Fall in love, have a baby, watch your happiness and satisfaction plummet.
That’s what psychologists say becoming a parent will do to your relationship.
Gee, what a downer. Seriously?
Yes, the facts are facts. You can’t really argue them. For around 30 years, researchers have studied how having children affects a marriage, and the results are conclusive: the relationship between spouses suffers once kids come along.
Researchers have compared couples with and without children, and found that the rate of the decline in relationship satisfaction is nearly twice as steep for couples who have children than for childless couples.
But hang on a sec, could we be a little more positive about having children? Let’s refute that with some good stats…uh oh, wait a minute – a Google search didn’t really turn up any. Ok, I’ll try again. Nada. Zip. Nothing.
It turns out that positive research on the matter certainly isn’t in abundance. However, anecdotally real life couples report feeling closer and bonding more once their baby came along, despite the difficulties.
Yes, becoming a parent is hard on your relationship. Uh huh, it sure does change it. But I firmly believe it can affect it for the better if your love is solid and true to begin with, and if both parties are willing to work at it.
You’ve got to be willing to change through the difficult times when they arrive. Because they WILL arrive. Having a baby is a stressful, worrisome, nerve-wracking, exhausted, beside-your-self time. And speaking of time, you have zero of it. All of a sudden the afternoons and evenings you would spend lying around just ‘being’ with each other are gone. The sleep ins are gone. The romantic dinners are, largely, non-existent.
I say this from experience. My husband and I had trouble. Not ‘let’s get a divorce’ trouble. But becoming parents did take its toll for a while there.
We had two children within a short space of time. And we hadn’t been together that long when we decided to start trying for our first. But we just ‘knew’ we were made for each other.