Become a Happy Family
If Only it Were That Easy…
The stork flies up to the tidy house, and carefully lowers the fuzzy bundle onto the porch. It pecks the doorbell with its beak, and then flaps its big wings to lift off and bank back over the white fence. The happy couple, she with her apron, he with his pipe, are delighted when they open the door. She tenderly scoops up the baby, and he puts his arm around her as they both gratefully watch the stork disappearing down their tree lined street. [Fade to happy-family-life montage with tricycle riding, birthday hats, and backyard BBQs].
Of course, if you are reading this, I know that you know that the business of bringing babies into the world is immensely more difficult and complicated.
Having children can be an amazing, thrilling, profoundly meaningful experience. Creating a family together can take your relationship to new heights of connection and joy. However, it is also very common for couples to struggle with many aspects of the baby-making experience— from deciding to have children, to actually conceiving them, to adjusting to Life-With-Small-Children.
Creating new human beings together is a complex, deeply emotional process from start to finish.
Yes? No? Maybe? When?
You may desperately want a child, or a second child, and your partner feels just as strongly that it is a bad idea. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Regardless, you can’t exactly compromise on this one. Unfortunately, what frequently happens is that couples become “gridlocked” over the issue. One says yes and the other says no. Polarization occurs, making open, productive communication on the subject very difficult.
Expert marriage counseling can help you come back to the center, and start really hearing and understanding each other again. We can help you heal the rift, find common ground, and discover new ways of thinking that can help you both feel good about your decision — one way or the other.
Fertility… and Infertility
“Baby-making sex” is not the same as lovemaking. Enduring the “two-week-wait” only to be disappointed month after month is a purgatory of disappointment. The emotional swinging through the joy of getting a positive result on a pregnancy test, through the agony of watching the pink lines fade away as days go by is horrible. And many people are profoundly traumatized by the later-pregnancy miscarriage experience — truly, the death of the child you never even got to know.
Many couples on this roller coaster eventually begin to pursue fertility treatments. IVF can be stressful, physically difficult, and expensive. Some couples may eventually need to confront the reality that having natural children together is not an option, and consider other possibilities. Sometimes couples achieve pregnancy only to find that the entire pregnancy is high-risk, and fraught with complications, anxiety, and stress. Then the birth experience itself can be traumatic, or at the very least, different from the dream you had for it.
These kinds of experiences change you, and change your relationship. Your sexual relationship changes. Physical limitations may become a reality. You may need to grieve lost hopes and dreams together. Whatever your path, the need for authentic, emotionally responsive communication becomes extremely important. This is a vulnerable time, and it is vital that you two stay connected with each other emotionally.
When you are challenged by this process you have the opportunity to learn how to be there for each other on a whole new level. Going through this together can help you create the kind of deep trust, authenticity, and emotional intimacy that is simply not possible in untested relationships.
You can come out the other side of this still holding hands, and hearts. We can show you how.
Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is trained as a Psychologist, a Marriage and Family Therapist, and is a Board Certified Life Coach. She is the Founder of Growing Self Counseling and Life Coaching in Denver, Colorado.
Dr. Bobby is the host of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast.
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Post-Partum Anxiety and Depression
And of course, some couples struggle significantly once baby is here. Postpartum depression and anxiety are very real, and no joke. There are many factors that contribute to post-partum depression, including genetics, hormones, and pre-disposition. In my experience, many women (and their partners) can be shocked by how very different having a baby is to how they expected it to be. It is normal to feel disappointed by some parts of the new-parent experience. Other new moms (or dads) find that their anxiety mushrooms into constant preoccupation and worry about their baby — to the point that it can be difficult to re-engage with life.
New parents experiencing these emotions can feel guilty, overwhelmed and trapped… and eventually sink into post-partum depression. It can also cause significant rifts in a marriage, particularly when a partner doesn’t understand what is happening.
We can help you heal from postpartum depression or anxiety, and discover the joy of parenting — together.
And Baby Makes Three
Moving from a couple to a family can be a difficult transition. All of a sudden you need to figure out who-does-what all over again, and you may come to realize that you have different expectations of each other or different approaches to parenting. Plus the things that were the foundation of your relationship at one point (spending the weekend rock-climbing, going to film festivals, or taking motorcycle trips) may no longer be part of your life for awhile. So you need to figure out how re-negotiate your relationship, and stay connected with each other — all while coping with the realities of parenting small children. Its challenging.
We can help you reassemble your relationship and find new points of connection, as you do the work of transitioning from a couple to a family.
Let Us Help You
Denver Support For Infertility, Post-Partum Depression, New Parents
Whether you’re struggling with deciding to have kids, the agony of infertility or miscarriage, postpartum depression, or making the transition to becoming a family: We can help you. We specialize in both Individual Counseling AND Marriage and Family Therapy, and know exactly how to help you through these transitions. We can help you both grow together as you travel through your own “birth process” — the one that takes you from your old life as a person… to your life as a parent.
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Relationship Advice on the Blog + Podcast
Meet a Few of Our Relationship Experts
The marriage counselor, couples therapists and premarital counselors of Growing Self have specialized training and years of experience in helping couples reconnect. We use only evidence based strategies that have been proven by research to help you restore your strong bond, and love your relationship again.
Teresa Thomas is a marriage counselor and couples therapist with years of experience in helping couples communicate more effectively, find new solutions to old problems, repair their strong bond, rebuild trust after affairs, successfully blend families, improve their sexual intimacy, and parent joyfully together. She is a couples therapist and parenting coach with a positive, solution focused style who specializes in helping you both make positive changes to your life, as well as to your relationship.
Meagan Terry is a relationship specialist. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over nine years of experience in helping couples reconnect, and enjoy each other again. She uses effective, evidence based forms of marriage counseling including Emotionally-Focused Couples Therapy and The Gottman Method. In addition to working one-on-one with couples, she teaches our Lifetime of Love premarital and relationship class.
M. A., LMFTC
Seth Bender is a marriage and family therapist with specialized training and experience in helping couples heal their relationships, improve communication, release resentments, and achieve new levels of enjoyment and fulfillment with each other. He practices Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy to help you strengthen your bond, as well as positive, empowering and solution focused coaching strategies to help you both take positive action in your relationship.
M. S., ASORC
Dori is a kind, empathetic couples counselor, individual therapist, and life coach who specializes in sex therapy, and helping couples create healthy emotional and sexual intimacy. Her friendly style makes it safe to talk about anything, and her solution-focused approach helps you move past the past, and into a bright new future of intimacy and connection.
Amy-Noelle specializes in relationship dynamics and personal development, and has over 10 years of clinical experience in helping individuals and couples grow into the fullness of their potential. She uses the Gottman Method and also draws from Ester Perel’s work, which integrates psychodynamic, attachment, and systemic theories, as well as body-oriented and mindful therapy approaches to help you both create transformational change in yourselves and in your relationship.
Dr. Chelsea Twiss
Dr. Chelsea has specialized training in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy as well as Sex Therapy. She can help you both understand yourselves, and each other, so that you can create new, positive ways of relating that heal your bond — on every level.
M.A., N.C.C., LMFT-C
Anastacia's authentic, caring approach to marriage counseling and relationship coaching helps couples find each other's "noble intentions," and re-commit to showing each other love and respect. She can help you heal old hurts, improve your communication, restore trust, and work together as a team.
Amanda is a Marriage Counselor and Relationship Coach with a warm, gentle style that will help you both feel comfortable, respected, and understood. She has a gift for helping couples understand each other compassionately, feel emotionally safe, and start enjoying each other again.
Polly is a marriage counselor with over 25 years of experience in helping couples "come back from the brink," heal their strong bond, and enter into a positive and satisfying new chapter of life together. Her warm, competent style will put you both at ease and help you find new solutions to old problems.
You provided us such a safe place to be honest with ourselves and with each other our fear of being vulnerable and weak were transformed into a feeling of opportunity to be heard. My husband and I are better friends, parents, lovers and companions than we have ever been.