Can your parenting style destroy your marriage?
When Mayim Bialik filed for divorce, she released a statement that her hands-on parenting style wasn't the cause.
You may be wondering if parenting styles — even when both parents agree — can affect your relationship.
Bialik's statement was thought by many moms to be a pre-emptive strike against reports that may have come out that attachment parenting was a contributing factor to the breakup of her marriage.
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Whether you practice attachment parenting, let your baby cry it out or have older kids and disagree with your partner about issues like discipline or school, you're not alone.
No one knows for sure what goes on behind closed doors in any marriage, but parenting adds its own set of stress.
You're not alone
Clinical psychologist and parenting expert Dr. John Duffy says, "When parents disagree about punishments, consequences or whether to share their bed with a younger child on an ongoing basis, this can cause a great deal of strife and consternation in their relationship. For this reason, I would argue that it is critically important that parents work hard to find common ground when it comes to some of the important basics of parenting."
If you have a baby, talk to a trusted friend with older kids who may have helpful advice to share. If your child is older, chances are parents with kids the same age are going through some of the same issues you are.
The sleeping issue
Whether or not to co-sleep is a big issue with new parents.
Relationship expert Lori Bizzoco says, "There is no right or wrong for co-sleeping. For some parents, it works. However, if you find that your relationship is suffering or beginning to change for the worse, it's time to bring back some one-on-one time with your partner. If your partner is pro co-sleeping and you are against it, develop a healthy compromise and remember, the bed you and your husband slept in was once just for the both of you."
It's OK to agree to disagree
Michelle M. is mom to three sons ages 9, 13 and 17. She explains, "We have had a challenging year with our oldest and due to the different philosophies that my hubby and I have has caused tension and distance between us. He is more of a black and white kind of person and I live in the gray area — I am always telling him to color outside of the lines."
Parenting consultant Meg Akabas says it's OK to have different opinions as long as couples can reach some sort of middle ground. "The important point is to resolve these conflicts out of the range of children's ears and to not undermine each other once a decision is made," she says. "Learning how to work out disagreements in parenting styles in a growing process that can actually strengthen a relationship."