You survived the terrible twos, enjoyed the fantastic fives and found that the sassy sevens were not bad as people said. Yet, like parents across the country, there is one stage of your child’s life you still fear: The teenage years.
When puberty hits, it can play havoc with the teen you dote upon. Overnight, your teen can change from your favorite person in the world to the one that causes you more strife than anyone else.
Teenagers can affect your marital relationship
A recent study found the chance of divorce increases as your children age and peeks as they hit their teenage years. This is particularly true if you happen to have a daughter (although the parents of all teens tend to have more marital problems than the parents of young children).
Why do a child’s teenage years tend to put a strain on their parent’s marriage? There are several possible reasons:
- You argue about raising your teen: As your child ages, the potential problems they can get themselves into increase. Parents have less control over their teens’ lives, and that can lead to conflicts between parents who want to clamp down on their child’s freedom and permissive parents. You might argue with your spouse over what time your child has to be home, whether they can see their romantic interest, or whether they are working hard enough to get the grades for college.
- There’s an extra strain on your schedule: A teenager may need you to drive them around more than when they were young. Your teen may have other plans that clash with your family’s hopes for the weekend. It can leave you and your spouse less personal space, leaving you tired and with less tolerance for each other.
- Three’s a crowd: When your child is little, you can usually persuade them to do what you want fairly easily. Your teenager, however, may have strong opinions which they are not afraid to voice. Reaching a compromise can be hard enough with two people, let alone three.
If your marriage is rock solid, it is unlikely a teenager can cause it to crumble. What they can do is expose and amplify the stresses and cracks that already exist between you and your spouse. Your teen is not responsible for your marital woes, but they might help you realize it is time to find out more about divorce.