Will a Baby Improve Your Relationship?

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will-a-baby-improve-your-relationshipAt one point or another, many of us experience a challenging romance, one in which we invest time and energy, pour a lot of love and, despite conflicts or compatibility issues, imagine a future of marital or family bliss. When we find ourselves in this situation, deciding to have kids with our beloved is usually dependent on a number of factors, including how well we resolve disagreements and how accepting we are of each other’s real or imagined shortcomings.

Usually. Yet, sometimes we’re so smitten, or codependent, or hopeful, or afraid there’s no one else out there for us, that we not only overlook major relationship problems and personality issues, we go a step farther. We convince ourselves that what our relationship needs, what will inspire the man or woman we love to be kinder, or more faithful, or more (fill in the blank), is to have a baby!

Having a child isn’t the only strategy we sometimes adopt to resolve relationship issues. We might decide to buy a house, lease a new car, get breast implants, etc. What these efforts have in common is the mistaken belief that external changes—buying or getting stuff, including a child—will positively impact the internal workings of our relationships or loved ones. We assume things can enhance compatibility or make our partners happier, less abusive, or whatever else we desire of them.

In truth, having a child can add to relationship fulfillment, but solely when we already have a lot of relationship positivity to draw upon. What the arrival of a baby can’t do is turn a bad relationship into a good one or alter personality traits, especially those we’d prefer someone didn’t have in the first place.

Despite our hope that a child will improve our connection, the greater likelihood is it will make matters worse. Research shows that anywhere from 66 to 90 percent of parents report a significant decline in relationship happiness after their baby is born. Those are daunting statistics for the happily coupled, never mind the unhappily so.

That’s not to say that all parents who continue to like each other after they have kids don’t have relationship issues or don’t ever find their spouses irritating. Plenty of fulfilled parents fight—actually, resolving conflicts well is crucial to relationship success—but that’s different from deciding to have a child to resolve problems or change each other.

Plus, if we have a baby for the sake of our relationships, that puts a lot of pressure on children to make us happy. We end up setting them up to fail, which is far from the bright start most of us yearn to give them.

If you’re thinking of having a baby to boost your relationship or improve your mate, consider getting help from an experienced marriage counselor or relationship coach. If your beloved won’t join you, do it yourself. Obtaining individual support is often the best way to improve our lives. Not open to therapy or life coaching? Then seek out a pastor, mentor, close friend, or family member whose counsel can help guide you.

Bottom line: We can always decide to have a baby, but doing so will never resolve our relationship issues. We can only improve our relationships and ourselves from the inside out. Following that path to parenthood offers us and our future kids the best chance for happiness, relationship or otherwise.

What do you think? Will a Baby Improve Your Relationship?

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15 comments

  1. Avatar of mommy nhoj mommy nhoj says:

    The love is there even before baby was born. And yes, her arrival enhances the relationship that we have.

  2. Avatar of liz says:

    i dont think a baby should be the cause for love a baby should be the result of love

  3. Avatar of gfeld gfeld says:

    This article is spot on!!

  4. Avatar of EbyMom EbyMom says:

    Bringing-in a baby into a soiled relationship will not improve it. U too must work things out b/w the two of u before taking that major step of starting a family. The stress and hardwork involved in raising a kid takes understanding b/w people. It takes two to tangle. Solve ur probs first then every other aspect will flow so that when the going starts getting tough both will stand by each other and not walk away from wat both have started.

  5. I do not think that anyone should have a baby to make a relationship better a baby is not toy.

  6. Avatar of KEIYONDA KEIYONDA says:

    SOMETIMES IT CAN MAKE PEOPLE SEE WHAT’S IMPORTANT. IT CAN BE A GOOD THING OR A BAD THING. MUST BE JUDGED ON A CASE BY CASE BASIS.

  7. Avatar of Katarina Katarina says:

    Pardon? Are you actually saying that you can’t get pregnant unless you love each other?

  8. Avatar of Julie Julie says:

    True, if the relationship is not in a good state before a child, why would anyone think it would get better after a child?

  9. Avatar of susan susan says:

    Agreed, improve relationship first before thinking about babies

  10. Avatar of Jessica Jessica says:

    It’s sad that people try to use a baby to better their relationships!

  11. Avatar of Alyssa Alyssa says:

    there are some relationships where having a baby brings them together to show them that if they love eachother enough to make a baby tht they really do love eachother. I personally dont believe that you can make a baby unless you truly love someone. Cuz you can have sex til the sun goes down the next day, but that doent mean that you are gonna have a baby.

  12. You have to make sure everything is okay in the relationship before bringing a permanent element into it, like a child. A baby is not a bandaid.

  13. Avatar of MommyMagic MommyMagic says:

    Having a child to try to fix relationship problems is detrimental to their well being. A bad relationship is just that, a bad relationship. The relationship should be fixed independently, rather than tainting the innocence of the child. I would have to seriously question the parenting ability of anyone who would bring a child into this world as a means of fixing a relationship.

  14. So true!! It definatly won’t fix problems

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