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You may have heard of the “seven-year itch,” which traditionally caused couples to divorce after seven years of marriage. These days, couples are four times more likely to break up after only three years, and a recent study found that the number one cause of breakups is having kids.
British parenting website, Netmums, surveyed 1500 people about how the pressures of parenting affected their relationships. Over 40% of the couples surveyed said that having children has driven them apart. Nearly 80% said that exhaustion from raising kids negatively affected their relationship. Half said that the spark has left their relationship since the kids came along, and 46% blamed a lack of sex after having a baby. Others cited money worries, debt, and lack of time together without the kids as the main causes of their relationship woes.
According to Professor’s House, child-free couples enjoy a significantly lower divorce rate from the world average. Married couples with children have a 68% divorce rate within the first ten years, while child-free couples have a rate of less than 22%. Netmums founder, Siobhan Freegar says, “Relationships are tough at the best of times, but add in young children, lack of time, work, and money worries, and it’s little surprise couples are splitting up earlier than ever before.”
One major factor seems to be that couples are rushing into having children without spending time getting to know each other. 1 in 20 couples surveyed by Netmums expected to have a baby within only three months of getting together, and 15% expected a baby within a year. These statistics show that DINKs have the right idea. The key to a long, happy relationship is either waiting to have children, or not having them at all.
Jen Heller Meservey is a proud DINK and freelance writer who regularly writes articles for Nvate Magazine, software reviews for Downloadhaus.com, and blogs for KnotFriends and PhillyLiving. For more information and copywriting services, visit www.jenhm.com.
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