Thursday, April 9, 2009

Kids Curb Marital Satisfaction?

Becky posted this morning about a news article she read on Yahoo,  "Kids Curb Marital Satisfaction".  The article talks about an eight year study of 218 couples that found that 90 % of couples experienced a decrease in marital satisfaction after their first child was born.  The study also showed that couples without children developed a dissatisfaction but having a child accelerated it.

Sigh......

I think the biggest issue with marital dissatisfaction is our cultures obsession with being autonomous beings without any real "responsibilities."  Just take a look at the decline of marriage and the distaste for children.  Yes, I did say distaste and that is what I think it really is.  The culture has come to a place where the thinking is that children are a nuisance and a difficulty.  How did we come to this place?  

I believe it is because we are selfish.  We don't want to be bothered to train our children, so they have become unruly and self centered themselves.  It is not pleasant to be around disobedient kids, no one likes it, and when so many kids are that way...well, you can see how it has lead to this distaste for children.  However, it is our own doing.

Many who decide to have children, are determined to only have one or two, or in the case of two children of the same gender, they may try for a third!  But certainly not more than that!  Children mean that you cannot be autonomous - you have to think of others and have certain responsibilities.

I have found in 21 years of marriage that it is responsibilities that make you grow up - so maybe that is what they are wanting to avoid.  If you are only looking for pleasure for the moment and not long term commitment you will become dissatisfied everytime your spouse annoys you.

Adding children into our marriage has not lead to dissatisfaction it has enhanced our marriage.  We are not obsessively focused on ourselves only, but work together to disciple and raise our kids.  

On the flipside, we as a couple are not child centric.  We love kids, especially ours and love to interact with them!  However, our children do not run our home or our lives.  They are a big part of our lives but not the number one priority.  In doing this we have created contented children who are completely secure in their parents commitment and love for each other, and in our love for them.  They tease us about kissing "oh, don't look!  Their kissing again!"  Then we all laugh.  They see us work together, not against each other.  They see me honor their dad and so they do it too.  Likewise my husband honors me and so do the kids.

When we had our second child, a daughter who followed our 1st born son, everyone said "Now you have a boy and a girl.  Your family is complete."  Or they would say, "Are you done now?"  After our third child, another daughter, was born we got "Don't you know what causes that?" and "Are the all yours?"  I am not saying that you have to have a certain number of children or anything like it.  I am trying to get to the attitude behind the statements.  It is about seeing children as a gift from God, a blessing as He calls them.

I can't imagine my life without the blessings God has given to us in the form of my 6 kids...and if He were to give us more, either through birth or adoption, I would love it.

I guess maybe I am selfish, as well.  I know the benefits and blessing my children are and want more of it. Who would I do without?

Would it be my oldest who has sharpened me and taught me so much? 

Or should I have done without these delightful daughters, who bring us such fun and joy and real help?


Or what about these three?  Precious joy and laughter and profound statements.

I guess we must be odd balls...but even after 6 children our marital satisfaction is quite high, thank you very much. 

6 comments:

  1. I *adore* this post! I just wanna wrap myself up in it. :o) Truly wonderful sentiments, Deanna. I absolutely agree about us being a culture obsessed with what makes US happy and not what makes the Lord delighted. America/Western civilization seems very fixated on being without responsibilities - we even see that when it comes to aging, people not wanting to have the "burden" of growing old.

    Childre are a great blessing, and Ed and I have talked about this before and both feel that our lives have been enhanced by our girls. We actually don't know what we'd be doing with ourselves half the time if we didn't have 'em, LOL!

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  2. Well said, my friend. You made me chuckle...and the photos of the kids...don't know one of them that should be put back. The world is a much richer place because they are here.

    Becky

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  3. I agree with your post 110%. You put into words what I see so much even in the church. It is so sad we have people who dread to have a family come to fellowships because their kids are really UNRULY! I also think that we need to set up boundaries with our kids for example , dad and moms room is off limits unless you ahve permission. I am always surprised how many kids literally camp out in their parents room. Children are a blessing from the Lord but a huge responsiblity. What I see happening is because of the lack of discipline and order in the home many young people and young couples are being turned off of having kids thinking this is how it is. Our families are a constant witness to those around us. (step off my soap box)
    Thank you for sharing this !!
    Blessings,
    Julie
    Ps. I am going to follow your blog!!

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  4. Children are a GIFT. Happy Easter! He is Risen!

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  5. You are very good at putting your thoughts and feelings into words, and I love the addition of the pictures. No way could you do without all six of those wonderful children of yours! I have come to love them too!

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  6. I will definitely agree that children are a blessing! They are eternal souls born for another world...a heavenly one. They bring us much joy and love. They are not less valuable than adults. They are a vital part of our home and society. I also loved this post especially with the music...what a refreshment in the middle of my day! I miss you all!

    ~Gina

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