People who have children may live longer, but married couples without children have better, stronger relationships, the UK’s Telegraph reports. The data comes from the largest study done on couples’ happiness in Britain.
The full study won’t be presented until later this week at an academic conference, but the Telegraph explained the findings. Conducted by Open University, the study finds “people without children are more satisfied with their relationships and more likely to feel valued by their partner than couples with children.” Both men and women without children rated their relationship satisfaction higher than people with kids. Obviously, people who didn’t have to run between pediatrician appointments, dance classes and parent-teacher conferences had more time to “maintain” the relationship, meaning actually getting to act like a couple. It seems that time is what kept them happier.
The difference in happiness wasn’t divided the same way when it came to happiness to the rest of life, though. Women who were mothers had the highest satisfaction of all four groups while childless women were the least happy with their lives. On the other hand, men who weren’t fathers were only slightly less happy than their daddy peers.
Still, whether or not couples had children, they agreed that the thing that kept them happiness was when their partner said “thank you”. That makes sense. A little appreciation goes a long way. The person thanking the other takes a moment to really absorb how much that person loves him and the person being thanked knows his efforts are noticed.
You probably won’t be able to enjoy the kind of couple time you did in the early part of your relationship til the kids are in college, but to maintain, a simple thank you can make a big difference.
Do you think your childless friends have better marriages than you?