Married couples frequently complain that their children affect their relationships. From not having enough personal time to not being able to spend money on your spouse, it sometimes seems like kids can turn a relationship into a challenge.
Now, research supports that having kids can affect your marriage in negative ways.
Discover how to overcome these effects and still have a happy marriage and family:
1. Research results. Children are often considered a joy in marriage and a blessing for couples. However, researchers have found that the reality is different. After studying marriages for decades, researchers have found that kids have a profound impact on them.
* In most cases, kids tend to hurt relationships because the partners can’t focus on each other as much. In addition, kids tend to bring extra stress and expenses, so the relationship suffers.
* Many couples end up divorced because the appearance of kids adds strain to an already weak relationship.
* Researchers compared couples with kids to couples without kids and noticed that satisfaction with the marriage went down as children were born.
* It’s important to note that not all marriages suffer once children are in the picture. Some actually do get stronger and better.
2. Marriage myths. One of the myths that researchers mention is that couples think children will bring them closer together.
* Researchers believe this myth became popular because children are necessary for society’s survival. So, couples were encouraged to have more kids to ensure civilization continued.
* Children affect their parent’s identities, finances, and lifestyles. All of these factors can be hurt in a marriage. They can also change your body and your perceptions about each other in your relationship.
3. What you can do. Children can be a joy. You can appreciate and love your children while being proactive about keeping your couples’ relationship healthy.
* Spend time with your partner alone. Set aside a date night each week or two. Many married couples struggle with this idea and find it hard to find a babysitter. In this situation, an early bedtime works, too. Let the kids have a “campout” in their room so they’ll look forward to going to their room early.
* It’s also important to spend time by yourself. A healthy marriage depends on personal time, so your identity is not lost in the shuffle. Carve out some alone time to pursue your hobbies and interests and take time to recharge.
* Remember your lives before you had kids. Remind yourself why you fell in love. Many couples identify themselves as simply a mother or father, but you’re more than this. You’re talented and unique, and so is your partner.
* If one partner stays home with the kids while the other one works, resentment and frustration can build up. The partner at home can feel unappreciated and ignored while the one who works can feel stressed out by all the financial burdens being on their shoulders. Take steps to show love and appreciation for each other and what they do.
Children take a great deal of time, effort, and money. That’s just the way life is. Consciously create routines that positively affect each member of the family and strengthen your bond with your partner each day.
Children don’t stay little forever. They grow up fast. Someday sooner than you think, you and your partner could be looking back on these days as the best days ever – a time when you strengthened your love and commitment to each other for the rest of your lives.