Having Children Ruins Marriages


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  • #1
I have the odd feeling that I'm going to have swarms of loving mothers and fathers out there screaming and yelling at me. "Children absolutely do not ruin marriages, you fool!" They'll disagree with what I'm about to say and they'll tell me that their own children have brought their own relationships with their spouses to entirely new levels. Levels of closeness and love and intimacy. And I'll tell them that they're all lying. And not only that, I'll tell them that because of their lying, they're liars. I really don't like liars and I also don't appreciate it when people deceive or delude themselves.

I'm a dude, so I'll be writing from a dude's perspective. That's all I've got. I know a lot of guys. I have a brother, a father, and tons of guy friends. I have uncles and nephews and have had male teachers and professors. And while I won't say that having kids has killed all of my male friends' marriages, I'll venture a guess that they haven't helped. In fairness, I'll tell you that I can remember an old soccer coach who obviously loves his children...wait, loving his children and those children making the relationship between the coach and his wife better are two wildly different things. So I suppose I should get this out of the way right now. Just because kids ruin marriages, I am in no way telling you that parents don't love their children. Although, I will say that I've read plenty of stories where that was exactly the case. Check this out. This stuff is all over the place on the internet. It's such a shame.

Perhaps I'll attempt to convey the point of this thread by offering some examples. After all, I have no children. All I can go on is what I've seen while watching friends, acquaintances, and family members over the past 30 some odd years. Here goes.

My brother got marries in his early 20s. He and his wife were quite happy. They both had excellent college educations and were wildly ambitious. They owned a home and had hobbies and spent a lot of time together. Then they had their first child. She stayed home and he went to work. The finances began getting tight. They had a second child. She continued to stay home and then began working at the office again. And then from home. They moved to a new state because of a job my brother wanted. She resented him for his freedoms and continued to care for the children. As the children grew, she began to cheat and go to bars. They eventually divorced.

I'm sure my mother and father were happy at some point early in their relationship. My father wanted two children while my mother wanted four. She got her way. As a child, I did witness a fair amount of affection between the two of them, but nothing close to what I'm sure was shared before they had their children. My mother took the children's side perpetually and my father resented that very much. It was always the children first to her. Their marriage almost fell apart once, but they pushed through.

I have a friend who married a woman he met online. They lived in bliss until she brought on two of her sister's children. Her sister couldn't care for the kids anymore. This shocked, surprised, and startled my friend. Their marriage almost didn't make it because of this. Expenses have skyrocketed, they purchase a new and much larger house to fit their family of four, and my friend has experienced a panic attack. He isn't happy. All because of the children he never wanted.

I have another friend who was as free as a bird in his youth. He married his high school sweetheart. She wanted six children and he wanted two. They ended up with five. He's currently laid off work because of the Coronavirus. The bills are piling up. He has no freedom and I can't imagine what it's like for him as he checks the balance of his dwindling bank account while watching five hungry mouths invade his refrigerator every ten minutes. His hair is now turning white and he's only in his 40s.

I know a girl who had two children after she married the man of her dreams. They were like two peas in a pod before the kids. She was proud of her husband and spoke affectionately about him constantly. After the kids arrived, he became so stressed out due to the burden of being a new father that he began to drink and abuse prescription medication. This girl also began either intentionally or unintentionally ignoring her husband and giving her children all of her attention. She couldn't figure out why her husband was acting as he did. A short time later, they divorced.

I can go on and on, but let me simply say that I am not aware of one couple I know who can honestly say that they became closer after having children. From what I can gather, the common theme is this: after the children are introduced into the household, the woman devotes most, if not all, of her time to them and the man feels left out, even if he is an active participant in the raising of the children. Again, I'm going by observation here. I don't have children, so I don't know. But it's got to be more than coincidence that I hear the same stories over and over. It's such a shame. It's almost as if the children are a giant wedge that comes between two people who once adored one another.

What are your thoughts on this? Am I way off? Do you have kids? What's your honest assessment of your relationship? I'd love to hear about the before and after.

Don't believe any of what I wrote above, read this story. It'll open your eyes.
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  • #2
While I can agree with a lot of what you wrote in your post, I have seen lots of dads who are very good at what they do. My friend is an excellent father, but yes, I have seen some terrible fathers too. I can't comment on the relationships they have with their wives though. I guess they seem okay, but one never knows what is going on behind the scenes. As you say, many couples break up and I am sure those breakups have something to do with the kids. It's never the same after that. What is our country's divorce rate now? Upwards of 50%? And that's probably low because of the fact that so many people are not getting married these days.


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  • #3
I have the odd feeling that I'm going to have swarms of loving mothers and fathers out there screaming and yelling at me. "Children absolutely do not ruin marriages, you fool!"
I know some women who would scream at you for what you wrote, but I can't find anything that isn't true here. Everyone knows that the top two reasons for divorce are kids and money. Maybe the two are connected. I honestly don't know any couples that are now happier after they have had kids. If they try to say they are, I too think they are lying. Nobody can be happier waking up in the middle of the night because of crying, having to make lunch for a kid every day and drive one to school, or having to deal with health issues and all that. I'm sure there are good points and points that make it worth while, but I don't think the experience can bring two people closer together. Actually, exactly the opposite happens.