Relationship success is about being able to solve problems. It’s impossible to predict which problems will come up, so the important skill is having a dedication to being good at relationships (i.e. both partners should have read 2+ books on relationships and all of Datewell.org).
I was talking with a married friend of mine. He says based on conversations his and his wife have had with others in the area, they estimate 90% of couples in their neighborhood don’t have sex, at all.
He emphasized to me that having kids is really, really hard on a relationship. And he said that no matter how hard I think it’s going to be, it will be much harder than that.
Why? Imagine trying to solve problems with your partner without being able to talk to each other. One or the other partner will either be sleep deprived, or busy, or asleep. By the time the problems are obvious, they’ve built up so much and you’re so perpetually tired that it seems easier to put off addressing the problems until the kids are older. Then the problems never end up being addressed, and you’re condemmed to your “relationship”.
What’s the solution? Before having kids, both partners must agree to putting a weekly or multiple times a week time on the calendar where you two come together and pre-emptively solve problems. Talk about the little things that are bothering you, your feelings, the things you want. Also, before having kids, he highly recommends staying with friends of yours who have young kids to observe them, and then also at one point kicking them out of the house and parenting their kids yourself. The younger their kids are/kid is, the better, because the younger kids are the more energy they require (until they become teenagers, when it rises again).