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Clearly, for some couples a pregnancy will enhance the intimacy of their relationship. The anticipation of the future is an exciting joint venture; a consolidation of their commitment to each other.

For others, it may drive a wedge between them. This is particularly true if one of the partners is ambivalent or plain unhappy about the prospect of parenthood. No doubt some men resent the changes in their partner’s body and personality, or the adjustments they have to make to their lifestyle; and some men do feel excluded. For a woman, pregnancy is a consuming condition. It really can be hard to think of anything other than that baby growing and developing inside, and it is possible to lose sight of a partner’s emotional needs. Ultimately the best protection for any relationship is to keep the lines of communication open, and to let each other know how you feel. Nobody can be a mind-reader. If a man isn’t told that pregnant women can go off sex, or turn on and off, or find some positions uncomfortable, or that her sexual responses can change, then how is he to guess? By the same token, if a woman doesn’t realize that she is not listening to her partner’s problems, or that she isn’t aware of his frustrations or worries, then how can she do anything about it? Given that all of these changes are very individual, it’s up to each couple to talk about these things, even if it’s the first time in their relationship that they have talked in detail about their emotions or their sexual needs. Taking the trouble will be worth it.


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