It is stressful to feel like your relationship is struggling. It is even more stressful to not know what you can do to help fix it. Sometimes, that stress leads to desperation. One way that couples try to solve their relationship issues is by choosing to have a baby. The idea is that bringing a child into the world will create something magical that will awaken a shared love as you watch after this new baby.
Will Having a Child Save Your Marriage?
Generally, this is not the type of question that can be given a “Yes/No” answer. There are likely some relationships that have been saved by bringing a child into the world, so a firm “no” is overstating the variability in relationships and personalities.
However, in a general sense, having a child *in order to* save a relationship can be very risky. That is because:
- Children Are Stressful – It is true that bringing a child into the world can enhance a strong relationship considerably. It is a joy that many couples share. But if a partnership is already experiencing some very heavy challenges, adding additional stress to those challenges can lead to further problems with less ability to solve them.
- Children Are Costly – Finances are the number one cause of stress in a relationship. If your finances are already a source of disconnect, a child is only going to make those challenges worse, which could lead to more arguments.
- Coparenting Requires Communication – Both partners are gong to want to parent differently. In order to make sure that there is harmony in the household with how you parent, you will need to make sure that you’re communicating effectively. Typically, a struggling couple is not communicating the way they need to, in which case coparenting can make it worse.
- Pregnancy Separates Couples Experiences – Both partners typically struggle to understand each other during pregnancy itself. One partner may not be able to empathize with the experience of the pregnant one or be able to show them they care, and the other may not feel well enough to meet their partner’s needs.
- Having a Child Reduces Time for Physical/Emotional Intimacy – If you’re struggling with a lack of physical or emotional intimacy, it is not likely to improve with a child. It becomes more difficult to find time to connect, with a child taking up much of your alone time.
In a marriage, two partners need to be able to talk, show and accept love, communicate in a healthy way, and find ways to overcome obstacles together in order to maintain intimacy and affection. If those are already struggles, bringing a new life into the world is unlikely to help and may make it worse.
Children Are Wonderful – But Not a Miracle Cure
It is possible for a child to reconnect two partners and strengthen their bond. But it also shouldn’t be something you assume will happen, or used to try to save a failing relationship. If you and your partner both want a child, but you also have your struggles, then it is always a good idea to consider couples counseling.
Before having a child, couples counseling can strengthen your relationship and make it easier for you both to withstand the stresses of parenthood. After you have a baby, couples counseling can provide the guidance you need to maintain intimacy, show love, and make sure that you’re responding to each partner’s needs.
If you’re interested in NYC couples counseling, call Flourish Psychology today. We are a Brooklyn based boutique private practice that works with couples throughout New York to strengthen their marriages and support their mutual growth. Learn more or get started by filling out our online form.