No, really? Because we thought all the stress of dealing with a newborn was just the thing to mend a relationship. And nothing says healthy childhood like growing up in a house with parents on the verge of divorce, no?
Philip and Carolyn Cowan, who are also fellows with the Council on Contemporary Families, a non-profit group based at the University of Illinois at Chicago, followed 96 couples for six years after their first babies arrived. Those who welcomed their children saw more positive feelings return at about 18 months. But those who were ambivalent or disagreed on the new addition — about one-third — continued to be mired in tension. And all those couples were either separated or divorced by the time the child reached kindergarten.
“Given these findings … it isn’t wise for an eager spouse or would-be grandparents to pressure couples to become parents before both are ready,” reported the Cowans, who will present their findings at the council’s annual conference here in April. “In light of the long-term consequences … the decision should not be rushed.”
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