New parents have less sex and more rows, study finds
Published 03/07/2012 | 14:00
HAVING children can ruin a couple’s relationship, new research has suggested, with six out of ten new parents claiming they have less sex and a third arguing more often.
Nearly four in every ten new mothers and fathers confess they find their partner less attractive after having children, with 63 per cent admitting their sex life has deteriorated.
Another 61 per cent of parents claim they have rowed over parenting styles, with only half spending quality time together once a month.
More than a third reported arguing more since having children than ever before.
A survey by parenting website Yano showed 42 per cent of women were not as attracted to their husbands or partners following childbirth, blaming financial pressures and arguments over household chores for increased arguments.
Some new mothers said they resented their husband’s approach to fatherhood, believing they need to take more responsibility for childcare, while men were more likely to complain about parenting styles.
More than half of couples reported rowing as a result of financial pressures, and 41 per cent over who should do the chores. Six per cent had already split up by the time their baby was born.
More than six in every ten parents said their intimate relationship had deteriorated since having children, with 28 per cent having sex just once a month, five per cent once a year and seven per cent not at all.
Another three per cent reported only spending child-free time with their partner once a year.
Of those surveyed by Yano.co.uk, parents in Newcastle were found to suffer the most damage to their romantic life, with three quarters claiming to feel less attracted to their partners.
Only 25 per cent of Scots admitted feeling the same.
Patrick Wanis, life coach, said parents should not sacrifice their relationship for their children and advised putting their marriage first.
“That means regular date nights, still sharing hopes and dreams, still wanting the best for each other, still taking time to enjoy each other’s company as adults and friends,” he said.
“Children thrive in a household of open love and affection between the parents. But when parents neglect each other, the children eventually suffer as the marriage falls apart.”
Jo Hemmings, psychologist, said: “When you make that transition from lover to mother or father, everything changes; the way society views you to your priorities to the amount of freedom you have.
“Many new parents report that while they have gained a huge amount in terms of love and fulfilment, a part of them still feels lost, and is wondering where the ‘real’ them is buried underneath the bustle and juggling of parenthood.”