Nine Things I Love About My Childfree Marriage

Nine Things I Love About My Childfree Marriage

October brings so many of my favorite things—cool weather, chunky sweaters, pumpkin everything, Colin’s and my wedding anniversary! October also means vacation in our household. You see, when my husband and I were on our honeymoon, we got to wondering why people only take one honeymoon. What prevents us from doing this every year? For many, the answer is kids. For us, it turns out the answer is nothing! So, for the last nine years, we’ve spent our wedding/anniversary date away from home. This got me thinking about all the things I’m grateful for in our childfree marriage. In honor of nine years with my hubs, here is a listicle with nine things I love about my childfree marriage:

    1. Relationship satisfaction. It’s no secret that kids will change a marriage. An article on fortune.com reads, “Comparing couples with and without children, researchers found that the rate of the decline in relationship satisfaction is nearly twice as steep for couples who have children than for childless couples.” Yikes! Colin and I were terrified of having kids for this very reason. Even back when I assumed we’d have kids one day, I dreaded having our relationship irrevocably changed. As the years went on, our relationship grew stronger and I started to fear kids even more than before. Thankfully, we realized that being childfree was a lifestyle we could choose.
    2. Ability to focus on us. Relationships take work but I think they shouldn’t feel like work. Or, at the very least, they shouldn’t always feel like work. It can be enjoyable, and obviously healthy, to strengthen your relationship with your partner. From time to time, I like to talk with my hubs and figure out where we can improve. Sometimes we ask each other random and generally silly ‘What If’ questions and discuss the similarities and differences in how we problem-solve. I’ve also been wanting to read “The 5 Love Languages” from the 90’s. That’s probably next on our list! (If you’ve read it, let me know what you thought!)
    3. Frequent date nights. Roughly 30 percent of parents haven’t taken a date night in six months or longer. Even to this utmost introvert, six months sounds like a really, really long time. My husband and I like to go out on date nights and I think they’re necessary for our relationship! Plus, I get cranky if my hubs and I don’t go somewhere fun in a while. True story.
    4. Being able to do our own things. Both Colin and I are hobby people. We like to have some sort of side project going on at all times. Over the years, these hobbies have evolved but we’ve always maintained some sort of separate interest. Why? Well, psychotherapist Arnie Kozak says it best: “If cultivating a relationship with ourselves is not worthwhile, what other relationships would be?” Time alone is an important aspect of relationships. If we had kids, it would become much harder to find time for hobbies and just good ole silence.
    5. Quiet evenings. If you have friends or family with kids, you know how their evenings look: They rush in from work, whip up dinner for their hungry children, run a bath, bathe one or more children, read a story, begin the bedtime routine, and of course deal with any battles that ensue from any or all of these things. I’m grateful for our evenings that consist of after-dinner coffee, walking our two pups, reading on the sofa, soaking in the tub, or just watching Netflix together.
    6. Spoiling our dogs. We’re avid dog-people but, even more specifically, we’re our dogs-people. We love our weird Boston Terriers to the moon and we enjoy catering to them. One has a booster seat for rides in our car (even typing that makes me wish I was kidding) and they both have all kinds of toys. They eat good-quality kibbles and see the vet regularly. Not only that, but we enjoy caring and, yes, spoiling. So what if we spend an hour perusing dog collars on Etsy, okay? We like having furbabies as opposed to real babies and our relationship doesn’t suffer for it. And while we’ve made it so neither one of our pups would ever make it in the wild, we like to think we’ve given them enjoyable lives in Suburbia.
    7. Sharing our money. While not every couple shares a bank account, this has worked well for us. Although, we could both probably stand to order fewer things from Amazon. It’s also nice to only have to divide our money two ways as opposed to three, four, or more as parents must. We don’t have to purchase diapers and onesies and we don’t have to save for anyone’s college.
    8. We ‘Get It.’ Being childfree can be amazing but it can also be isolating at times. At work, both my husband and I have been told the popular bingos about kids: You’ll change your mind. Just wait ’til you have kids. It can be frustrating to be surrounded by people who just don’t understand your lifestyle. It’s a beautiful thing when we get to come home and unwind and vent about people who just don’t ‘get it.’ To any parents reading this, sometimes we do bond over our complaints about you…#sorrynotsorry. It’s important to be with someone who just gets it!
    9. Traveling every year. As I mentioned at the outset, we love being able to take a ‘honeymoon’ every year. We’ve had the pleasure of sipping champagne in Virginia, watching the sunset in Sedona, walking the Vegas strip, sailing along the Neuse River, touring mansions in Newport, hot-tubbing on a cruise ship, listening to opera in London, and more. It doesn’t matter where we go, as long as we go. I feel really fortunate that we’ve been able to experience so many new places together and I can’t wait to experience all of the kitschy goodness of Niagara Falls this year!

What do you appreciate most about your childfree relationship? Let me know below!

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Comments

  1. Reply

    Great list, Brittany! Our cat is definitely our baby and we love spoiling her as often as we can (and as often as our vet will allow). Reading your list, I realized that I often take that stuff for granted because we don’t have kids. Like, that’s just our life. I’m a terrible multitasker and have quite the one-track mind. I can’t imagine trying to raise children well, excel in my work, and foster a strong relationship with my partner. I certainly admire people who are able to do all three, I’m just not one of those people.

    1. Thanks so much, Britt. I know what you mean. It’s easy to just view our everyday lives as just that but we wouldn’t have lives quite like these if we had kiddos. I admire parents too. I can’t imagine coming home from work, feeding a family, putting out ‘fires’, and starting all over again the next day.

  2. Reply

    I appreciate your blog, and I like this list a lot! As someone who did want kids (and wanted them badly) but was unable to have them, I have had to do a lot of grief work to get to where I am today. Thankfully, my marriage emerged from the darkest years of infertility stronger than ever and now my husband and I are working on creating a new life for ourselves. We are grateful for all the things we do have. Reading posts like this is so uplifting. Thank you!! 🙂

    1. Phoenix, thank you so much for sharing. I’m excited to hear that you and your husband are building a great childfree life together. Although it may not have been your original plan, I think you’ll find a lot of perks within the childfree lifestyle 🙂 Glad I was able to provide some inspiration!

  3. Reply

    This post describes my husband and I to a T! Minus the doggies, but we would love to have one!

    1. Tawny, thanks for your comment! I’m biased, of course, but dogs are the best! 🙂

    • Jodie
    • October 25, 2017
    Reply

    Love the list! I am so grateful everyday that we chose the child free life. I love the quiet mornings and evenings where we can be spontaneous – work out // go for walks // out on dates // drinks with friends without worrying about children. I love Saturday mornings – driving to brunch past all the sports fields #nothanks! I love that we travel without worrying about places being child friendly – in fact we much prefer child unfriendly places! And yes, our dog has given us an outlet for our love, and considering how we spoil him, it is best we don’t have kids! Thank you for giving me a space to gush over how grateful I am for our child free life, a-l-l my girlfriends are elbow deep in babies and toddlers and don’t understand me!

    1. Jodie, thank you for commenting! The everyday things on your list sound amazing! I love brunch! You’re very welcome for this childfree space. Thanks again for your comment 🙂

  4. Reply

    I’m a fan of the Love Languages! As a couples’ therapist it’s right up there on books I recommend. It just adds to the understanding of your spouse, and meeting his or her unique needs. Let us know what you think of it after you’ve read it! (There are free study guides too, perfect for date night discussions 🙂 http://www.5lovelanguages.com/resources/free-study-guides/ )

    1. Thanks for your comment, Michelle. That’s great to know! I will definetely keep you posted after I read it.

    • Holly
    • November 7, 2017
    Reply

    We don’t travel, but we hope to someday. (I have traveled a lot in the past- but recent medical bills have killed us). We DO spoil the heck out of our Pomeranian dogs. I am also able to be retired at 35! I’m a stay at home pom mom…and able to donate my time to helping rescue dogs with special needs. It took me forever to find a childfree man (basically he came along a month after I retired at 35- and I am so glad he put a ring on me because I honestly thought I would never find a guy in my age group that hadn’t sowed his seed!) We love being able to just focus on each other and binge watch some tv series or take a long dog walk or just goof off while I paint and he plays guitar. Or we can just tear up some room in the house on a weekend on some rouge remodel project. We do what we want. Our master bathroom has a skull decor, because…WE CAN! LOL!

    1. Medical bills are the worst, ugh! Spoiling dogs is pretty great and retiring at 35 – that’s amazing!! And I’ll admit, I’m a bit jealous 😉 Helping dogs with special needs is such hard work, those dogs are so fortunate to be in your care. “Because we can”– I love that philosophy!

  5. Reply

    Although I am childless not by choice, I do try to look at the bright side of infertility and my childless life. Thank you for sharing this list, as it reminded me of many of the reasons I do love my hubby and my life. We, too, spoil our Pom, Maddie. I absolutely LOVE being a dog mom! Not having kids allowed me to recently quit teaching and start a blog of my own. This adventure has been AMAZING! And as for the Love Languages book, it is awesome! I highly recommend that you read it!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Brandi! I also stopped teaching and now freelance part-time and run this site. I’ll definitely be paying more visits to your blog! Happy to hear a positive recommendation for 5 Love Language — it’s on the way to my house now and I can’t wait to dig in. I’ll share a review once I finish it!

  6. I can relate to so many of these points!! These are definitely some of the best things about having a childfree marriage, so thanks for sharing Brittany 🙂 I can totally relate to the joy of being with someone who just ‘gets it’. Now that I’m becoming more open about not having kids with colleagues, friends and even strangers, the “You’ll change your mind, Just wait ’til you have kids” (etc etc etc) comments have started coming. My favourite is “What? You’re not having kids?!”, said in a horrified tone as if the number of humans on this planet was dwindling so low that we all must reproduce as quickly as possible to avoid complete extinction…

    1. You’re welcome, Lisa! And thanks for your comment 🙂 I feel it’s so important to be with a partner who truly ‘gets it.’ I’m sorry you’re getting “bingoed” by people now — ugh! It’s so rude to question people about their decision not to have kids. yet the vast majority of people don’t even realize how presumptuous they’re being. I hope as more and more people choose to be childfree, the fewer times we’ll have to defend our choice.

    • Marcie
    • November 15, 2017
    Reply

    My husband and I are both teachers, and are childfree by choice. We also “honeymoon” every year. Being teachers we take the whole summer and travel. We hire a wonderful dog and house sitter to live with our two furbabies all summer (this is difficult for me but I know they are in good hands). For six to eight weeks we travel the United States, mostly the national parks, Canada and Mexico. I absolutely love your list and can completely relate to it!!

    1. That’s amazing, Marcie! My husband and I have plans to hit the road one day (if our house ever sells!) and hope to see as many national parks as possible. If you have any recommendations, I’d love to hear them 🙂 I’m glad you liked this list and thanks so much for commenting.

    • Samantha
    • November 15, 2017
    Reply

    This made me so happy. My husband and I have been married for 8 years and we chose not to have children. We have 3 furbabies and try to help rescue animals and our local animal rescue. We love our “us” time. Some people think we’re crazy so this was a nice read. It’s great if people choose to have children but no one should judge people who just aren’t for parenthood.

    1. Hi Samantha! Your comment has made me so happy too! That’s so great that you help out your local animal rescue. My husband and I love our two dogs to pieces. I’m trying to convince my husband to get a third but that’s not going so well, HA. I feel like us time is so important. That would have been a huge sacrifice if we had decided to have children. I agree, no one should judge those of us who have forwent parenthood! Thanks for your comment 🙂

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