8 New Mom Stresses -- and How to Relieve Them

I'm Worried About My Marriage

romance

Betsy Everitt

"What about my marriage? I'm worried we'll turn into sex-starved zombies who never discuss anything but the baby."

"Babies have a tendency to be wonderful, joyful, big old sex killers," Dr. Saltz admits. "So this one you really do have to fight." But, she adds, you can -- and should! -- carve out time for your relationship. Before my son was even born, my husband and I vowed to have regular Saturday date nights. We also made it a rule (this is key) to talk about baby stuff as little as possible. Sometimes days go by where you feel like you haven't said two words to each other, and that can quickly chip away at your closeness. Not ready to leave your baby yet? Then have a date chez vous. Order a nice dinner after baby goes to bed, bust open a bottle of wine, and chat by candlelight. "Whatever you decide to do, remember that it needs to be a regular deal," Dr. Saltz advises. "It's hard to keep a relationship strong on a couple of hours a month."

As for sex, well...that can be a tougher issue. Hey, you're exhausted! The only thing you likely want to do in bed is sleep. "And if your baby is literally on you most of the day, cuddling and nursing," Dr. Saltz says, "by nighttime you may be 'touched out.'" Her suggestion: Ask your hubby to take some of the physical load (giving the baby a bottle, holding him when he's fussy) so you don't get burned out. And, as unromantic as it sounds, "pick a night when, darn it, you're going to have sex no matter what," Dr. Saltz adds. "Even if you have zero interest, the desire will follow once you start. Many new parents find that once they get their sex life back on track, it becomes a haven, something they seek out because it's just about the two of them."

Originally published in the July 2008 issue of American Baby magazine.

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