Former Bachelorette star Ali Fedotowsky welcomed her second child in May, and she made it clear in a new interview that it hasn’t been easy on her relationship with her husband. Fedotowsky and her husband, Kevin Manno, have a 2-year-old daughter, Molly, as well as their infant son, Riley.
“My husband and I have not slept in the same bed in two months,” she recently told ET. “He does a morning radio show, so he works really early and I need him to get good sleep.” Even on weekends, when he’s not working, Manno sleeps in the couple’s guest room. “I need him to get good sleep so he can wake up with Molly, so I can get a few extra hours of sleep,” Fedotowsky says. “So he sleeps in the guest room, I sleep in our room with the baby and the baby wakes up all night and he gets better sleep because he has to wake up and be super dad all day long with Molly.”
Fedotowsky admits that their current arrangement isn’t great. “It’s a lot,” she says. “Our relationship suffers. I’d love to say, ‘Oh yeah, me and my husband are passionately making out on the side with our two kids.’ I’m not even sure I’ve made out with my husband in a really long time.”
That doesn’t mean Fedotowsky and her husband don’t care about each other, though. “We love each other so much. We know that this is a time where the kids are coming first and we are going to have to eventually put our relationship first,” Fedotowsky says. “And we will, but we’re in the thick of it [now]. We have a 2-year-old and a 2-month-old. We are just all kids right now. Eventually we’re going to make out passionately and have an amazing time, but it’s just hard right now.”
The postpartum period can be hard on a relationship for several reasons, clinical psychologist Ramani Durvasula, author of Should I Stay or Should I Go?, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. The majority of women have some shift in mood thanks to hormonal changes, and their focus is often entirely about caring for the child and just trying to get through the days, she says. Being a new parent is also exhausting. “If partners are not on the same page at this time, and the expectations are for life as it was before baby, that is not realistic and can also contribute to the gulf between parents,” she says.
How long this lasts depends on whether the mom is having postpartum depression, the support she gets from her partner, the support she receives overall, outside stressors, and the quality of the relationship before the couple had a child, Durvasula says. “For some couples, having a child is a permanent shift to a new normal which is also lovely and wonderful,” she says. “But there is a moment of adjustment.”
Communication is the key to making sure the relationship doesn’t suffer in the process, Durvasula says. “Reach out, and while it may not be sex or make-out sessions, it can be a reminder by even just letting your partner know you love them,” she says.
It’s important for couples to also talk about expectations for the relationship, why the status quo exists, and how long you expect things to go on this way, Durvasula says. And, if you can, try to carve out moments for the two of you “even if it is to a local dive and is only 30 minutes,” she says. “Relationships need care and feeding, and even if you don’t feel up to sex, touching, holding, and cuddling all matter. Both of you need to ensure that you do not take the other for granted.”
If things continue to slip, it’s worth considering couples therapy to help work through the changes, Durvasula says. Some will even let you bring the baby to sessions.
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
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