For those of us who are parents, this may elicit a giant DUH: many studies show that satisfaction with marriage takes a nosedive after the birth of your first child. In fact, about two-thirds of couples see the quality of their relationship deteriorate within three years of becoming parents, according to data from the Relationship Research Institute. For new moms, adjusting to hormonal changes and being out of work while caring for a newborn, the effect is usually immediate. For men, it can take longer, but ultimately, both Mom and Dad feel less satisfied than before they were parents, when they had all the time and energy in the world to devote to each other.
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That’s why, according to a piece in The Wall Street Journal, many hospitals and childbirth educators are starting to offer conflict resolutions in relationships along with breathing techniques for getting through labor. One program, a 12-hour Bringing Baby Home workshop, is now offered in 17 hospitals around the country. Among the topics addressed is the biggie for many couple: the division of labor as it relates to childcare and the household. Experts who lead new parent relationship programs suggest creating a master list of every little chore, and assigning them all, so it’s clear who’s supposed to do what.
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Did you find yourself less satisfied with your partner after having children? Do you think a class like this would have helped?