Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don't

I'm talking about having children.  According to a credible news source you're damned if you have them and according to a different (still credible) news source you're damned if you don't.

In one corner we have the
Wall Street Journal Online

In the other corner we have
The Huffington Post

A few months back the Wall Street Journal online published an article entitled So Cute, So Hard on a Marriage.  Children are hard on a marriage?!?  Shocking!  Not really.  Everyone knows that adding an expensive, screaming, pooping baby to a household is going to poke holes in the marital bliss.  The article first details when and why the hardship occurs.  It's depressing.  The second half discusses ways that a couple can preserve their relationship when a baby is added to the mix.  Slightly less depressing.  There's a comparison of couples who engage in counseling and those who don't.  The statistics are convincing that the counseling participants are happier in their relationship.  And, just when you think the cynical title has given way to a happy ending, the author slips in: "the rate of divorce, however, was the same for both."  WAY depressing.

Now, before you tell your beau that children are off the table because you love him soooo much, consider a more recent article by The Huffington Post: Are Childless Couples Heading Toward Divorce?  The summary of this article is YES.  Children give a couple reason to stay together and work out their differences.  It's undeniably easier for a childless couple to walk away.  Statistics show that childless couples are twice as likely to get a divorce as child-full (hahaha) couples.  In fact, the more children a couple has the less likely they are to divorce.

What does all of this mean?  At first glance, it seems these articles present conflicting theories and these writers are trying to confuse the bag out of us.  At second glance, maybe not.  If you mush all this information together here's what you'll find:  Childless couples are more likely to get divorced than those with kids, but when a couple with children wants a divorce no amount of therapy will deter that plan.  Both articles concede that children create significant stress on a relationship.  Neither article reveals any demographic that is statistically isolated from divorce.     

What does all of this REALLY mean?  Don't take relationship advice from the Wall Street Journal or Huffington Post, their prestige isn't based on their intimacy expertise.


1 comment:

Mother of Pearl said...

Well said by the blogger, don't get your family planning advice or relationship tips from news and entertainment sources. IMHO, have a baby or not, don't plan it, don't wait for the perfect moment, don't wait until you have enough time or money or patience... just love and enjoy him/her (both your spouse and your baby!)