Do Not Even Think About Having Children
Until you are deeply confident of your capacity to relate under stress, do not even think about having children. Children are major stress-creators. Raising them requires a whole set of difficult skills and even then leaves most people, at least occasionally, bewildered and bedeviled.
The amount of time children take greatly limits a couple’s opportunities to play together, nurture each other, communicate, make love, and generally do the things that keep a relationship on a healthy keel.
Children are also financially costly, which adds to the stress level. Probably most important, children rearrange our psyches, as if they were removing one program from our psyche and adding another.
Whenever children are around, good parents tend to assume Mom or Dad energy, which is a very caring, but very unsexy, quality. To take care of all the household chores that accompany child rearing, parents also develop a lot of responsible doer energy.
In contrast, juicy lover energy and erotic, sensual energy tends to fly right out the window when Mom or Dad and Mrs. or Mr. Responsibility is around. It takes a great effort – and often getting away from the house and children altogether – to recoup them.
All these reasons are probably why a respected study found that marital satisfaction drops 75% after the first child. Furthermore, each additional child significantly increases the level of marital stress. When children arrive, everything in a marriage is changed forever.
Why one is having children is of profound importance. Is it to have someone to love you and look up to you? Is it to please one’s partner? Is it to please one’s parents? Is it to be socially acceptable? None of these reasons are strong enough to fuel the tremendous effort it takes to succeed at both parenting and partnering.
Especially beware the trap of having children to fix or strengthen a marriage. It doesn’t work. Or do you feel ready to give and devote yourself to the welfare of another very human being – while simultaneously giving and devoting yourself to your partner? If you fail, it is hell, all the way around. If you succeed, of course, it is heaven. Before you do what cannot be undone, it is well worth asking all the above questions.
For Children’s own good
For your future children’s own sake, it is advisable to wait for a marriage to grow steady. When couples are in conflict, in an emotional vacuum, or in any form of psychological distress, children assume, on one or another level, the debilitating burden of caring for and carrying their parents. They will do almost anything to try to keep their parents from being depressed or from abandoning the family.
Sacrificing themselves emotionally, mentally, and sexually, children can lose all sense of what they need and who they are. And when children invariably fail at the hopeless task of rescuing their parents, they absorb an anxious sense of failure that can last a life-time. A stable, relatively happy parenthood, and psychologically mature parents, are essential for a child’s well-being.