Thursday, February 5, 2009

Pregnancy, Babies, and Marital Happiness

Used to be that having a baby (well, multiple babies) was considered the key to marital happiness. Then people's perceptions did a 180 and everyone decided that having a baby was the END OF ALL MARITAL HAPPINESS!!!11!!!one!!! If I were going to guess, I'd say that neither position really reflects reality. We've all learned that having a baby does not prevent divorce and cannot "save" a marriage. Likewise, a few years of interrupted sleep and sporadic sex isn't going to kill a good relationship.

If anything, I'd think pregnancy would have a greater negative impact on marital happiness. Why? Because only one person in the relationship is pregnant. Only one person can truly experience a pregnancy. That's why it always drives me a little crazy when people say "We're pregnant." I get the sentiment, I do. I even think it's a little sweet. But if the hub presumed to tell people that he was even a little bit pregnant, I'd be calling the Weekly World News because that just ain't right.

Pregnancy can be an isolating time in one's life. I remember feeling so alone before the hub could feel the baby moving from the outside because here I was, full up with fetus and no one to share it with. Nowadays, of course, we can sit together and *watch* the baby move, which is a whole other kettle of wiggly fish. Luckily, pregnancy is also a time in which society has taught us that the non-pregnant must forgive anything pregnant people do because we are all crazy with hormones. Not that I think this is true, mind, as I was plenty crazy before, but I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. The hub is a dear, and tolerates outbursts like my crying because I didn't take enough pictures of my mom in Spain even when I'm not pregnant.

Anyhoodle, back to marital satisfaction post-pregnancy. I was happy to read this in the NYT:
The Cowans found that the average drop in marital satisfaction was almost entirely accounted for by the couples who slid into being parents, disagreed over it or were ambivalent about it. Couples who planned or equally welcomed the conception were likely to maintain or even increase their marital satisfaction after the child was born.
Right the heck on. We planned this pregnancy, so we can look forward to marital satisfaction for years to come.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Show me some love!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...