While the actions of one’s children are virtually never the basis for a decision to divorce, the manner in which children come and go within the structure of a family can play a significant role in the happiness level of the parents. When children are born or reach adulthood, significant restructuring occurs within a family unit. For Maryland couples who are already experiencing a weakened marriage, this shift can leave some spouses considering divorce.
When a child is born, a husband and wife assume new roles as parents. This change will not only impact the manner in which they relate to their child; it also changes the ways that the relate to one another. Individuals often have deep-seated beliefs about the way that one is supposed to fulfill the role of mother or father. When a partner does not meet those expectations, a high degree of marital dissatisfaction can result.
In addition, the arrival of a new baby is always a tumultuous time, even within couples who have a rock solid marital bond. When new parents are already experiencing trouble within the marriage, the addition of a new baby and the resulting sleep deprivation, financial strain and other factors can cause serious harm. One study states that as many as 67 percent of couples feel less satisfied within their marriage during the first three years of a child’s life.
A similar effect can occur for couples after their youngest child has left the family home. Empty nesters can find that they have little left to keep them together once their roles as parents have been fulfilled. This is also a time of new beginnings, and spouses who have been unhappy for many years are often unwilling to remain married as they begin the next stage of their lives.
Having children is one of the greatest joys that occur in life, and many families are not negatively impacted when a child enters or leaves the family home. However, in cases in which there is already a high level of marital tension, a new birth or departure can lead one or both spouses to begin considering divorce. For those in Maryland who are unsure how to proceed and wish to learn more about the divorce process, it may be helpful to sit down with a family law attorney for an initial consultation.
Source: Fox News, “7 life events that can lead to divorce”, Amanda Macmillan, March 26, 2015