Study: Couples Without Children Have Happier Marriages


Childless couples have happier marriages, says a new study.

Researchers at the Open University in the United Kingdom interviewed and surveyed over 5,000 people and found that men and women without children are more satisfied with their relationships; they are also more likely to feel valued by their partner. The participants included people of all ages, statuses, and sexual orientation.

I’ve always been skeptical of these studies but there it is again.


ask them again in 50 years when they are child"free" and unhappy when they are widowed and there is no one to visit them or care for them in their old age.


Don’t worry, you’re chilldren will be taking care of them (paying taxes and/or working in nursing homes).


I am super confused.

From the article

Researchers also found that women without children were the least happy with life overall, however they did find that mothers were happier than any other group.

So if you are childless your marriage is happy but you are miserable, and if you have children you are happy but your marriage is miserable? How does that even work? I would assume you happiness and your marriage would be linked somewhat.

Also how long have said people been married? It says it is asked people of all ages, and then talked about people being happier who had previous “long term” relationship. So I assume we are including marriages after a first marriage.

The methodology seems a little screwy to say the least.


I did not look closely at this study but what I’ve noticed in other studies is that they measure happiness in terms of conflict avoidance and attention to oneself. Other studies, though, have shown a more positive view of family measuring something more like life satisfaction.

One could probably say, in general, that hardship harms short-term happiness but improves long-term satisfaction and that raising a family is a big example of that.


As the proud father of two daughters, I must honestly say that considerable sacrifice went into their upbringing. Imagine the money, exotic trips, majestic homes, cars, etc., we would have without the expense of children! Yet, in retrospect, I would gladly stay home, live in a hovel, and drive junk heaps to enjoy the many blessings we’ve received since their birth. Fortunately, God blessed our family with children and a very comfortable life. :thumbsup:


Agreed! :wink:



let’s see

– Option A) Being a good parent means you have to be selfless and put your child first, being responsible for others for 20+ years.

– Option B) No kids means that husband and wife continue to indulge in selfish/greedy behavior, and be responsible for only themselves.

So OK, I can totally understand why selfish couples are happier without children. These are also the people who idolize fancy parties & social life and worship money.

Perhaps society is better of if they don’t have kids…



More happy without children? I can’t imagine not having mine.

Less stressed without them? Almost certainly.


100% agree


I have no children. I am happy. But I would like some… I will be happier if I have them (I assume) :smiley:


the study also shows that when it comes to “happiness with life” overall, those who say they are happier include all parents, people who are married, mothers, those with more education and those who are religious.

Women without children, on the other hand, said they were the least happy with life overall, according to the study, Enduring Love? Couple Relationships in the 21st Century, published by The Open University in Britain.


Ah, the happiness question! I had a friend who recently got romantically involved with his MARRIED old high school girlfriend and justified it by saying, “She was not HAPPY in her marriage.” I told him that all marriages have some degree of unhappiness and that is not a standard for morality. Even in our government we have a right to PURSUE happiness, the implication being to me that that the pursuit or search for happiness is common to all people; the finding of happiness is elusive.

My favorite quote is: “I am often contented, occasionally happy, and rarely satisfied.” Whether I am rich or poor, married, or unmarried, successful or not, childless or not, that principle would remain true. These polls and studies ask questions in very leading ways and are not really good indicators of any true value. If a group of people were miserable but were creating a beautiful garden, could their contribution be of less value than the contribution of a bunch of happy folks creating an awful garden?

Can we ask the questions: Is happiness something you can honestly gauge about yourself ? and Is happiness something to be valued highly?

Or best to ask, what is true happiness?


Seems to me they might be making a case for SSM.


Cha Ching!:frowning:


Seeing that SSM people want children, Id say its more of a case for contraception and abortion.


Mighty sweeping generalization, no? Support? Media spotlight stories aside, I’ve seen very little interest in adopting children among my admittedly small sample of gay men. The right for OTHER gay men to do so yes. They themselves, not so much… But that’s a tangent and unless you have data, we’re both probably just reporting our impressions.

On topic, I’d be surprised if they used any really meaningful definitions of “happiness” in the study. I’d prefer to see data on more concretely measurable things like divorce rates for couples with zero, one, two, three, four+ kids or depression rates or drug abuse rates, alcoholism, domestic abuse, etc. One would suspect that the most constructive type of relationship would show the lowest rates of negative concrete outcomes. For purposes of apples-apples comparisons, you could limit the sample to couples who have been married at least 20 years to level the playing field.

For now, I’m not buying what they’re selling. Three kids so far!


Just what I was thinking. You do “spin” the wheel of fortune" so to speak when you have kids. Will they be good Christians, will I be a good parent? So many questions. For a while, I am sure things might be great. But then later, what have we missed? The joys, those first steps, that first scrape on the knee and the tears and comforting, the first little league baseball home run. Christmas day! Birthdays! The hugs, the "I love you’s! Daddies little girl gets married! Grandchildren. Of course, then there is puberty. :frighten:

Well, I think I have made my point. If your a guy, and the only male, you have just ended your father’s line. That’s a downer. Finally, the Bible tells us to be fruitful and multiply. To do otherwise seems slightly selfish. JMHO.

PS: However… I know some great people that I feel strongly that would make lousy parents. Just an opinion, but well there you are.


You are right. There are some people that would make lousy parents and there are some people that make great parents. This is kind of q puzzle for me since people who make lousy parents have no trouble having kids while infertile couples who would make great parents are denied kids. Not all childless couples are selfish.


Not everyone who is childless is miserable or will be. Priests and nuns are also childless and they seem to be happy people.

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