It’s no shock that becoming a parent puts strain on a marriage (or relationship). You are the sole caretakers of a completely helpless person who relies upon you for everything. Before you become a parent your life is almost entirely your own and after, finding ‘me’ time often means engaging the services of a grandparent or babysitter.
The Telegraph reported a survey done by Open University in the U.K. of 5,000 couples who were asked to rate the quality of their relationship. The study found that childless couples ranked the quality of their relationship higher than couples with children. They also stated that they did much more to maintain their relationship than couples with children. This included taking walk, go out together, and simply talk.
As it turns out though, when the genders were divided, mothers came out happiest overall of the other groups and childless women emerged the least happy. The rankings were: (1) Mothers, (2) childless men, (3) fathers, and (4) childless women.
An interesting fact of the study was that a secret of the strongest marriages was simply sitting down and having a cup of tea together. But it isn’t necessarily the children that are making married couples less happy. It is the lack of time together to maintain the relationship that takes a toll. The transition from being a couple to being a family is extremely tough to navigate.
Give the gift of free babysitting for all of your married friends with kids and help keep their marriage strong. And to all of you parents out there, take some time to talk. If you’re not British, take up the tradition of sitting down with a cup of tea (or coffee) and simply talking.