And Baby Makes Three?

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    To have or not to have a baby? That is the question vexing many married couples.

    Your marriage may depend on your decision to have a baby.   It used to be, that having a baby might help save a marriage.  Then studies came out that having a baby created more tension in a marriage.

    But now, it depends on whether both parents want a baby, according to research at the University of Illinois at Chicago.   Psychologists followed 96 couples for six years after having their first baby.  All felt an increase in tension during the first 18 months.   But after that those that both wanted a child slowly returned to the same levels of marital bliss they enjoyed before the baby.

    On the other hand, if even one parent had misgivings about the baby, the couples generally wound up separating or divorcing before the child was old enough to enter kindergarten.

    "Given these findings," said psychologists Philip and Carolyn Cowan, "it isn't wise for an eager spouse or would be grandparents to pressure couples to become parents before both are ready."