You might have been experiencing some turmoil in your marriage for some time, and you may have tried all kinds of things to reignite that spark and get things how they used to be with your spouse. Nothing seems to be working, and your mind eventually starts to wander to the thought of, “Maybe if we had a child, things would change between us.”
This is a totally understandable train of thought, and the question of whether or not a baby will save your marriage deserves a comprehensive answer before you make the huge decision of raising a child. Let’s discuss how having a child can affect your marriage and whether or not doing so can save it.
Raising a Child is No Easy Task
For those planning on carrying their own child, let’s begin with the pregnancy. Even the easiest, most typical pregnancy can come with some pretty serious difficulties, such as morning sickness that can sometimes last all day, leg cramps, nausea, and indigestion, just to name a few. What’s more, there are the constant visits to the doctor’s office for checkups and ultrasounds.
As your day of delivery draws ever closer, there is the anguish of what feels like non-stop waiting and being in the dark about what is going to happen when you finally go into labor. And while that’s happening, you will need to make home preparations for your newborn, such as setting up a nursery and purchasing baby care essentials.
All of this is challenging enough when your spouse is supportive, loving, and understanding. However, if there has been a growing tension between you for a while and you and your spouse have been considering separation, pregnancy can feel extremely lonely. What’s more, you mustn’t forget that, when the day your baby is finally born arrives, your life is never going to be the same.
Waking up in the middle of the night to feed your baby and check up on them and change their diapers, as well as caring for a crying baby are just a few of the challenges that come with being a parent. The American Psychological Association reported on a study that revealed that satisfaction in a marriage plummets after a baby is introduced.
Having a child brings a lot of stress into a marriage, even on those that are great. Babies are demanding and take plenty of time and energy to care for – time and energy that you will have less of to give to your spouse.
Surprises Can Go Wrong
“Surprise!” you shout out ecstatically as you wave a pregnancy test before your partner’s eyes, hoping that they’re going to take you into their arms and pepper you with kisses, thanking you for finally giving them the baby they’ve always wanted. In truth, these picturesque reactions to pregnancies happen far less than the movies would have you believe.
If you are considering discreetly going off of your contraceptive and letting yourself fall pregnant so that you can ‘pleasantly surprise’ your spouse, we urge you to remember that these kinds of surprises can backfire, and frequently do. Rather than rekindling your marriage’s romance, you might find yourself with an irritated spouse who demands that you terminate the pregnancy or place the child in foster care after they are born.
Or the connection between the two of you may just become even bitterer as your spouse now feels betrayed, trapped, or somehow tricked into something that they didn’t sign up for.
You’d Be Putting a Lot on Your Little One’s Shoulders
If you are hoping for your baby to come to the rescue and fix your marriage, you are placing a huge burden on them before they even draw their first breath. Even though babies start with physically tiny and helpless bodies, their mind is still fully conscious and aware of what happens around them.
Studies have proven that babies in the womb are able to hear the carrier’s voice and pick up on their emotions. Your child will know when the atmosphere around you is tense, and even without you speaking a word, your child will be able to feel the massive expectation and pressure you are putting on them to fix your marriage.
The strongest foundation for having a child is when you and your spouse are joined in a loving relationship so that your baby has a stable and grounding place to grow. However, when this foundation is unsteady, and both you and your spouse are hoping for the baby to save the marriage, things will never end well.
Miracles Can Happen
With all of that being said, there can be cases in which the birth of a child has been beneficial in the repair of a marriage under strain. But, this will most likely happen alongside a number of other essential factors.
First off, the news of a pregnancy would have to be a massive wake-up call to you and your spouse when it comes to developing your relationship and working on closing the rift that has formed between the two of you. You will both need to come to realize the huge responsibility of starting your own family and bringing a child into the world, as well as the fact that you will need to work together to make things better.
What’s more, you will both need to be willing to put in the work and get the help needed to mend your marriage. If you and your spouse are both able to admit to your weaknesses and faults and learn new methods of communicating and relating to one another, there is hope that your child could provide you with fulfillment and joy alongside the challenges and demands.
Consider the Cost
You have to consider the cost and really think about whether having a child is a risk worth taking. We’re not just talking about financial cost – we all know the ever-increasing cost to live these days when considering food, housing, clothing, and education, to name a few. There is also going to be an emotional and mental cost, because you will find your attention and time very much absorbed by your child.
What’s more, you need to consider the long term: when you have a child, you will have made a commitment that lasts throughout your life. The baby years might feel like the biggest deal at first, especially with your first child, but after you have been a parent for a few years, you will realize that babyhood was actually the easiest part.
Once your kid starts talking and walking, then riding, then driving, all the while developing their own personality, the challenges will grow and grow alongside your child. Of course, being a parent comes with many blessings, but they might be overshadowed by all of the problems if your marriage is in turmoil.
The Bottom Line
Overall, the answer is quite clear: it is unlikely that having a baby will save your marriage, and in fact, doing so can make things much worse for it. So if you are struggling in your marriage, we strongly suggest that you seek professional help, like marriage counseling, so that you can get back on track before you even think about having a baby.