Children Don't Make A Marriage Happy

Discussion in 'Relationships, Discrimination, and Jealousy' started by Principessa, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. Principessa

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    Till Children Do Us Part
    By STEPHANIE COONTZ
    Olympia, Wash.

    HALF a century ago, the conventional wisdom was that having a child was the surest way to build a happy marriage. Women’s magazines of that era promised that almost any marital problem could be resolved by embarking on parenthood. Once a child arrives, “we don’t worry about this couple any more,” an editor at Better Homes and Gardens enthused in 1944. “There are three in that family now. ... Perhaps there is not much more needed in a recipe for happiness.”

    Over the past two decades, however, many researchers have concluded that three’s a crowd when it comes to marital satisfaction. More than 25 separate studies have established that marital quality drops, often quite steeply, after the transition to parenthood. And forget the “empty nest” syndrome: when the children leave home, couples report an increase in marital happiness.

    But does the arrival of children doom couples to a less satisfying marriage? Not necessarily. Two researchers at the University of California at Berkeley, Philip and Carolyn Cowan, report in a forthcoming briefing paper for the Council on Contemporary Families that most studies finding a large drop in marital quality after childbirth do not consider the very different routes that couples travel toward parenthood.

     
  2. D_Jared Padalicki

    D_Jared Padalicki Account Disabled

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    I think that statemant is true.
    Not necessary with everyone of course, there are a lot of families who are happy with their children and having a goo drelation at the same time.
    I saw it in my family, since we children came in my 'dad' and mums live, my 'dad' never had the same relation again with my mum. He was jealous that he had the share the attention that he normally got from my mum alone, now had to share with his children. because of that he didn't do much for his children, so mum had to take care of us most of the time all by herself, and she did great.
    But yeah, in later life, it makes a relation with 'dad' more difficult between children or mum.
    My 'dad' was never made to have children. He is more of a solo-carreer-hunter and have a wealthy live.
    One of the reasons my parents divorced.
     
  3. bguy

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    This is a good article. This section is particularly noteworthy:

     
  4. Phil Ayesho

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    You folks sound like typical non-breeders...


    Children do not make marriage happier... they make marriage, and life in general, more meaningful.
    They re-calibrate your sense of what is important, and they tend to make you subordinate YOUR needs and desires to those of the children.
    They re-focus your thinking onto a future that you will not be a part of... and refine your sense of community responsibility and goals.


    They are not about making you, personally, more satisfied.


    The error in the article is in its assumption that those without children are childless by choice. Not all are.

    In Fact... having children is something that MOST women WANT, and many men try to postpone.
    Trust me... if your woman WANTS a baby, and you deny her that...THAT is not gonna make your marriage any happier, either.


    Before the first baby, many women feel it will make them happy to have the baby they want... and are rudely surprised that actual children are such a limitation on their actions, their finances, their freedom, and their fun.

    But as one who has had children.. I can say that many of the most important, satisfying, and happiness generating aspects of my entire life concern the raising of my children.


    No doubt that my wife's attentions became far more centered around the children, that around our relationship... no doubt that we could no longer have the spontaneous fun that marked out early years together...

    But those are purely selfish concerns.

    I could have had more personal fun without children... and have nothing to show for it but memories that will evaporate on my passing.

    But the time I spent raising children gave me purpose... focused me on my career.. and made me a better human being.
    It was time well and constructively spent.


    Life is about learning.
    At 24 I knew how to have a good time.
    But often the things you need to learn the most... that will most profoundly affect you... are learned thru experiences that are more challenging than fun... experiences that may seem like a fire-walk as they happen... but that, in retrospect, offer a far deeper sense of accomplishment and bittersweet satisfaction than can be had thru mere 'happiness'.
     
    #4 Phil Ayesho, Feb 5, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2009
  5. CALAMBO

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    Same here phil...would not have traded that part of my life...now having a couple af gran kids...it is very re-warding to see my children going thru same as i did...not easy..well worth the effort....best of all...they moved out.
     
  6. bguy

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    I agree. Being in agreement on whether or not to have kids is probably the most important factor, backed by this part of the article:
     
  7. whatireallywant

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    I'd say this is true, although sometimes I think maybe when a couple become parents they have less time for each other because children are so time consuming. If they agree to this, that's fine but it may actually take some people by surprise.

    I know that in my case, I've never wanted children. I don't like the time consuming part and I can't stand all the NOISE!!! Plus I've felt cheated out of my chances to have the "fun of youth", having been an outcast in my youth (and very unhappy, bored and "trapped"), and want to make up for all that lost time now.

    But I know that not everyone is like me...for those who want children and the couple agrees and plans that, and are prepared for the time they consume, that couple should have no problem (at least not from simply having children...)
     
  8. cbrmale

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    Married to someone from a different and more traditional culture, it's clear the West has lost its way with child-raising. My experience was that it was rather easy, because I followed the lead from my wife, who knew what to do. There were times when it was hard, sickness for example, but we always coped surprisingly well, and we always had time for the two of us as a couple. One thing that made a huge difference was my wife took several years out of the workforce; something we could afford to do because my income is well above average.

    Two observations. First: having normal and healthy children should not be a major disruption, and children do not need the effort in raising that many parents expend. Second: if you can, avoid trying to squeeze children, relationship and career into the one space, because it generally doesn't fit.
     
  9. bigtwin

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    There have been some good points made here already. A relationship that is not well grounded can be disrupted by many things, children being a very good example. The kids may divert attention from the lousy relationship so that its temporarily forgotten/ignored. They're often blamed for failing relationship but in my opinion thats a pretty poor excuse. Sure, the presence of children in the household can be time consuming. Relationships are build on love, mutual respect, and above all communication. With these things, the kids don't crowd the marriage. The marriage just gets bigger, stronger, warmer and full of energy holding everything together like gravity.
     
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