Thursday, April 9, 2009

Marital quality diminishes over time or with children

A study was conducted and it's not surprising to find that marital quality diminishes over time. "Having a baby accelerates this deterioration." Parents are more depressed than non-parents.

I have to agree to some point. It's a very good thing Jean-Louis and I got to enjoy a childless marriage for many years, 7 to be exact. We got to enjoy living with each other, traveling, running, supporting each other in our education and careers, and in the process, our relationship got stronger and we matured. Being parents in our 30s would have been considered late in our parent's generation but these days, it is quite the norm. We are more financially stable and we both have established careers we enjoy (most of the time). Having a child at this time lowers the chances of us resenting our child and regretting having done things we never got to do. Of course, we could have done more but we have done a lot more than most couples have before they start having children. We can't really complain. I'm glad it happened this way but it wasn't exactly planned to be honest.

For those thinking about having children right away after marriage, my advice would be to enjoy marriage first. Enjoy each other. Children could wait a year or two. Your kids will leave home one day but you will grow old with your spouse.

Tristan has made life very stressful for us. We don't even have time to think about our relationship these days but that's okay. One thing the article mentions is that past generations received a lot more help at home when the baby arrives. That partly explains why our parents and grandparents were able to have so many kids. Help would definitely make a difference. Jean-Louis and I have been at this all by ourselves. My parents stayed with us the first 2 days we left the hospital but that has been all the help we have received with Tristan. In the beginning, we were both kind of scared being at the hospital and given a newborn to care for and then at home without the presence of nurses around. But we managed and we survived. I think it's amazing really. This is partly why I tell Jean-Louis that we deserve to celebrate every month on the day that Tristan arrived.

Alone time without Tristan would be nice. Maybe when Tristan is 6 months old, we'll hire a babysitter once in awhile to watch him so we could go out alone. A formal dinner out would be nice. Maybe a movie too.


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