The Surprising Paradox Of Having Kids And Being Happy



Couples_Without_KidsPhoto: Cultura/REX USA.


You meet the perfect person. You fall in love and get married. You have a family and live happily ever after. That's what pop culture teaches us, right? But, what if having kids actually makes your relationship less satisfying? In a recent British study, Open University scientists discovered that couples without children have happier marriages. (And, it's not all due to double incomes, either.)

After pulling data from over 5,000 interviews, researchers found that couples without children rated their relationship quality and satisfaction higher than those with children. The childless participants also felt more valued by their partners. One reason those kid-free marriages fared better in the study? Time and effort. The study found that the childless couples invested more energy in maintaining their relationship. No real shocker there: Making time for your S.O. strengthens your bond, and adding kids to the equation definitely takes a toll on "us" time.

But, all is not lost, new parents! Results shifted significantly when participants were questioned about their general quality of life. Mothers were the happiest about their overall lives. And, women without children were the least happy, even though their relationships were better. Those findings are a bit troubling, since they suggest that women without kids tend to feel (or are made to feel) unfulfilled.

The study offered up some handy relationship lessons, as well. Participants who had been through bad breakups and divorces reportedly worked harder to maintain the relationships that followed. So, all those tears and heartache from your last split could actually make your next connection even stronger. Silver lining? We think so. (The Telegraph)