Hollywood power-couple Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes announced their divorce last week after disagreements over how to raise their five-year-old daughter Suri. It seems they are not the only parents to part ways as a result of differences in parenting style.
New research has found that more than a third of Parents increasingly argue with their partner since having children, with nearly two thirds admitting that the most common rows revolve around how best to raise their children.
According to the research from parenting website yano.co.uk, British couples’ lives after having children changes dramatically when it comes to relationships, rows, sex and attraction.
The research revealed that six per cent of Parents had already separated from their partner before their child was born and aside from arguments over parenting style, financial pressures and who should be doing the chores also led to break-ups.
One in ten parents make room for a weekly ‘date night’ but nearly half (46 per cent) only get to spend one kid-free night a month together, with three per cent only able to get alone time once a year.
“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”
Ann-Marie McKimm, founder of Yano and mother of two, says: “Following the sad news about the split of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes this week, it is interesting to note that tension over how to raise a child comes out as the top reason for arguments in relationships and is clearly an issue that affects many couples. Given this result and the differences revealed in men and women’s views, I feel that it is important to open up discussions on these problems.”
Furthermore, 63 per cent of parents said their sex life has deteriorated since having children with just over a quarter (28 per cent) saying they have sex only once a month post-children, five per cent once a year and seven per cent revealed they now never have sex. This is perhaps unsurprising as the research showed that 37 per cent of parents questioned admitted that they are less attracted to their partner after having children – a feeling that is more common for women.
Dr Patrick Wanis, Celebrity Life Coach and Relationship Therapist says that much of the tension between modern parents stems from one major problem; we are effectively sacrificing the relationship for the sake of the children, doing the wrong thing for the right reasons.
Dr Wanis advises that, although it sounds counter-intuitive, the best thing parents can do for their children is put their marriage first. “That means regular date nights, still sharing hopes and dreams, still wanting the best for each other and 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,” he added.
There are also some clear differences between men and women’s viewpoints on Parenting. Women feel, more so than men, that their partner needs to take more responsibility helping with their child or children. Women are also more likely to complain to their spouse about chores and sex, whilst men are more likely to argue with their partners about Parenting styles.
TV psychologist Jo Hemmings 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,” she explained.
The survey also revealed some regional stats from across the UK. Northern Irish are more keen under the covers after the birth of a child, with over half of them confessing to having sex once a week, compared to just a quarter of couples in London.
Scots are also keen to rekindle their love lives after having children, with almost a quarter of couples (22 per cent) admitting they have sex every other day. Geordies top the poll when confessing they feel less attraction to their partners after the birth of a child, with over three-quarters of couples admitting they felt this way.
What are your thoughts on the findings - should parents compromise how to raise their children in order to save their own relationship?
Tell us what you think in the comments below or tweet me @Shabana_FAM