Thursday, August 6, 2009

Marriage and Parenthood

As part of my training to become a Natural Family Planning teacher, I am required to report to the group about research related to the topic. Many of you already know that I spent a summer researching the debate over family planning that took place in the 20s. Part of my report will be my own findings, and part will be given on a study I found online that I found quite interesting. The study, done by UCLA, explores the topic of Marriage and Adult Development. One aspect of the study looked at parenthood.

Our initial analyses on this topic indicate that the couples who have a child early in marriage are more satisfied with their relationship than those who do not have a child. Couples are more likely to make the transition to parenthood to the extent that spouses - and particularly wives -- feel their relationship is strong. We are also learning that couples who do and do not have children over the first few years of marriage do not differ much in the rate at which their marriages change.

In other words, conventional wisdom that says your love life will end the minute you have a child was shown to be inaccurate. According to the study, babies do not cause a noticeable change to the relationship you have with your spouse. So what is my opinion? A child is always a blessing - what a privilege to create new life! If your marriage is strong - it may become stronger with all the new opportunities you will have to work together and problem solve while raising a child. If your marriage is weak it may highlight some weaknesses, but you probably would have figured those out soon enough. More importantly, I am excited to see that there is a large study that states babies are not a problem. And to take the report one step further (my own conclusion) - couples should welcome or at least be open to forming a new life together.

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