Every now and then I am appalled, horrified and pretty much agog as I stumble across some unknowing person in some magazine somewhere who seems to have brainwashed themselves into the single most crazy thought in the world – that a baby will save their relationship.
Related to the thought I want to save my relationship so I better get married (Noooooo!) the notion can often be found to be bounded around by people who think it’s a good idea to tell “all” in trashy magazines and Z list celebrities who have more children then they have TV credits.
Oh yes, we fight all the time but I really want to have a baby and think that in doing so that will save our relationship. And of course that must be a good idea seeing as that’s pretty much where the storyline of the incredibly highbrow and recently released movie Ted 2 starts.
Oh he cheated on me a zillion times but I really want to have his baby. Yes, obviously once you have a baby he is never going to do that ever again. Obvs!!
I literally want to find these people and beat them over the stick shouting…
NOOOOOOOOOO! Don’t you understand, having a baby is the hardest thing in the world.
Then I want to shake them and say….
NOOOOOOOOOO! If your relationship is on the rocks before having a baby, your chances of surviving thereafter are close to zero. That even if you relationship is good beforehand it can be pushed to the brink of everything once you have a baby.
If you don’t believe me let the stats do the talking – family researcher John Gottman of The Gottman Institute’s (which specializes in relationship research) findings say it all, “40 to 70% of couples experience stress, profound conflict and drops in marital satisfaction” after having a baby. If you’re not already coming from a good place, then that extra friction is not going to send you straight to happy land, believe me.
Our first year of baby tested us beyond belief, and if we hadn’t had pretty solid foundations to begin with, I don’t know where we would be today. And while becoming parents is absolutely without doubt the most amazing experience, it is the hardest upon hardest thing a couple can experience in my humble opinion (read my 10 reasons why having a baby is the greatest test of all time here)?
For sure, although having a baby can bring you closer, I strongly believe you need to have a decent basis to build on in order for that to happen. It’s not a magic wand job. Off the top of my head I know a few people who have unfortunately discovered this first hand for themselves (not that they were under any delusions in the first place) but they would probably be happy to back this up having not made it through themselves…
So in case you have found this article and are that person who is wondering whether having a baby will save your relationship.
No. Just. No.