A study discussed in the Wall Street Journal found that two-thirds of couples stated that their relationship suffered once they had children. These couples saw the quality of their lives deteriorate within three years after they had their first child and were eventually forced to file for divorce. The primary reason for this was the mother’s dissatisfaction.
According to reports, 40% of married couples in the US file for divorce within 5 years after their first child is born.
It’s clear that couples are unprepared for parenting and what comes with it. They may feel like they have what it takes to raise a child, but they often don’t realize how a child may affect their relationship with each other.
Let’s take a closer look at how having kids may impact a relationship between a couple:
Parenting is tough from the get-go; it’s mentally and physically exhausting. Parents sleep less, their healthy habits decrease and they don’t socialize as often as they used to. All these issues take a toll on their lives and they begin to drift apart.
This self-neglect causes them to get sick, rearrange their priorities, forget things, and get into accidents. The more you let your kids consume your lives, the less time you spend on yourself. You leave little time to self-reflect and before you know it, you’re stuck in a reactive state where you’re just responding to your child’s needs and ignoring your own.
Couple Time Is Non-Existent
You used to be able to make time for each other, but when you add a child to the equation, it becomes difficult.
Parents are so overwhelmed by their daily duties that they forget the significance of spending quality time together. Their roles as parents become their top priority.
Other than being each other’s emotional support, many couples experience a dry-spell after childbirth. Mothers often struggle with the lack of sex-drive and body-image which creates a wedge between the spouses.
Inability to Meet Demands
A child adds responsibilities to the marriage. In a perfect marriage, couples will divide all responsibilities to ensure no one partner is overburdened. Even when each partner decides to commit to their responsibilities, the marriage begins to feel like a functional partnership—not a loving relationship.
If you feel like you’ve turned into roommates who’re raising a child, you’re marriage is suffering. Couples who are struggling to keep their marriages afloat after having a child should consider seeing a marriage counselor before they begin to distance from each other.
Azizeh Rezaiyan is a marriage counselor at Silicon Valley Marriage Counseling based in Palo Alto in the Bay Area. She specializes in couple’s counseling, family meditation, anxiety treatments, and other psychotherapy treatments.
Call (650) 206-9973 to book an appointment.