Who said that pregnancy affects only the woman? The expectation of a child changes the life of a couple who is preparing for a life in three …
The pregnancy may be an event which impacts differently on women – who lives as a protagonist – and on her partner who observes from outside events and feel at times confused and unrelated to an event of which can immediately feel part.
Because both partners are able to be balanced and tight at this stage, sometimes it takes time.
Couple life and pregnancy
The beginning of pregnancy represents the appearance of an unknown factor in the life of a couple both for her and for him.
The expectation of the 9 months is not just a physiological time that allows the child to form and grow, pregnancy is also a time of psychological “gestation” in which the identity and psyche of the woman who changes also mentally prepares to make room for the idea of becoming a mother and having a baby … and the future dad ?
Apparently the pregnancy can affect it and much more closely than at first glance it might seem!
Future dads are now in the forefront …
Traditionally studies on the psychology of pregnancy have focused on the woman and the hormonal, psychological and emotional changes that the future mother is going through.
In recent years, however, the participation of men in the pregnancy of their companions has increased and future fathers often inform themselves about the stages of pregnancy, they are confronted with other men, they also go to pre-birth courses or even assist in childbirth.
This is why recently more attention has also been paid to the psychological changes that occur in men during the pregnancy of their companions and the repercussions that this waiting phase has on the life of a couple.
Pregnancy for her and for him
The pregnancy is a watershed in the life of the couple, but is often recognized as “critical” event (meaning that it generates a change) in different times and ways by the two partners.
The hormonal, physical and psychological changes associated with pregnancy lead women from the beginning to draw energy and attention to the new state in which they find themselves, facilitating, especially if it is a desired pregnancy, the awareness of the new life that is is developing, the construction of fantasies, questions and fears about the unborn child felt as a concrete presence from the early months of pregnancy.
For man it is not obvious that all this happens: he may be disturbed and confused by the pregnancy of his partner and, also depending on how she lives it, be more distracted by the attentions that she requires (and those who consequently feel be subtracted to himself) from the child to be born.
It can be difficult to deal with the construction of the future identity of a father while still not feeling up to the pregnancy of his partner and we feel maybe strangers to a world that seems understandable to “women only”.
In this regard, it has been studied how many men during the pregnancy of their partners develop the so-called “couvade syndrome”, somatizing a whole series of physical disorders that “mimic” those of pregnant women (such as nausea) halfway between empathic identification and an unconscious request for attention.
Become a mother and continue to be a woman in a couple’s life
On the other hand, the woman can be troubled by the new state she is in: no woman, at least her first child, can know in advance how pregnancy will affect her psyche in the first months and how much emotional energy she can take away from her mate and couple life.
Continuing to feel like women and partners of a loving couple while becoming mothers may not be easy, you may feel emotionally unstable, anxious for the health of the unborn child, undesirable or unattractive physically enough to also diminish sexual desire.
The man on the other hand may find himself unprepared for all these changes that have their inevitable repercussions in the life of a couple, but it may be his job to regain his partner reminding her how much she continues to be important for him as a woman as well as a future mother of his son.
From being in two to being in three: The couple that changes
Pregnancy is therefore a time that requires the couple to reorganize before waiting for the birth of the child who will become the third pole of what until now has been a relationship to two.
Putting aside the idealizing and almost always false stereotypes that see pregnancy as an idyllic and happily happy event, so that the pregnancy is a time and a psychological process shared by the couple, it is necessary that both partners can confront and dialogue on mutual experiences and fears for grow psychologically together and make a mental place, in their couple, for the child to be born.