Balthazar Getty, A-Rod and Madonna are the latest celebs on the brink of divorce--and have you noticed all of them happen to have young kids? Begs the question: Does having kids contribute to a higher divorce rate? We talked to Rabbi Sherre Hirsch to find out.
Is it just us, or does it seem like young kids are a recipe for marital disaster? Balthazar Getty's recent affair with Sienna Miller caused some major commotion because he is married with four young children. After rumors of an alleged affair, Balthazar stated: "In light of the fact that many pictures have surfaced in print and on the Internet, which has caused myself and my family great embarrassment, I felt it necessary to at least acknowledge publicly that, yes indeed my wife and I have separated and I will not be commenting any further." OK, he may or may not be a "cheater", but why do so many marriages fail when the children are young? (Britney Spears, Denise Richards--the list goes on...)
Rabbi Sherre said that the divorce rate is definitely higher in couples with young kids, and it's a common trend she sees in her community. She believes couples get into trouble because:
1. Young kids take time away from the husband, who used to come first. Most of a woman's time is now given to the child.
2. There is little time left for dating and sex.
3. The average couple with young kids has sex one time a month. This dramatically affects the marriage.
4. The husband feels completely neglected and ends up leaving or "acting out" by having an affair: "Rarely," Rabbi Sherre says, "do we see women leave. Most of the time, the husbands leave."
What can we do to protect our family and our marriage?
1. The most important relationship in the family is the one with your spouse. A great marriage means a great family. The best thing you can do is put your husband in the number-one spot.
2. Keep the sex up...even if you don't always feel like it.
3. Do some communal activities with the family: volunteer, go to church or synagogue, do something for those in need. Families gain perspective this way.
4. Spend an hour and a half each week together without the kids: take a walk, meet your husband at work for lunch, go for a bike ride. No kids. Period. You don't have to have a "date night," just spend some quality time together.
For more tips from Rabbi Sherre, visit her site.
Rabbi Sherre Hirsch is a mother of three and the author of We Plan, God Laughs. She offers non-denominational spiritual advice.
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