5 Things Not to Say to Your Pregnant Wifeby Katlyn Joy | June 3, 2012 7:15 PM
When your wife is expecting, it can seem like running a gauntlet just to have a simple conversation. Fatigue, mood swings from hormone shifts, pregnancy related physical ailments and simple emotional stress from all the changes can make your partner seem like a new (and often much less pleasant) person.
However, it is important to maintain communication between spouses. All the upheaval that a pregnancy, and even more so, a baby brings can strain a relationship if you do not keep in close contact.
Remember to speak directly and truthfully but with kindness and tact, especially during such an emotionally sensitive time as pregnancy. Your feelings and opinions are of course of equal consideration in your partnership, but you may have to give your spouse some extra space and understanding until after she has recovered from the pregnancy and childbirth.
Of course, follow the rules. Avoid saying loading phrases that begin with, "You always," or "I never." These statements are almost always conversation poison.
Don't focus on listing everything that's wrong or you don't like. Instead use the time-tested "When this happens, I feel..." type of statement. It doesn't sound accusatory but is just as honest.
Make sure you are listening closely to your spouse. If she is giving you a full barrage of complaints or is venting at a time you cannot listen, such as while driving or during work, then tell her you'll call back when you can. If it's the moment you pop in the door after work, ask if you all can sit down and fully discuss it all after you've had a chance to relax just a bit because you want to give her your full attention.
Of course, when it's time to talk, be sure and listen. Pay attention not only to her words but her body language. Then to be certain you understand what she is saying, take a moment every few statements to reflect what you heard back to her. "So what you are saying is you feel overwhelmed by all the household chores and wish I'd take more initiative to do things around the house. Is that right?"
Having a strong relationship is dependent on having strong communication skills. Whatever you do, however much the stress, do not get pulled into shouting, name-calling, or total retreat. If you need to take a timeout, do so but not for an inordinate amount of time. Shutting down all communication to avoid a blow up only delays the blow up in reality.
Beyond that, there are some sure fire ways to tick off an expectant partner. These are things that you should avoid repeating at any cost.
1. How much weight have you gained? While you may have been asking out of simple, non-judgemental curiosity, she will hear only one thing; You are fat. So for the sake of the peace of your home, avoid any such statements:
- Are you sure it's not twins?
- Do you know for sure about your due date?
- How much weight are you supposed to gain?
- Why don't you eat a salad instead?
- You look like you're gonna pop any second.
2. You shouldn't do that. The doctor no doubt has warned your wife about all hazardous foods, medicines and activities and unless she is reckless and troubled, she will try to abide by all those. If you aren't certain it's a dangerous thing, approaching it as "You better not," is a certain argument starter.
3. Did you see (latest celebrity to give birth or be pregnant) on (whatever TV show)? She looks amazing! This is risking bodily harm to speak aloud. In fact, you should sit silently if any such celebrity appears on television while you watch together. Don't say anything unless asked directly.
4. You don't want to get that procedure or take those drugs during labor or delivery. We want a natural birth. Watch speaking as if you were the one pushing out a baby from a small orifice. You may ask questions and carefully and tactfully offer your opinions, but realize unless it's your privates on that table, you don't make the final decision.
5. Eww. Or yikes. Or even offering a giggle when you look at your wife's blossoming figure. Some men find their wife's pregnant body sexy while others feel rather unisexual during pregnancy. Find a way to show your love for her in physical ways even if that doesn't for a time include sex. Make sure she feels beautiful as well, and whatever you do, don't show admiration for another female figure in her presence.
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