Cat The Cupid

April 6, 2017

I’ve given birth to my first child in the last 6 months and I’m finding it hard reignite the intimacy in my relationship with my husband…

Firstly, congratulations on bub! Welcome to the club of unconditional love and lack of sleep. Lack of sleep and the total change in your entire being makes it really normal and natural for you not to feel like being intimate with your husband. Some people bounce back into this with ease (no pun intended) but for most women, your focus is totally on the baby for the foreseeable future. You’re also sleep deprived, your hormones are doing crazy things, and if you’re breastfeeding, you might feel uncomfortable with the idea of him touching them.

Unfortunately, men can’t possibly understand this and may not respond well to rejection. Many men report feeling unloved and rejected in these first couple of years, and statistically, it’s when a majority of relationships end.

It is a very difficult one, but my best advice is to try and separate your role as a mother to your relationship with your husband. I’m not suggesting you jump into sex, but perhaps there are other ways you can show intimacy for now. Think of it as a ‘gift’ to him and something which will keep you bonded together during this transitional time. It’s a bit like going to the gym. You put it off and put it off, but once you’re there, it’s not too bad and you might actually get into it. If you really can’t bring yourself to be intimate in any way for now, find other ways to assure him that you love him as much as ever, your heart has room for both him and the baby, and ask him to be patient with you while your body catches up.

Why is it that after divorce/ break up couple friends feel they have to choose one over the other?

I think it can just be awkward for everybody if you both stay friends with the same people, because there is ongoing potential for drama when it comes to parties, weddings and get togethers. If you’ve both stayed friends with the same person – then that person needs to decide who to invite each time they have an event – particularly if you’ve had a bad break-up. You’d be surprised how much awkwardness there can be around things as simple as comments on social media posts. For example, a mutual friend posts a photo and you comment on it, but then your ex sees the comment and gets annoyed, offended or upset – and some people will end up ‘defriending’ the mutual friend so they don’t need to see their ex’s comments. I know people who start using their friends as a silent ‘pawn’ in their quest to seek revenge on each other. By choosing who to ‘side’ with right from the start, it saves all that drama down the road. People don’t tend to like drama or difficult decisions, and will avoid it at all costs.

If the friends were yours initially, it will probably default that you’ll stay connected with them… or at least I hope that’s the case! If you’ve got friends you made together during your relationship, I imagine that could be awkward. Decide who’s really important to you and have a chat to them about what they mean to you and why you’d like to stay connected. Good luck!

My best friend’s boyfriend cheated on her and she forgave him but I am struggling to forgive him myself. What should I do?

I hear you, and I’m probably not a great one to give advice on this, because I’ve been there and I didn’t cope well. When I lived in New York, I had a good friend who had a long, ongoing saga because she was sleeping with a married man (which I didn’t approve of at all, but I really liked hanging out with this girl), and he kept changing his mind about whether or not to leave his wife, breaking both womens’ hearts in the process. When I met her for drinks, he would turn up and I would just leave. I was so angry at him that I couldn’t trust myself not to say something to him and make my friend angry at me in the process. Today, they’re happily married with a child and I still can’t bring myself to look at him when I see their photos online.

So my only advice is to just love and support your friend through her choices. Unfortunately in these types of situations, if you slam the boyfriend and later they get serious, she will always know you don’t approve and potentially hold it against you – mainly because of her own embarrassment or shame. Of course you can tell her that you think she deserves much better; to be in a relationship with someone who shows her dedication and respect; but that you love her and will be there for her no matter what. We’ve all made stupid decisions, and it’s good to know that our best friends will love us and be there for us regardless.

I once read a quote that if you don’t like your friend’s new boyfriend, you’ve got a week to tell her and convince her to leave him, because after that, she’ll choose him over you. I’ve always remembered that when it comes to judging my friends’ taste in partners. Hopefully he’ll turn over a new leaf and they’ll be good as gold from now on… Otherwise, be ready to crack out the vino.

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