Can Your Relationship Handle Kids?

John’s in Vancouver this week which means Jessie (my dog) and I get the bed to ourselves. And I get to watch Netflix in bed which is an added bonus.

Yesterday I watched the first episode of Master of None with Aziz Ansari (hilarious!). He isn’t married and doesn’t have kids but he and a pal were at the birthday party of a friend’s child. The dad was droning on about how amazing his life was, now that he was a father. Everything was grand.

A few hours later, after the guests were gone, the dad admitted his life was hell. He was exhausted, unhappy, and not having any sex. He and his wife hated each other and were getting a divorce.

Big surprise. Kids can really test a relationship. In my recent post for eHarmony Canada, I offer five questions a couple can ask each other to determine whether their relationship can handle those little bundles of joy.

Can Your Relationship Handle Kids? 5 Questions to Ask

Sooner or later in one’s dating life the question of “kids” comes up. “Do you want them?” you will ask each other.

Certainly, we have been conditioned to think that “kids” are part and parcel of a committed long-term relationship. You remember the skipping song: “Sally and Jimmy sitting in a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes Baby in a baby carriage.” I remember this from my own childhood and my sons (now in their early 20s) remember hearing it in their schoolyard too.

But fewer couples are having children now. According to Statistics Canada 44.5% of couples in their 2011 census did not have children, a continuing decline of the percentage of couples with children at home. And, fewer than half of the general public says having children is reason to marry, according to a study by Pew Research. There is lots of evidence that kids can hurt, not help, a relationship. Marital satisfaction drops after having kids, and couples without children experience lower depression than their married counterparts.

It’s no wonder. Children are a lot of work.

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Photo credit: Unsplash – Bonnie Kittle

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