almost three-quarters find the expectations of parents today higher than those of the previous generation of parents. A quarter found the pressure in the immediate vicinity of friends and family to be particularly high.

After all, mothers in Germany feel that life is just as good 10 to 18 years after the birth of their child as it used to be, and fathers were even happier at this point than before the birth. So: persevere, it will get better again!

3. Show more love!

When McDonald’ launched the slogan “I love it!” in Germany in 2003. introduced, a public discussion flared up about what love actually is. Whether one can ennoble something as vile as a one-euro burger with this noble word reserved for the highest feelings. That was the reason to take a closer look at the different uses of declarations of love in Germany and the USA. In both countries, couples say “I love you” most frequently (almost 80 percent said this “often”).

Also Read: 8 Rules For Perfect Fathers

But beware: married couples were not counted as lovers in the survey! And they behave very differently: Only 40 percent do this “often”. The study also found that 80 percent of Germans prefer non-verbal declarations of love, compared to just 45 percent of Americans. Perhaps also because Germans perceive “I love you” as much more formal and weighty than Americans hear “I love you”. And then how do you say it correctly?

Nothing endangers the partnership as much as a baby

According to the survey, a heartfelt display of love includes hugs, kisses, smiles, eye contact, and sincerity. Physical contact was more important to the US subjects, to the German’s noticeable sincerity and eye contact.

And where do you say “I love you”? Basically, it is heard everywhere, with Americans also mentioning public spaces (e.g. birthday or high school parties), Germans prefer togetherness. Not entirely unjustly, Germans complained about the inflationary use of the verb “to love” and at the same time the high cultural pressure to “love” everything possible (and not just to like it). So you are not asked to love everything and everyone. But only now and then when you feel it anyway. By the way, these are the 5 biggest relationship killers.

Looking forward to good news together!

How do you know if you should stay with your partner? In their reaction to the good news! Would you like an example? At work, Lisa is put in charge of an important project. Her husband Torge now has 4 options:

  • Passive-constructive: He can react in a friendly but disinterested manner: “That’s nice.” And then look at the phone again. This behavior is called “passive-constructive”. It is perceived as indifferent. The response is positive (constructive) but disinterested (passive). Now you might be thinking: what a dumbass! But it gets even worse:
  • Passive-destructive: Here Torge answers: “Aha. And shall I tell you what happened in our company today?” When you read that, you think: Nobody reacts that stupidly. But that’s not true. How often are we basically just busy with ourselves, wanting to tell what moves us, wanting pity or recognition? This happens particularly quickly when you’ve stressed yourself or when the relationship has become pretty commonplace and you think you know the other inside and out. Or also when the living environments are very different, for example when one parent is at home with the child.
  • Active-destructive: Torge could also react in an overtly hostile manner. However, this often does not appear hostile to those affected, but rather constructive. Example: “Are you sure you can do this?” Of course, such a remark may actually be because Torge thinks Lisa is overwhelmed at her current job. Possible. However, it is much more likely that fear is behind it. For example, he fears that she will now be able to spend even less time with him. Both the passive and the active-destructive reaction are experienced as pejorative. The fourth and best option is to rejoice.
  • Active-constructive: This describes positive feedback that also contains additional encouragement. Like, “Hey, that’s great. You worked hard for that!” There are people who say such sentences all by themselves. not others. In general, it is about showing trust and confidence.
The partnership is torn apart by everyday life with the children: advice can also help here

The partnership is torn apart by everyday life with the children: advice can also help here

Unfortunately, many of us rarely open door number 4 in everyday life. Our relationship satisfaction increases when the partner reacts positively to good news. Therapists often focus on how to behave better in crises. But most relationships do not primarily consist of problems but above all of everyday life and positive moments.

How a partner reacts to the good news is therefore often a better indicator of whether a couple is separating than their behavior during arguments or their willingness to support the other in difficult situations. People with partners who respond actively-constructively to the good news are happier, more satisfied with their relationships, fight less, and have more fun together. What can we do with this knowledge now?

If you get the impression that your partner is talking to you in an active-destructive way because she actually doesn’t think you’re up to much, that’s a bad sign. Living with someone who constantly looks down on you brings little joy and eventually makes you less confident in yourself.
If you think your partner means well and just can’t find the right words, read this article with her or just send her the link.

If you want to do something good for your relationship, make sure to react actively and constructively yourself. Because what some of us initially see as “applied a bit thick” and with almost American faux enthusiasm is just what we would actually like to say to the people we like: “Great job – congratulations – that will definitely work – and If you need support, you can count on me.”

5. Just get started!

Hundreds of married couples were asked a total of 4 times at intervals of 9 months about their satisfaction, how they treated each other, and the effects of one component on the other. It should be clarified: Did the satisfaction at a certain survey time influence the communication either at this or the next survey time? Or was it the other way around, i.e. did communication today affect satisfaction today and/or satisfaction 9 months from now?

The good news: Satisfaction affects communication now and in the future. And communication impacts happiness now and in the future. The bad news: the level of impact in both directions was almost identical. In other words, most happy couples are friendly to each other, but couples who are friendly to each other are not always happy. That means we can now either be disappointed that the chicken and the egg were there at the same time, so to speak. Or you can be happy that it almost doesn’t matter where you start. Increase your relationship satisfaction and communication will improve. Which in turn has a positive impact on relationship satisfaction. Or improve your communication and relationship satisfaction will increase.

And what if the relationship doesn’t work out?

“Better an end with horror than a horror without end”, one hears again and again. But when the time comes, hardly anyone likes to separate. Especially not after a long relationship. The reason is usually the familiarity, maybe also the children and the finances. There is also the fear of never finding a partner again.

On the other hand, you might know that feeling of being lost in yourself. The social psychologist Eli Finkel developed the thesis that persistently high demands on each other lead to a kind of “lack of oxygen” in the marriage in the long run. To the feeling of suffocating. But does a separation help?

In any case, Finkel does not interpret the results of a study in which he was involved in this way: in interviews with several hundred students and in the evaluation of diary entries, it turned out that after separation, those affected had a significantly lower level of clarity about their own ego – the so-called “self-concept” reported. That means: In the togetherness of the relationship, we also develop a clearer picture of who we ourselves are. Without a counterpart, our idea of ​​who we are suffers.

So what can we conclude from the information? It is likely that we will feel more insecure about ourselves, at least immediately after a breakup. So separation is not necessarily the best solution for dissatisfaction in the relationship. On the other hand, Finkel’s contribution makes it abundantly clear that mutual claims that are consistently felt to be excessive pose a problem that needs to be solved. Just possibly not necessarily by “hop or top”.

Order here: The relationship compass. What scientists have discovered about the secret of love and partnership. The conclusion of all studies (EMF Verlag)

Conclusion: You can work on dissatisfaction in the relationship

Don’t despair if things aren’t going 100 percent smoothly as a young father in your partnership at the moment. Instead, it pays to deal intensively with the topic – and stick with it!

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