New research from Open University in the U.K. finds that couples without children are more satisfied with their relationships than couples with kids.
In a study of more than 5,000 adults, findings showed that childless couples have happier marriages and feel more valued in their relationships, reports The Guardian.
But researchers also found that women without children were the least happy with their lives overall, whereas mothers were happier than any other group, even if they had troubles in their relationships. Yet fathers were twice as likely as mothers to report a lack of sexual intimacy as the biggest problem in their relationship.
Findings also showed that important factors in keeping a relationship healthy included saying thank you and giving compliments.
The research involved interviews and surveys with couples of all ages, statuses, and sexual orientation over a two-year period.
Prior research has also found that couples with children eat a less healthy diet that those who have none, even when controlling for other factors such as income or age. That study was published in the December 2011 issue of the European Review of Agricultural Economics.
Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick
"<a href="http://www.redbookmag.com/fun-contests/celebrity/kyra-sedgwick-interview-3" target="_blank">We got help when we needed to be alone,</a>" said Sedgwick of her 25-year marriage to Bacon. "We check in with each other all the time. I think that's ultimately the best for the kids, because they feel safe when they know Mum and Dad are good, enjoying each other's company and wanting to be alone together. I think that's important."
Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas
"We're willing to change with each other, let old things die and new things be born," said Griffith, who has been married to Banderas for 16 years. "But it's a constant endeavor."
Christine Taylor and Ben Stiller
After 13 years together, Taylor said the key is "<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/03/ben-stiller-marriage_n_1125508.html" target="_blank">a lot of communication</a>. And we're lucky these days because there are so many ways to Skype, e-mail. And you can take airplanes these days to visit when you're working."
Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks
Rita Wilson's keys to her 25-year relationship with Hanks? "<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rita-wilson/love-long-term-relationships_b_1266773.html" target="_blank">Laughter, kindness, respect, allowing the other to grow, hanging in there when it gets rough, not walking away. And great sex.</a>"
Victoria and David Beckham
“<a href="http://www.glamour.com/magazine/2010/02/victoria-beckham-cover-shoot-photo-gallery#slide=2" target="_blank">It’s not healthy to be jealous</a>," Victoria said of their 14-year marriage. "I look at David and I think, He’s so handsome and I’m so lucky to have him as a husband. And he’s an amazing father. I don’t blame people for looking at him and finding him attractive. I mean, I do.”
Iman Abdulmajid and David Bowie
"[Bowie] says it's all about the humor," said Iman after 21 years of marriage. "He finds me funny. I find him funny as well -- he's very English."
Michael J. Fox and Tracy Pollan
"The key to our marriage is <a href="http://www.rd.com/health/an-interview-with-michael-j-fox/" target="_blank">the capacity to give each other a break</a>. And to realize that it’s not how our similarities work together; it’s how our differences work together," said Fox, who has been married to Pollan since 1988. "The secret to a good marriage, as far as I am concerned, is a joke I make: Keep the fights clean and the sex dirty.”
Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin
Paltrow was put on the spot on "Chelsea Lately" when Chelsea Handler told an anecdote about Paltrow's love avice. "A woman was saying 'I got into a big fight with my husband and I got home and I wanted to scream and yell. You [Paltrow] were like, 'Whatever you're doing, do the opposite. If you feel angry, go at him with love and you give him a blow job.'"
Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne
"<a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20237708,00.html" target="_blank">Get a good crash helmet on my head</a>," Ozzy said of his wife of 31 years. "When she gets pissed off, I really go up in the air."
Michelle Pfeiffer and David. E. Kelley
Pfeiffer said of her 20-year marriage: "<a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/family/celebrity-interviews/michelle-pfeiffer-0707-4" target="_blank">It's not something we take for granted</a>. We still have a regular date night every week."
Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos
"I say reach out and grab your husband's hand every once in a while," said Ripa of her 17-year marriage. "Even if he's wrong and he makes you sick. Because a little bit of that gets you a little bit of a back rub, which gets a little bit of 'You look pretty today.'"
Jada Pinkett-Smith and Will Smith
"What’s helped us is being supportive, no matter what the situation is," said Will of their 16 years of marriage.