Many years ago, we faced a similar challenge in our relationship when my wife became pregnant with our first child. We always had a loving, intimate connection. But as her body changed through the pregnancy, I seemed to lose my attraction to her physically. I could see it in the way I looked at her and responded to her touches. Initially, we both felt hurt and rejected.
We worried that our relationship would suffer and we’d lose that special spark forever. Those fears ate away at our self-esteem, which was already a bit shaky with all the hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy. After discussing with some close friends who’d had babies, we realized our situation was more common than we’d thought. That helped put us at ease a bit, knowing we weren’t alone. But we still wanted to regain that closeness with each other. We decided to take some proactive steps, focusing first on open communication between us.
It’s Normal for Attraction to Change
When we found out about the pregnancy, we noticed that our level of intimacy and attraction seemed to change. At first, we both worried that there was something wrong in our relationship or that one of us wasn’t attracted to the other anymore. However, we came to realize that it’s completely normal for attraction and intimacy to fluctuate during pregnancy.
The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can have a significant impact on libido and desire for both partners. For the person carrying the baby, the fatigue, nausea, and body aches can decrease interest in being intimate. On the other hand, the partner may feel nervous about the pregnancy and see the physical changes in the body, which can also affect their libido.
Understanding that these changes were due to hormones and not a lack of attraction helped us both stay confident in our relationship. We learned that the ups and downs of hormones can make us feel distant from each other at times, but it’s temporary. By focusing on open communication and emotional intimacy, we were able to navigate through this challenging season and strengthen our bond.
Have an Open Conversation
Pregnancy can be an emotional rollercoaster, so it’s important to communicate openly and honestly with your partner. Set aside time to have a calm, thoughtful discussion. Avoid blaming your partner or making accusations. Instead, focus on sharing your feelings in a caring way.
You could start by saying something like, “I’ve noticed you seem less physically affectionate lately. It makes me feel insecure about myself and our relationship.” Then ask how your partner is feeling. There may be needs or concerns you’re unaware of. Listen openly as your partner shares their perspective.
Make it clear you aren’t expecting intimacy if your partner doesn’t desire it. But explain physical touch still matters, whether it’s hand-holding, hugging or cuddling. You want to maintain an emotional as well as physical connection during this transition.
Suggest trying new positions or incorporating toys that are comfortable for your changing body. Be patient and keep communicating. With understanding on both sides, you can find ways to be affectionate that fulfill both your needs. Most importantly, remember your bond goes beyond physical intimacy. Nurture appreciation and support for the amazing thing your bodies are capable of together.
Make Time for Intimacy
It’s easy to get distracted by all the changes and busyness of pregnancy and new parenthood. But it’s important to still make time for just the two of you as partners. Set aside a few hours each week for date nights – even if that just means snuggling on the couch together or going for a walk. Give each other massages to stay physically connected. Prioritize intimacy by putting it on your calendars so it doesn’t get overlooked.
Having this dedicated couple time helps you stay emotionally close, even as your bodies are going through changes. Remind yourselves that you’re more than just parents – you’re still lovers and life partners. Reconnect through thoughtful talks, enjoying little moments together, and being affectionate. Make your relationship a priority. The intimacy you invest in now will continue strengthening your bond after your baby arrives.
Focus on Emotional Connection
During pregnancy, it’s so important for expectant parents to connect on an emotional level. This goes beyond physical intimacy. Really listen when your partner shares their hopes, dreams and fears about the future with your new baby. Open up about your own worries too – it will bring you closer.
Have relaxed, judgment-free conversations where you can be vulnerable. Share what you’re thinking and feeling without fear of rejection. That builds trust and understanding between you. Compliment each other, say sweet things, and reaffirm your commitment.
Do little things to show you care, like bringing home her cravings or giving a foot rub after a long day. Make her feel loved, supported and appreciated for all the changes she’s going through to bring your child into the world. This will deepen your bond immensely.
When you connect emotionally, physical attraction finds its way back too. But don’t make it the focus – let it happen organically. Nurture your relationship in other ways and the rest will follow.
Appreciate the Changes
It’s important for both partners to appreciate the changes happening during pregnancy. While it may seem superficial, complementing each other and practicing body positivity can go a long way. Tell your partner when they are looking good, feeling confident, or doing something you find attractive. And don’t forget to give yourself some compliments too!
This is a special and transformative time, so focus on the positives. Sometimes simple affirmations about appearance can boost confidence and intimacy. Remind your partner and yourself that you are beautiful, radiant, glowing, etc. It may feel awkward at first, but positive body image is so important right now.
Try not to dwell on any insecurities, as pregnancy changes are temporary. Instead, foster acceptance and appreciation for yourself and your partner. This foundation of mutual care and respect will serve your relationship now and long after your baby arrives.
Try New Things
A pregnancy body needs creativity and flexibility when it comes to intimacy. Don’t be afraid to try new things to keep your sex life exciting. Explore different positions that feel comfortable and pleasurable as your body changes. Using pillows for extra support can open up options. Adult toys and props allow for arousal and satisfaction without putting too much pressure on your pregnant belly. Roleplaying and costumes let you reinvent your sexual dynamic and discover new erogenous zones beyond the obvious ones. Making intimacy playful and experimental again can help reignite that spark when attraction starts to wane. Approach your love life with a spirit of adventure and you may just find that pregnancy sex is the hottest ever!
Get Professional Help
If talking openly and trying new things doesn’t seem to be helping, it may be worthwhile to seek counseling. A therapist can help you and your partner navigate this challenging time in your relationship by:
- Facilitating productive conversations in a neutral environment
- Teaching strategies for coping with difficult emotions like rejection, shame, sadness
- Identifying unhealthy patterns of relating and communication
- Exploring any underlying personal or psychological issues getting in the way of intimacy
- Helping you see each other’s perspectives more clearly
- Setting goals and assignments to slowly rebuild intimacy and attraction
- Referring you to medical or sexual health professionals if needed
Counseling takes courage, but it can lead to tremendous healing. Having a compassionate third party guide you through this tricky transition can set your relationship up for long-term success. Don’t be afraid to get the help you need during this vulnerable time. Your relationship is worth fighting for.
Remember What Matters
It can be easy to get caught up in frustrations over physical intimacy when you’re pregnant. But remember that your relationship is built on so much more than just physical attraction. The emotional connection, friendship, partnership and love you share run far deeper. Focus on cultivating those aspects of your marriage during this time.
Remind your partner and yourself about all the reasons you fell in love in the first place. Plan romantic date nights to reconnect emotionally. Surprise each other with small gifts or words of affirmation. Make time for non-physical affection like cuddling and hand-holding. The physical side of your relationship will likely bounce back after the baby arrives. But your emotional bond will carry you through both the highs and lows.
Don’t let a temporary drop in attraction jeopardize what truly matters – your love for each other. Use this transition period to focus on the foundations of your marriage and family. If you face it together with patience and understanding, you’ll likely come out of this experience closer than ever before.
Being pregnant can be an emotional rollercoaster, full of changes and challenges. When it comes to dealing with a partner’s lack of attraction during pregnancy, open communication is key.
The physical and emotional changes happening in your body are completely normal. While it may be difficult, try to be patient and give your partner time to adjust. Focus on nurturing your emotional intimacy through this period. Make space for non-sexual physical affection if possible.
Your needs and feelings are valid too. Have an open discussion about what you both need right now to feel loved and supported. This is a temporary phase, remember your relationship is about more than just physical attraction. If efforts to reconnect don’t work, consider couples counseling to facilitate healthy communication.
Most importantly, know that you will get through this together. Keep sight of what matters most – your growing family. With understanding and effort, many couples find that this experience brings them closer over time. Stay hopeful and keep the lines of communication open. Your relationship can grow even stronger after weathering this challenging but normal transition.