Babies change everything, so when is the best time to have one?
You just got married, and now you're ready to have babies. Or maybe you want to wait a year or so before bringing another family member into your life. You want to enjoy the honeymoon phase and settle into married life. You may also want to save up a little, buy a house, and feel prepared before thinking about another mouth to feed.
The truth is, we'll never be "fully ready" for children. Everyone's circumstances are different, and there are a gazillion reasons why people wait, but did you know there is actually a best time in your marriage to have babies if you want long-lasting marital satisfaction?
How Long Should You Wait To Have a Baby?
According to research, there are two periods during a marriage when divorces are most common: years 1-2 and years 5-8. While 20% of all marriages end within the first five years, years 7 and 8, in particular, are the most common years for divorce.
There are two periods during a marriage when divorces are most common: years 1-2 and years 5-8.
Going by this data, marital satisfaction would be measurably higher if couples waited three years after marriage to have babies. Waiting three years is best because having a longer time to date and settle into married life allows couples to really get to know each other and sort out any differences before babies and family life take over. Let me explain.
The Honeymoon Phase
The honeymoon phase lasts roughly one to two years. It can feel like a whirlwind romance with a series of magical moments – the wedding day, honeymoon, a new home, a new chapter, etc. You both feel loved up, the attraction is high, the sexual chemistry is on fire, and you feel appreciated and wanted. It feels like you're on cloud nine, and you're high on love. It's like being on drugs.
Then one day, you wake up, and the feeling of falling in love begins to fade away, indicating that the honeymoon phase has ended. The rose-tinted glasses come off, and you finally see your spouse for who they truly are, warts and all. You begin to notice things about them that you hadn't notice before. Or maybe you did, but you were so drunk on love during the honeymoon phase that you turned a blind eye. Now those things that you ignored start to annoy you.
Committing yourself to one person for the rest of your life changes everything.
You begin to notice other things about them and realize just how different you both are – you might even start thinking you're incompatible. And now you're beginning to see who you are as a married couple. Reality kicks in. Most couples can work through this stage in the relationship, but a certain percentage of couples start questioning their decision to get married and ultimately don't make it past this point.
That's the thing about marriage – it's not just a piece of paper. It joins you physically, psychologically, and spiritually.
Committing yourself to one person for the rest of your life, in front of family and friends, changes everything, which is why many couples experience a shocking reality check when they come out of the honeymoon bubble.
Think about all the celebrity marriages that have ended within the first two years. For example:
Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries – 72 days
Britney Spears and Kevin Federline – 2 years
Katy Perry and Russell Brand – 1.2 years
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard – 15 months
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt – 2 years
Adele and Simon Konecki – 2 years
Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth – 8 months
Brody Jenner and Kaitlin Carter – 1 year
And anyone you know who has experienced this. I personally know three people whose marriages ended around the two-year mark.
It can take up to four years before you truly see and accept your spouse for who they are.
Not only are the first two years of marriage crucial for getting to know each other, but most couples date for at least 1.5 years, which includes the engagement period. So this shows it can take up to a whole four years of getting to know your spouse before you truly see and accept them for who they are. Once we arrive at this stage, that's when it's the "ideal" time to have a baby.
Look, there's no right or wrong time to have babies as everyone's circumstances and life goals are different, and not everything that happens to us is entirely in our control.
When you know about the different phases your relationship will go through, you can prepare yourselves so you won't be so shocked when they spring on you.
The most important thing to remember is that happy children come from happy parents. When you reach the two-year mark (with or without babies), know that your marriage will go through some changes, but you can make it out to the other side with commitment and a bit of work toward the same goals.
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