Marriage after dating for years
In other cases, the successful launch of the children leads spouses to discover they have few shared interests and there’s nothing keeping them together. Census, the percent of childless American women (ages 15-44) increased a staggering amount in just two generations: from 35 percent in 1976 to 47 percent in 2010.These downsides to having children may partly explain why more and more women in the United States and around the world are choosing not to procreate. Despite the dismal picture of motherhood painted by researchers like me (sorry Mom), most mothers (and fathers) rate parenting as their greatest joy.Parents often become more distant and businesslike with each other as they attend to the details of parenting.Mundane basics like keeping kids fed, bathed and clothed take energy, time and resolve.All of these changes lead to fundamental and long-lasting effects on new mothers’ circle of support, including with their spouses.The consequences of the relationship strain can be serious.In addition, the adverse impact of becoming a parent is found in other countries, including those with greater rates of nonmarital parenting and more generous family policies.Not surprisingly, it is mothers, not fathers, who bear the heaviest cost of becoming parents.
Worse still, this decrease in marital satisfaction likely leads to a change in happiness, because the biggest predictor of overall life satisfaction is one’s satisfaction with their spouse.
If the arrival of children is hard on marriages, is the departure of children good for marriages?
Some marriages do improve once the children leave the nest.
In the event that a pregnancy is unplanned, the parents experience even greater negative impacts on their relationship.
The irony is that even as the marital satisfaction of new parents declines, the likelihood of them divorcing also declines.