What are some things I can do to help make things better?
Published on: 11-22-2023
Q. My wife and I have been married about five years and recently had a baby. The baby has completely changed the energy of our marriage. Sometimes I feel like my wife is overwhelmed by the new responsibilities and feels like she will never be able to breathe again. What are some things I can do to help make things better?
A. Thank you for the level of empathy you show for your wife in your question. At this time your relationship is going through one of the most crucial transitions in marriage, from just being the two of you (dyad), to becoming a triad since a third helpless person joined your duet. It is quite natural to feel like you’ve lost all the free space in your lives.
It is essential, though, to realize that everything you do in your marriage relationship going forward, will either feel like relief or an added burden to your wife’s very stressed current reality.
You may want to consider doing a few of the following points we are sharing, to help ease some of the burden your wife is experiencing during this difficult time. To be sure, if you make things better for your wife, you will also be making things better for yourself in the process:
Take care of some of your wife’s most difficult chores without being asked
to do so. If she usually does the cooking and takes out the trash, beat her to it and lighten her burden.
On a particular stressful day for your wife, surprise her by ordering lunch
from her favorite take-out place. It is a nice way to show your love and concern for her, while helping to pick-up her mood for the remainder of the day.
Get her a gift she mentioned in passing but would never buy for herself. It
doesn’t need to be a big expensive gift, as long as it is something she’s always wanted and can use right now.
Plan a date to do something she’s always wanted to do but hasn’t been able
to since the baby arrived. Take care of the logistics by finding a trusted relative or friend to stay with your baby while you go on your date. This is a good way to communicate it’s still possible to breathe and take a break while dealing with the rigors of being first-time parents.
Write your wife a heart-felt romantic note on a beautiful card by telling her
how much you love her and appreciate all the sacrifices she’s made to have this child with you. Tell her how excited you are about parenting with her, and the things you’re looking forward to doing together as a family in the days ahead. Leave the card in a place where she’s bound to find it and make it a regular habit to send her romantic notes. Of course, you may also send her a text message. These recurring reminders will warm her heart and give her hope for the future.
We hope that by making this list a dynamic part of your ongoing love and care for your wife, your lives will be enriched, your experience as parents enhanced, helping to make this time of your lives a special and unforgettable one.
Also be encouraged by these words of Scripture: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isa. 41:10). Remain encouraged and faithful!
Bible references are from the English Standard Version.
Willie Oliver, PhD, CFLE an ordained minister, pastoral counselor, family sociologist and certified family life educator, is director for the Department of Family Ministries at the world headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. OliverW@gc.adventits.org
Elaine Oliver, PhDc, LCPC, CFLE a licensed clinical professional counselor, educational psychologist and certified family life educator, is associate director for the Department of Family Ministries at the world headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. OliverE@gc.adventist.org