Classes Teach Parents How to Stay Married After Baby


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?



behavior, marriage


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Jessi Snider

I'm not sure a class can prepare you at all for what co-parenting a small child is like.  It's nice that couples are trying to be proactive, and that in and of itself is encouraging, but I'm just not sure it will do any good when the going gets rough, as it so often does.

mumma... mummajenni

It seems like a good idea. Better communication skills strengthened in pre-baby workshops can't hurt. We are 11 months in, and it's been really tough. All of your weaknesses as a couple are highlighted exponentially once baby arrives, and to some extent during pregnancy too. Add to that the stress of knowing that your relationship problems are impacting your innocent child, I think counseling is good idea. Now, if I could just convince my husband ...

AngiDas AngiDas

I think it is great idea,but make them free. Money or lack there of can become an issue once you have kids. It is hard to get help when is out of your reach if you can't afford it.


Littl... LittleManMama

I agree with jessi. You can just never be prepared for the ways parenthood will change you or the problems you will encounter as a couple until it happens. My husband and I have a strong marriage that has been tested by the arrival of our LO. I have changed. I am not the same as I was. I am much more serious and become stressed easily. Compare that to my easy going, easy to laugh nature before and it causes conflicts sometimes. There is always so much to do and we are at our max all the time. It makes for adults who are crabby with each other. Are we as satisfied as we were a year ago? Not in the strict definition but we are far more fulfilled in our lives. I have no doubt our marriage will survive and be stronger in the long run. Ups and downs are part of life and marriage. You gotta roll with it and trust what you have.

JIJsM... JIJsMommie

My Husband and I don't need a class like that. Our Son is nearly 4, and Our Marriage is even stronger, happier, and more physical *wink* than before Parenthood - it started after Our Son was Born and has only gotten better as time passes! I don't think they would really help anyone who isn't like Us, but anything is possible.

Kasey Comingore

I think it is a great idea! it was really hard after my son was born.  there were times i didn't think we would make it.  but he is a year now, and we are just as happy as we were before.  but sometimes i still miss the different (not better) relationship we had before.

Freela Freela

I think it's a good idea.  My husband and I were one of those couples whose marriage struggles post-baby.  Fortunately we recognized it, got some counseling, and worked it out- that was about seven years ago now!  I definitely think it's good that these classes are out there.

Proud... ProudSingleMum

Just out of curiosity...if your marriage was 'boring' before kids....what happens when they 'leave the nest'? You'll be back to 'boring'....

thedg... thedgoddess

Ridiculous!  Marriages need work every single day!  Babies aren't to blame for bad marriages, the participants are to blame for not focusing their efforts. The truth is most people become hyper focused on the baby instead of each other. You have to learn to balance in a marriage. And not give up so freaking easily.

Blaming babies for a failed marriage is like blaming the color of your car if you get a flat tire. No correlation, sorry.

jaxmadre jaxmadre

I think it could be a  powerful resource for those who need it. Why not?

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