What with Kimye and Princess Catherine and Prince William, this is a big year for babies. As we watch our favourite couples enjoy their baby bliss, we must remember the story is not always a fairy tale. One in 10 men reportedly cheat on their pregnant wives. How could this happen and is there anything couples can do to prevent it?
Pregnancy is one of life’s most momentous changes. And while it may seem unbelievable that someone who loves you would leave you when you need him the most, the book What’s Your Pregnant Man Thinking? suggests a commonly-quoted statistic — that as many as one in 10 men may stray when their spouses are pregnant — could be true. Psychologists and relationship experts have clamoured to come up with reasons why this might be. Here are just a few.
It’s in the genes
The basic gist of this argument, scoff as we might, is that men are genetically wired to deposit their seed in as many women as possible. Therefore, a few of them see their own impregnated wife as a success story and move on to repeat that success… immediately. Arguably, this is a prehistoric mindset in a modern age.
You’re having less sex
Pregnancy leaves many women with body confidence issues, plain discomfort or niggling fears that prevent couples from enjoying their “regular” sexual patterns and frequency. This may make some insecure men paranoid and they may seek to fill their unmet needs elsewhere.
He’s stressed out
A woman undergoes incredible physical and emotional changes during pregnancy and, while we’re not forgiving childbearing cheats, men have serious stress, too. But — as with an infamous case of man flu — sometimes men feel their stress and their needs are very severe and they feel neglected. Some may choose to deal with it by seeking relevance in the eyes of a new flame, however temporary and destructive this may be.
You’re going to be the mother of his children
He’s a man and he has fantasies. But now that you’re going to be the mother of his children, perhaps he wants to save you from the dirtier stuff and protect your role as a mum.
- Communicate — We cannot overemphasise the power of simple communication. Tell your spouse your fears, explain to him if your sex drive wanes or that you have body issues which have nothing to do him. Reassure him that he’s still important to you. Don’t leave any room for assumptions or unspoken hurt feelings.
- Seek counselling before there’s a problem — According to the renowned relationship charity, Relate, 61 per cent of couples do report relationship issues when a baby comes into the picture. That’s why Relate helped to create The 3 of Us, designed to help first-time parents focus on maintaining their couple relationship after having a baby.
- Stay intimate — This doesn’t mean you need to have sex if you’re not in the mood, but it does mean you should be careful to remain close and connected to your partner. Keep kissing, touching and revealing your innermost thoughts. This will surely lay a path for a happy nine months for both of you.