Children's Effect on Marriage
As a parent, there is a lot of pressure on you to keep any “negative” thoughts about parenthood to yourself. But the truth is, raising children is hard. This is backed up by statistics: in any marriage, the couple’s satisfaction in the marriage declines during its first few years. For couples with children, this decline is twice as steep as the decline childless couples face.
This does not mean you should forgo parenthood. What it means is that having children can put an immense pressure on your marriage and if you are not proactive about anticipating child-related conflicts and resolving them in a healthy manner, this pressure can push you to divorce.
Children and Divorce Statistics
There are many different factors that can impact a couple’s likelihood of divorcing. Some of these factors have to do with the couple’s children and their positions on raising children:
- Having daughters increases a couple’s chance of divorcing while having sons reduces it. Unmarried couples who have a son are more likely to marry than unmarried couples who have a daughter, and when a couple has two daughters, their likelihood of divorcing is 43.1 percent versus 36.9 percent if they have two sons;
- When a woman wants a child more strongly than her spouse wants a child, the marriage is twice as likely to end in divorce as a marriage where the couple wanted children equally; and
- Parents of children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are 22.7 percent more likely to divorce by their child’s eighth birthday than parents of children without ADHD.
Overcoming Child-Related Conflicts in Your Marriage
One of the ways raising children puts stress on a marriage is by pushing the couple apart. While one parent, typically the mother, handles the day-to-day childrearing, the other, often the father, can feel pressured to work more hours to provide for the family and make up for his wife’s lack of earning capacity. Another way is the stress of blending two families when two partners with children from previous relationships marry.
Couples can resolve their child-related conflicts using the same strategies they use to resolve other types of conflict: through clear communication and realistic expectations. Sometimes, a third-party professional like a marital or family counselor can help a couple develop ways to mesh their different parenting opinions into a unified, effective set of parenting strategies. One of the worst solutions for couples in this position is to ignore their problems or stay in unhealthy marriages because they feel this is best for their children. Refusing to acknowledge conflicts in a marriage does not make them disappear, it just drives the couple further apart and closer to their breaking point.
Work with an Experienced St. Charles Divorce Lawyer
Getting divorced is not a personal failure. Sometimes, it is the healthiest course of action for you and your children. To learn more about getting a divorce in Illinois, call Shaw Family Law, P.C. at 630-584-5550 to set up your initial consultation with an experienced Kane County divorce lawyer.