Break-Ups Are Common In A Baby’s First Year. Let’s Talk About It

You’re sleep deprived, the baby is crying and now, your partner is driving you up the wall. It happens.

Forget every postcard-perfect picture you’ve ever seen of new parents, because the reality is, it’s tough. Relationships often struggle in the first 12 months on a new addition and yes, they do sometimes break down completely.

Sheridan Smith’s split from her fiancé, Jamie Horn, is a reminder of this. In a statement, the couple said they’re committed to raising their one-year-old son, but have “decided to have some time apart”.

Deciding to walk away – or simply acknowledging relationship problems – is not easy. So, wouldn’t it be a tiny bit better if we removed the stigma and just talked about it?

It’s common for the dynamic of a relationship to change once you have kids, says Clare Faulkner, a psychosexual and relationship psychotherapist accredited with the College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists. In fact, it’s to be expected.

“I think it would be prudent to assume that it happens in any relationship, because we’re moving from a dyad to a triad – we are moving from two to three, or even four – so that is going to impact the relationship space, whether we deem it as positive or negative,” Faulkner tells HuffPost UK.

New parents have to navigate the switch from “who you were as an individual or a couple, to who you are now in this new role,” she adds. This perceived shift in identity is a common challenge for both parties in the first year.

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