I’m not sure my marriage could survive without kids–could yours?

I love my husband truly, madly and deeply. I love our relationship with practically every fiber of my being. I love calling him my husband. I love that he has worn his wedding ring for the past 14 years 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I love how fiercely devoted he is to our marriage and to the life we’ve created. I also know this– having kids has created a bond between us that is hard to articulate. Having kids has united us in this shared, joint lifelong venture. So much of what we do; our decisions, our goals, what we hope for is based on creating a future for these two little souls that our love ultimately brought into this world. Our shared love for them has strengthened the love we have for one another. I know that when I look at my husband doing homework with our daughter- or helping our son practice on the piano my love for him seems to blossom. And when I look at my kids, and they mimic one of my husband’s mannerisms, once again I see our love reflected in them, and it just reintensifies the love I feel for him.

Can A marriage-without kids-- survive?

I also know this, had we not had kids over the course of our 14 year marriage there are many moments when, had it just been the two of us, I think it might have been over. If it was just the two of us I am not sure I would’ve felt this urge to keep fighting for our relationship and to weather the proverbial storms and struggles we faced both as a couple and as individuals. For me kids are a life game changer– and while I would never stay in my marriage if I felt it was no longer a loving and supportive relationship, I know that having my kids keeps me grounded and forces me to work on it so that I can provide them with a two parent home that is their soft place to fall. So I’ve always wondered how and what keeps couples who don’t have kids, married.

What is the glue that sustains married couples when that common goal of raising children and providing a home for them is not there?


  1. Jennifer says

    My husband and I are married without children and we actually married later in life so maybe that makes a difference. He was 40 and I was almost 36 when we got married. Like all couples, we have had our rough times, but I think that piece of paper works the same way as you think your children work for you. Leaving is not easy when you are married and own a home and share a life… even when you don’t have children. I, too, have had those days or weeks or… well, those times when I wondered if this was the right decision for me. I’ve done things that certainly should have had him wondering the same thing. But, you have to think about that silly piece of paper that is the glue that put you together. You got married because you loved each other and because you wanted to spend your life together. That means through the hard times as well as the great ones. Sure, a part of it might be how difficult it would be to go through divorcing, but more than that… SO much more than that is when I stop and think, would I TRULY be happier/better off/doing just what I wanted/WHATEVER without him? I might be mad. I might be stewing on something that IS missing from my life, but I always stop and think… what about all of the things I HAVE. Do I want to trade them on the off chance I might find that ONE thing that I don’t have? Whether that one thing is passion or sex or money or SPACE IN YOUR HOUSE FROM ALL HIS CRAP, or time together or time apart for that matter… it doesn’t matter what that thing you feel like you are missing is. You have to balance that against what you would be giving up and so far, it’s never been worth it for me. That’s my glue. The wonderful outweighs any disappointment. If it doesn’t, though, well, that’s too bad and a different story.

  2. says

    Very interesting post Melissa, I just found your blog from Instagram. That’s a good question you ask. Im single and don’t have kids yet but I started a website with questions for on relationships for people to answer…I shared your question to the like page on Facebook of Lemons vs Limes I would also love love if you went on the website and answered some of the questions you found interesting. I hope its ok that i’m posting the website to your page. http://www.lemonsvslimes.com -Julia

  3. says

    I definitely think having kids creates an inextricable bond. But I also think (or maybe I would like to think, ha!) that our marriage would have survived without them. We are “for better or for worse” types and we are fiercely committed to marriage as an institution as well as to our personal relationship. But of course I have no way of knowing what our relationship would be like if we hadn’t had kids. Interesting to ponder!

  4. says

    My aunt has been married 36 years with no kids. They are still going strong in love. They fight hard but love harder. For me, I think my marriage would be stronger if I didn’t have kids. Having kids made me cater to them first. I think I focus more on them than my husband. LOL I tend to protect my kids first and side with them. I break the rules and let them sleep co-sleep with me, I spoil them more, so I tend to favor their relationship over my marriage. So could my marriage survive marriage without kids, Yes because I would probably focus more on my husband than my little girls 🙂

    • JiveNJingle says

      Wow. Your poor husband. Did he realize that when he married you, you were simply interested in his sperm and his support? Because I’m quite sure he’d have rethought his proposal if he’d have realized that he’d be essentially kicked to the curb when you started having kids. Because frankly, I feel sorry for the guy. Don’t be shocked and dismayed when you find out he’s been cheating on you, Dear, because if your description is accurate, he’d have every reason in the world to seek attention elsewhere.

      This marriage is the perfect example as to why marriages do end in divorce.

      • Coco says

        JiveNJingle, I think you said that a little harsh, but I can’t say I don’t agree with you. I have seen it so many times, mothers being so caught up in their children they forget about their husbands and like you said, every case has ended with the man having an affair. It is so important to maintain a healthy happy relationship with your husband, men need attention. Of course they want it from their wives, but if they don’t get it there they will surely notice when they get it from another. A happy family starts with happy parents.

      • Weezer says

        That was brutal, but I basically agree. A happy marriage creates happy kids, not the other way around. A strong bond between you and your husband makes your kids feel more secure. If you side with them over your husband, you are not being the parent anymore, you are trying to be a friend. Kids NEED to feel that their parents are the rule-makers of the household, not their “friends”. And the co-sleeping thing? You should think seriously about WHY you are doing that.

  5. says

    This post seems to be an explicit statement that the author’s marriage would not survive the lack of her children. I do appreciate that she stands in awe of those of us, both childless and childfree, who are committed to our partners in spite of our “lack” of children.

    I wonder what the author plans to do once her children are grown and gone?

    Lance @ werenothavingababy.com, Married 18 years, Childfree

  6. Sherri says

    “What is the glue that sustains married couples when that common goal of raising children and providing a home for them is not there?”

    Hmm, I don’t know… could it maybe be LOVE for one another? Perhaps you should’ve chosen your husband because you loved him, rather than for the size of his pocketbook.

  7. Lisa C. says

    What keeps us together even though we don’t have children? LOVE, obviously. We value our love very strongly, probably more than most people. We take our marriage vows seriously, also. Our marriage is very important to us both. What is life without love? What’s the point?

    We are good friends as well as a couple. We are partners in life. Yes, it takes some work, yes it’s not always perfect. Sure we fight sometimes. But it’s the best thing in the world, for us.

    We’ve been together since 2000. He has 2 kids, who are in their mid-20’s. He doesn’t want more, and neither do I. We’re very lucky. 🙂

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