Maureen Kenny and Charles Winick knew they wanted a baby but never imagined
they would have three at once. "Each has special qualities and quirks that
are endearing, yet, together, they form a threesome that is so adorable,"
Kenny says. "I can't imagine life without them."
But doesn't having 10-month-old triplets wreak havoc on a marriage? Not
according to Kenny. "It has brought us closer together," she tells
WebMD. "We love to talk about the babies and what is happening with them.
We plan for their future and look forward to spending time together with
By Sarah MahoneySurprising new marriage rules to help you get closer — or even fall in love
By the time we reach our 15th wedding anniversaries, most of us know how to
handle the ups and downs of marriage. Sure, the wedding china may have a few
chips, and perhaps we've had one too many spats about who forgot to bring home
the milk. But we've also learned to negotiate holidays with the in-laws,
wrangle tantrum-throwing kids, and talk each other through blown transmissions
and career crossroads...
"It has given us a common task," Winick says. "My wife and I
have similar views about raising children, so we have formed a nice
partnership. We help each other to stay consistent with the decisions that we
have made about raising children."
Whether a new baby brings spouses closer together or drives them apart has a
lot to do with the pre-baby relationship, says Jerrold Lee Shapiro, PhD, a
clinical psychologist and chairman of the department of counseling psychology
at Santa Clara University in California.
"Having a child intensifies everything in a relationship," he tells
"With the arrival of a first child, everything good in a marriage gets
better, everything bad gets worse. A couple that has good intimacy will find a
lot more to share, more experiences to get excited about together. A couple
that has a lot of distance will find that a child becomes a wedge."
Spending quality time with your partner before the baby arrives can put you
on the right track.
To stay there, Shapiro says it's crucial to recognize that your role as a
spouse doesn't disappear when you become a parent -- rather, it becomes even
"The very best thing you can give your child is a good relationship with
your partner. It provides security, an example of how people get along and how
to deal with conflict ... things that are good for a child to see."
But a good relationship requires time and intimacy -- elusive commodities
for new parents. "There is much less time for us as a couple," Kenny
says. "We have only been out without [the triplets] about three times since
Psychologist Arthur Kovacs, PhD, recommends setting aside at least a few
hours of couple time every week, "even if you have to schedule it."
This time does not have to involve anything fancy -- taking a walk, eating
dinner together, or meeting up with friends can help you and your partner
reconnect throughout the week. Make plans that are easy, so you'll be more
likely to keep them.
"My husband and I are making an effort to get out more with friends or
have people over to socialize," Kenny says. "Having people over to our
house is best for us, as the babies have all the stuff they need."