Reconnecting After Baby

The transition from couple-hood to parent-hood can be exhilarating, exhausting, fascinating, enchanting, and overwhelming. Oftentimes couples are focused on their babies (rightly so!) and may feel distanced from their partners. These open-ended questions (adapted from “And Baby Makes Three” by John M. Gottman and Julie Schwartz Gottman) serve to open up conversations between partners, thus recharging the connection you and your partner share. You’ll be surprised at how much your relationship will change if you shift from just making statements to asking your partner open-ended questions.

Instructions: First, read through this list. Then, each of you select one question. Take turns asking your partner the question you selected, and listening to your partners answer. If you have time, keep going and talk about another question or two. This is fun for a date night, a long car ride, or any time!

How can I be a better friend to you?
How have you changed in the last year?
What do you enjoy most about being a dad (mom)?
How have your goals in life changed since our baby has come?
What are you missing most in your live since we’ve become parents?
What are some of your life dreams now?
What do you value most in your life now?
Who do you think is the best parent you have ever seen? Why?
How can I be a better partner to you?
How do you think having our baby (or being pregnant) has changed our relationship? What legacy do you want our baby to have from your family?
What are some unfulfilled dreams in your life?
What changes would you like to make in your lifestyle now that Baby has arrived? What changes would you like to make in your home these days?
What would you like to change about your finances right now?
How has your family changed toward you since Baby arrived?
How has your outlook on life changed since you became a parent?
How are you feeling now about being a mother (father)?
What could we do to have more fun in our life?
What would you like to change about your work?
What would you like our life to be like in two years?
How would you compare yourself to your father or mother as a parent? What kind of person would you like our baby to become?
Who does our baby remind you of in your family?
What has been your favorite time so far in our relationship?
Do you long for anything these days?
What is the biggest challenge for you as a dad (mom)?
What are your major stresses and worries these days?
What are your thoughts and feelings about religion or spirituality these days? How have your political ideas changed since Baby came?
How have your friends or family changed toward you in recent years?