Relationship pressure from a dads viewpoint
The factors that cause relationship pressure from a dads point of view and how couples need to ensure that they are communicating
Once you embark on the roller coaster of being a parent your relationship with your partner is suddenly redefined. As mums, we often discuss the stresses and strains on our relationship with friends. But we are not the only ones in this partnership. Relationship pressure from a dad’s view is something that we do not talk about so much. Unfortunately, dads can sometimes be very much the forgotten side of the partnership! Yet in a recent study by the National Childbirth Trust, they discovered that 39% of dads suffered from postnatal depression, that’s 1 in 3.
So at a time when mental health is very much in the news why do so many men choose to keep quiet? Included in this would be my partner. He never talks about the pressure on our relationship that having a family has caused. The dads that I spoke to had very similar concerns and worries.
Worries and concerns
One of the biggest pressures that the dads all felt was the concern that they had for their partners. When we as women should be leaning on our men for support, we are actually pushing them away. This, in turn, is causing them to worry about the pressure that we are putting on ourselves to be perfect. What the dads wanted was to be able to take some of the burden off of our shoulders. Unfortunately, our own idealised perception that we have to do it all perfectly and alone is one of the key factors causing relationship pressure for our men!
Lack of control and relationship pressure
The sudden lack of control that dads feel they have over their own lives is another primary cause of relationship pressure. Children make life unpredictable, we all know this. Plans often shelved at a moment’s notice. Men seem to find this particularly hard to deal with. Often it’s their partners that feel the brunt of this loss of control over their lives. Men crave the control to come and go as they please at a moment’s notice. But now there is childcare to arrange or the packing of stuff to take with you on an outing.
Before you were a family you probably took for granted the time you spent together as a couple. I know I did! Now even grabbing a simple coffee together takes more forward planning than invading a small country! This puts tremendous pressure on not only dads but mothers too. For the first few months, your relationship really does take a backseat while you try to survive. But once you have settled into some sort of routine, there needs to be time to be a couple. Not only will this strengthen your relationship with your partner but it will also ensure that you are both the best possible parents that you can be
Even in the 21st century many of the dads I spoke to still felt the pressure to provide for their family. Households are run on the basis of having two incomes and both partners working. The sudden drop in income when one partner stays at home with the children seems to cause men huge relationship pressure. Even at a time when women have broken into almost every male-dominated area and earn good pay, our dads still felt that they had to take on the burden of providing for the whole family alone. They are suddenly thrown back to the 1950s when that is what life was like.
After talking to some wonderful and devoted fathers, it appears to me that both mums and dads have the same worries. We have the same concerns about our changing relationship after having a family. We are scared of losing the partner that we fell in love with long before there was the tiny pitter-patter of feet.
I believe relationship pressure is caused by our need to be perfect and to have a perfect life! The constant bombardment of images on social media of the perfect home, relationship, and family are all we see. Yet what we forget is that these are tiny snippets of these lives. What we need to remind ourselves of each time we look at these images is that the truth is nobody’s life is that perfect!!!