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          Don’t Let Having a Baby Ruin Your Marriage

          September 06, 2002

          Becoming a parent brings new joys as well as new stresses into a couple’s life. Partners might disagree over the division of added responsibilities or feel neglected because the baby is getting all of their spouse’s attention. Dr. Phil offers the following advice for parents who fear that having a baby could ruin their relationship.

          • Renegotiate your relationship.
            Make a plan. Set a division of labor, time management, and make a commitment to having fun and recreation in your life. Write it down and hold yourself accountable.

          • Use reprogramming instead of willpower.
            Willpower is a myth. It will not carry you for the long haul. Having children is a huge privilege and an awesome responsibility. You want your life to work so that when the emotion isn’t there, the programming carries you.

          • Remember that you have two roles.
            You are both a mother and a wife or a father and a husband. You must make a pact that you will not stop being friends and lovers just because you are moms and dads. You must take care of yourself and your spouse if you want to take the best care of your child.

          • Children join your life.
            As parents, you don't join your child's life, they join yours. You need to be a couple and integrate your child into your relationship. You were together before your child, and you'll be together after.

          • Don't fight in front of your children.
            That's just wrong! The more you fight, the more they think that you're fighting about them. They can feel your negative energy, and that's not the environment you want for your children.

          • Remember the formula for a successful relationship.
            The quality of a relationship is dependent upon the strength of its foundation and whether it meets the needs of the two people involved.

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