Sadly, parenthood sometimes fractures a marriage because the marital satisfaction of both husband and wife declines after the birth of a child, according to marital researchers. The stress and responsibilities of children can sometimes undermine the foundation of the love between a man and woman. Declines in marital satisfaction and the birth of a child are connected to behaviors that can lead to divorce.
Sixty seven percent of women who became mothers reported declines in marital satisfaction after the birth of a child. Over half of the husbands studied reported reduced marital relationships with the birth of a child.
Women say their marital dissatisfaction stems from a decline in the husband’s level of affection and attentiveness. Their dissatisfaction is related to the husband’s noticeable disenchantment with the relationship. The husband’s declines are lower and it appears the effects can be somewhat delayed with men.
However, a newborn baby in the home may temporarily substitute for marital satisfaction at first, with dissatisfaction infiltrating later when the everyday routines of parenting put wear and tear on the couple. Newlyweds are more likely to be happily married as decreased marital satisfaction is less common during the first three months after a birth and the dissatisfaction didn’t appear until a child’s first birthday.
A strong foundation of friendship between husband and wife increases marital satisfaction even though a child’s arrival is life changing. Couples that practice communication, conflict management, and friendship can strengthen their marital relationship and weather the transition to parenthood. Strong bonds between the spouses can insulate them from distress. Approaching conflicts together can help maintain their marriage.
Fondness, affection and responsiveness to each other can aid in the vitality of the marriage. In the end, happy parents enjoy happy marriages.