I was sad to see the article on Hitched about how kids negatively effect marriage. A study released last week showed that for 90% of couples their level of marital satisfaction dropped once they had children. John Gottman, from the University of Washington, reported that the divorce rate spikes for couples just after the birth of their first child.
So what's the deal? Isn't having children one of the reasons why we got married? But here the research is showing us that having children is the one of worst thing for marriage.
Here's the deal. What we have to understand is that marriage is a living relationship. Like anything that is alive it needs to be fed. And what feeds a relationship? LOVE. That was a surprise. We all know that, but we don't know what love is. This you will only hear from me and no where else. Love is attention. The two operate so closely we use the words interchangeably.
What happens is that once the first child comes along a couple shifts their attention to the new bundle of joy and the couple stops bringing attention to one another. As the attention declines so does the level of closeness and connection.
One way to keep the love alive is to keep your level of attention for each other high. That is where a weekly date night can make a huge difference. I would also suggest getting into a Marriage Education class to get you the skills needed. Go to OCMarriage.com to find some date night ideas as well as free Marriage Education classes.