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Ask A Therapist: How Do I Communicate with My Spouse during Pregnancy?

Relationships, Family, Parenting, Ask a Therapist
3 min read
man lovingly kissing pregnant partner

Dear Therapist, I’m entering my third trimester and feeling extremely burnt out. My partner is used to us having a packed social calendar and hosting friends all summer, but I just don’t feel up for it and sometimes feel angry that he won’t set boundaries for us and instead makes I me say no. How can I help him understand?

Frame therapist Courtney Magahis weighs in...

Your frustrations are valid. Let’s take a moment to acknowledge where you are - the third trimester is no joke. There is so much going on as your body feels at its capacity and your mind is preparing for labor, birth, and parenthood. Some expecting parents feel like this is the last chance they have to attend all the events, host all the parties, and be with all the people. However, a pregnant person typically experiences the primal urge to ‘turn in’ and focus on themselves as a means of preparation for birth.

There is a miscommunication between you and your partner. One way to simplify difficult conversations is to use a nonviolent communication (NVC) technique, which focuses on clearly communicating feelings, needs, and requests. It is important to own your feelings and needs as your own, rather than placing blame.

3 Ways to Communicate Your Needs in the Third Trimester:

  • “I feel exhausted. I need rest. Can you call our friend to reschedule?”
  • “I feel angry. I need to be heard/seen. Can we discuss plans before responding to an invitation?” 
  • “I feel anxious. I need space. I’m going to take a few hours to myself this evening.”

A mental health professional can help you practice this technique. Bringing a baby into the world and into your relationship has already started to have an impact. It is very normal for a relationship to need extra support during this time. If you feel like you and your partner need help aligning and communicating boundaries, find a relationship counselor or therapist to help out.


About the therapist: Courtney Magahis is a licensed clinical social worker based in Austin, TX and the founder of Canyons Therapy. She is a recovering perfectionist, anxious mom, and lover of a slow-paced life. Outside of sessions, Courtney enjoys being in nature, reading poetry, and curating mood-setting playlists. Learn more about Courtney and connect with her on her Frame profile.

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