chapter  7
Parenting and the Marital Relationship
WithFrank D. Fincham, Julie H. Hall
Pages 30

Parent and spouse roles are characterized by numerous expectations and responsibilities that tend to be fulfilled simultaneously as partners in a marriage are often partners in parenting as well. Thus, it can be quite difficult to disentangle marital and parenting processes, and to determine how one relationship impacts the other. Considerable attention has been devoted to exploring how becoming a parent affects the marital relationship; the birth of a child is associated with an increase in marital conflict and a decrease in marital satisfaction, but an increased sense of partnership (Belsky, Lang, Rovine, 1985; Cowan, Cowan, Heming, Garrett, Coysh, Curtis-Boles, & Boles, 1985). Yet at the same time, marital relationships also exert a considerable influence on parenting processes and behaviors. Given the nature of this book, we focus on this aspect of the association between marriage and parenting.