No one can deny that having a baby changes your life, but what about your marriage? Yep, it will change that too. No longer are you the couple that used to take date nights on a whim, instead you are spending your nights inside wanting to be in bed by 9pm.
I remember the first month after we brought my first daughter home from the hospital. She wasn’t the greatest sleeper (what newborn really is?) but I wasn’t expecting just how exhausted my husband and I would be. Those sleepless nights would leave us arguing over whose turn it was to change her diaper. The little time alone we did have with one another weren’t filled with intimacy, but lots and lots of sleep.
Parenting can truly test the strength of your marriage. A recent National Public Radio article revealed a new survey of married couples published for the National Marriage Project of University of Virginia. The survey found that “parenthood is typically associated with lower levels of marital happiness.” The project dives deeper into the subject and finds the husbands and wives that have dodged the unhappiness and are still in marital bliss after having children. So, what’s their secret?
The project was “able to identify ten aspects of contemporary social life and relationships—from marital generosity to shared housework to religious faith to sexual satisfaction—that appear to boost women and men’s odds of successfully combining marriage and parenthood.”
Taking the number one spot for both husbands and wives is above-average sexual satisfaction. It seems that even though there is a baby around, that doesn’t mean that you have to lose your sexual desire for one another. Next in line for both is above-average commitment with one another. I know that when I had my daughter, it just strengthened my commitment for my husband. Knowing that we brought a child into the world together made me want to be with him so much more.
The bottom of the list reveals that shared housework can also promote marital happiness. Adding a baby to the family also adds just that much more to your to-do list. Most of the couples that find happiness after a baby agree that it helps when both husband and wife share the chores equally.
Whether these are truly the aspects that keep a marriage going strong after having a child, I do agree that it requires more work after a baby than before. There is so much more that you have to compromise on and really work together as a team.
How do you and your spouse plan to keep your marriage healthy after the baby arrives?