Dads can look forward to a stronger bond with their partner but less frequent sex, according to the results of a new study we released for Father’s Day.
The research shows 44% of new dads felt they had a closer relationship with their partner after having a baby, and a further 19% felt they had a stronger bond with their partner.
The research also found that a fifth of new dads (21%) experienced less sex or intimacy with their partner after having a baby, citing less ‘couple’ time, more tiredness and different sleeping arrangements as impacting on their sex lives.
A small number of fathers (6%) said their relationship had been negatively influenced by their baby becoming the centre of attention.
Our Head of Research, Sarah McMullen said: “We’ve got some mixed news for dads – more family time can mean less couple time. Your relationship may flourish but your sex life may not. It’s very common for relationships to go through phases where you or your partner lose interest in sex, or life just gets in the way.
“The dynamics of a new family can mean there is less intimacy between a mum and dad but over time the relationship is often stronger than before.”
To help maintain a strong relationship, new mothers and fathers are encouraged to:
During 2013–14, our Research and Evaluation Department conducted a mixed-methods longitudinal research study of first-time mothers and fathers’ experiences and attitudes during the first two years following the birth of their baby. In total, 869 first-time mothers and 296 first-time fathers responded in full to the first questionnaire when their babies were on average eight months old.
Fathers were asked two open-ended questions about their relationship with their partner, and how it had changed since having a baby. Thematic analysis was used to analyse their responses.