If you feel that the love in your marriage went away after having the first child, here's good news for you. Plan the second baby and you may have the mojo back in your love life.
Researchers from the University of Michigan say that several married couples get stressed after the first child birth with the new and challenging duties staring at them but the arrival of the second baby could improve the quality of married life as life slowly returns to where it was before the first birth.
“While the initial four weeks after the second birth involves a period of adjustment, couples often adapt to the changes by four months,” the team notes.
Previous researches suggest that marital satisfaction continue to decline with each additional child.
However, this study, published in the journal Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, finds that couples experience only minor disruption as the new baby is added to the family.
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“Even when there was significant change, it was often short-lived, attesting to family resilience rather than crisis after the birth of a couple's second child,” says Brenda Volling, psychology professor and the study's lead author.
The study includes more than 200 married couples who are tracked from the last trimester of pregnancy through one, four, eight and 12 months postpartum.
Couples having a difficult transition are more likely to use destructive marital communication (yelling, blaming, threatening their spouse) during child care disagreements about who is doing what.
“However, the disruptive period was short-lived. Couples engaged in positive marital relations again by four months,” adds Richard Gonzalez, professor of psychology, statistics and marketing.
Meanwhile, couples using more constructive communication and problem-solving strategies fare better after the birth of their second child.
“Couples who communicated positively and received support from family and friends were able to cope with stress, which prevented marital decline,” Volling notes.