Children create a new dynamic in a relationship and many changes occur. They bring a lot of joy but they also bring a lot of stress. The time that was shared by the two of you is now shared by the three of you with most of the attention going to the little addition causing feelings of resentment and jealousy. Three is a crowd so they say.
A study published recently in the journal of the American Medical Association found that up to 10% of new dads feel baby blues stressors which can lead to tired, fragmented conversations in which neither of the parents feels like any real exchange occurred. This lack of communication can breed feelings of jealousy and resentment, especially when paired with the sleep deprivation that comes with an infant. Jealousy is a natural distinctive emotion that everyone experiences at one point in life, and when it comes to new parents, Post Baby Jealousy Is Common according to experts, a fact backed by Laura Silverstein of Main Line Counseling partners stating that 67% of couples report Decreased Marital Happiness after the birth of a child so you are truly not alone but focussing on your relationship can help you become part of the 33% who are just as happy if not happier than before.
Signs your husband is jealous of the baby
Jealousy is ingrained in a threat of a third party and with husbands, that third party seems to be the only additional party in the house. The new baby. This isn’t to say that for one minute dada doesn’t adore that cuddly munchkin every bit as mama does but just that now a little someone is getting all the attention and who wouldn’t be jealous of that anyways? For further verification, consider these signs that he is jealous of the baby.
A common denominator among new parents is lack of sleep which, aside from creating overwhelming weariness, can manifest in raw emotions too. Thankfully, most anger flare-ups are quickly followed by an apology and “I am just exhausted,” and all is quickly forgiven.
On the other hand, a husband who is feeling jealous could snap up without offering that immediate apology because they are looking for their comments to sting and it has nothing to do with sleep deprivation and more to do with anger that irrational jealousy creates. They can’t yell at the baby so mom is the next best thing to lash out at. It is childish but that’s what jealousy makes the husband do.
They take passive-aggressive to a new level
Referred to as ” sugar-coated hostility”, passive-aggressive behavior is a way of avoiding conflict while simultaneously generating conflict. A husband experiencing pangs of jealousy will crank up the sarcasm and snide remarks that can be hurtful and cause more trauma.
They can power up this behavior by belittling everything the partner does.
They might appear like they want to help but in reality, the jealous husband hopes they will be called in at the last minute to fix things and just like that get to be a hero and reclaim their number one status around the house. Calmly call him out and let them and get him to search deep why he is acting like that and that it is not appreciated.
Six weeks is the official recommendation from the OB-GYN postpartum sex in which time, mom’s body is getting back to balance after the pregnancy and also nurturing that baby around the clock. Finally, when things have settled and you are ready to be with your husband, that’s when he is suddenly exhausted or has a terrible headache.
That might be true but your husband could also be withholding intimacy as a way of punishment for the attention deprivation he has experienced. Psychologically he could also be afraid of how things might have changed. Ironically, the act of intimacy is one sure-fire way to get over those jealous feelings.
He becomes way too clingy
That moment when the baby drifts off to slumber and is the perfect ” me time” but that’s when you might notice a jealous husband coming at you from all angles because he feels that since the baby is quiet, it’s time for him to reinforce his role as a supportive spouse.
That’s nice but they can be way too clingy and all that hovering and soothing strokes is the opposite of withholding intimacy but the goal is the same. The jealous husband is desperate to get noticed.
He becomes anti-social
Inviting friends and family over is the next step once a couple has settled into the routine of a new baby. Most jealous husbands are going to beg off on those engagements because it’s just another way for the baby to get all the attention.
And if you coarse the jealous husband into attending the occasion, be sure they will be huddled off to a corner where they can escape all the adoration being heaped on the baby and this kind of brooding can quickly ruin what could have been a wonderful sharing occasion. You will now have to look out for the baby and your husband to make sure they are both happy.
Other signs your husband is jealous of the baby
Other signs that clearly show your husband is jealous of the baby include
- Your husband is becoming overly competitive.
- He might try to shoot down the achievements of the baby with a series of snarky comments.
- Your husband will display a longing look of sadness during breastfeeding.
- A jealous husband will resort to fishing for praise when a simple task is completed. “So, what do you think of how I folded the laundry, huh?”.
- Your husband starts to put himself down. Jealousy can spin back to the jealous party and cause them to put themselves down.
- When your husband starts seeking validation outside of the home, like spending more time with the boys at the club.
- He starts to doubt his parenting skills even though nature demands that babies become mom-centric.
- When your husband goes out and buys himself a toy, a car, a drone, or something, after all, the baby is receiving all those presents for just being a baby?
- Another symptom of jealousy in husbands is him procrastinating with the baby stuff. Why should he put together that rocking chair when the baby doesn’t even thank him?
How to prevent husband’s jealousy with baby
Fortunately, taming this ugly green-eyed monster is doable. The most effective tip is to guard against jealousy at every juncture and work to subdue it both before and after your bundle of joy has arrived as shown below
- Put it on the table. Before the baby arrives, assess your romantic relationship when considering a new addition to the family. Go over your goals together and be realistic about how a baby will change all those.
- Do the math. Are you financially prepared? Babies are expensive to keep. Jealousy is often fueled by a husband working long hours without time to spend with the baby or better yet you. Consider solutions like working part-time, daycare, or creating a home-based business.
- Adjust expectations. Prepare your husband for the impending new arrival. Explain to him that you won’t have as much time to devote to his needs since you’ll be busy caring for the junior. Try to anticipate stressors that might lead to jealousy since you’ll both be less available once the baby arrives, but a simple affirmation each day can make a big change.
- Date night. Make a game plan to carve out your couple’s time together and stick to it. Pre-planned weekly dates are ideal since you are both likely to stick to a set schedule. Arrange for a babysitter or involve the grandparents, and in that way, you can have time to indulge in a couple’s time. This can be anything from a fancy dinner at your favorite restaurant to a movie rental. You can even exercise as a couple. The goal is to spend one on one time together.
- Stay on track. Couples time is essential in a healthy relationship, and because it is tempting to spend every second with your baby and shut out the rest of the world, your husband being the biggest culprit, sticking to the game plan you created earlier, no matter how tough it is to will be beneficial in reducing frictions that may create jealousy tendencies even if it means calling for reinforcement when feeling overwhelmed. Leaving your baby behind will undoubtedly trigger some anxiety, but it is a positive idea to let a trusted family member watch her while you two nab some much-needed catch-up time.
- Encourage involvement. The best way for your husband to diminish his jealous tendencies is by building an independent relationship with his baby. Let him take charge of the baby’s dinners, baths, and bedtime stories while you fix him a cup of coffee to ensure that both of you are bonding with your baby separately. Encourage your husband to talk to you if he still feels left out or reach out to other husbands who have had a similar experience as well.
In the chaos of preparing for a new baby, it’s easy to overlook that one person who is most important to prepare, your husband. It’s best when a light can be shone on them too even though it may seem at times that with all these peevish jealous behavior you are dealing with a second child.
Don’t be discouraged by a little jealousy, it’s more common than you think and a temporary setback. A heart-to-heart conversation should help settle things up. Take heed of the advice above and you’ll both soon be enjoying your baby’s arrival and each other together.