Some marriages are made stronger by adding children to the mix. My own marriage is one of them. I am embarrassed to say that in many ways, prior to the children I was a bit bored. The kids have given us a joint focus and a sense of unity in our family that we lacked when it was just the two of us.
That said, I am well aware that most are not this lucky. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, about two-thirds of couples see the quality of their relationship drop within three years of the birth of a child, according to data from the Relationship Research Institute in Seattle, a nonprofit organization focused on strengthening families.
The reasons are obvious. Babies bring additional conflict, less time for adult conversation and sex and as a result, couples can become emotionally distant. A number of places are now offering classes to combat this problem and work the problems out before baby arrives. The idea is brilliant.
Imagine if rather than jumping right into the fire, you'd had an opportunity to know what parenthood was really like. Classes taught at places like Urban Balance LLC off a $500, six-session "pre & post baby couples counseling" program each year.
Owner Joyce Marter said she was inspired to start the classes because, "People spend more time decorating the nursery than preparing the relationship for the arrival of a baby."
Indeed, for many, having a baby is a lot like having a wedding. The details are so exciting and the attention can be so loving and overwhelming that it is easy to forget what is really happening. Now, so many couples are getting married just before their baby is born or not getting married at all that some of the things that may have been ironed out in an early, kid-less marriage are not being addressed at all.
It can be hard. When you have a baby, you need each other more than ever and for some couples that pressure proves too much.
The best gift you can give a child is happy parents. A child who sees a happy mom and dad is probably going to be happier. So why not take that extra step to get there? Too many people wait until it is too late to try to fix things.
These classes are a pretty amazing idea.
Would you take a class like this?