Document Type : Original Article


1 Departments of Reproductive Health Department of Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran

2 Departments of Medical‑Surgical Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Tehran University of Medical Sciences

3 Departments of Reproductive Health

4 Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Birjand University of Medical Sciences, Birjand, Iran Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


BACKGROUND: The aim of this qualitative study was to explore if the presence of a child in the
family was an opportunity or threat to the marital life.
METHODS: In this common qualitative content analysis, semi‑structured interviews with 20
participants were conducted. All of the interviews were recorded and then transcribed. The data
were categorized, and the main themes and sub‑themes were extracted.
RESULTS: Twenty transcription were analysed. The data analysis led to the development of the first
theme of “feeling evolution” with the category of “flourishing the motherhood sense,” and the second
theme of “strengthening the marital life” with the two categories of “the marital life stabilization” and
“efforts for a common goal.”
CONCLUSIONS: The presence of the child can lead to the feeling of development and stabilizing
the marital life. Furthermore, the presence of the child can facilitate or hinder marital satisfaction.
Given the challenges due to a lack of preparation of parents for childbirth, consultation and support
by family members or the society can help with adaptation with this life period and increasing the
positive effects of the presence of the child on parents’ relationships and marital satisfaction.


  1. Fatehizadeh M, Ahmadi A. The relationship between marital
    satisfaction and communication patterns of couples in Isfahan
    University. J Fam Res 2006;1:109‑20.
    2. Mirgain SA, Cordova JV. Emotion skills and marital health:
    The association between observed and self‑reported emotion
    skills, intimacy, and marital satisfaction. J Soc Clin Psychol
    3. Peleg O. The relation between differentiation of self and marital
    satisfaction: What can be learned from married people over the
    course of life? Am J Fam Ther 2008;36:388‑401.
    4. Mósmann C, Wagner A, Féres‑Carneiro T. [Marital quality:
    Mapping concepts]. Paidéia 2007;16:315‑25.
    5. Hassan SA, Horany A. Marital adjustment among postgraduate
    students at universities in Malaysia. Elixir Psychol 2011;37:3773‑6.
    6. Huber CH, Navarro RL, Womble MW, Mumme FL. Family
    resilience and midlife marital satisfaction. Fam J 2010;6:1‑10.
  2. 7. Gorchoff SM, John OP, Helson R. Contextualizing change in
    marital satisfaction during middle age: An 18‑year longitudinal
    study. Psychol Sci 2008;19:1194‑200.
    8. Rebar SK. Infertility, Evaluation and Treatment. Translated by
    Zadeh K. 1st ed. Yazd: Chehr Publications; 1996. p. 48.
    9. Salter M. Altered Body Image. 2nd ed. London: Beqlliere
    Publication; 1987. p. 49‑65.
    10. Tavakol Z, Nasrabadi AN, Moghadam ZB, Salehiniya H, Rezaei E.
    A Review of the Factors Associated with Marital Satisfaction.
    11. Fraser DM, Cooper MA. Myles’ Textbook for Midwives. 14th ed.
    Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone; 2014.
    12. Littleton LY, Engebretson JC. Maternity Nursing Care. Canada:
    Thomson; 2005.
    13. Jafarnezhad K, Asadiyonesi MR, Rastgoomoghadam M. The
    relationship between family communication patterns and
    frequency and intensity of parent‑adolescent conflict. J Fam Res
    14. Nyström K, Ohrling K. Parenthood experiences during the child’s
    first year: Literature review. J Adv Nurs 2004;46:319‑30.
    15. Myers, M. Qualitative research and the generalizability question:
    Standing firm with Proteus. The Qualitative Report [On‑line
    serial], 4 (3/4). Available:
    16. Grbich C. Qualitative Data Analysis: An Introduction. (2st edn).
    London: Sage Publications; 2012.
    17. Graneheim UH, Lundman B. Qualitative content analysis in
    nursing research: Concepts, procedures and measures to achieve
    trustworthiness. Nurse Educ Today 2004;24:105‑12.
    18. Streubert‑Speziale HJ, Carpenter DR. Qualitative Research in
    Nursing: Advancing the Humanistic Imperative. Philadelphia:
    Lippincott Williams and Wilkins; 2007.
    19. Marci R, Graziano A, Piva I, Lo Monte G, Soave I, Giugliano E,
    et al. Procreative sex in infertile couples: The decay of pleasure?
    Health Qual Life Outcomes 2012;10:140.
    20. Reis S, Xavier MR, CoelhoR, Montenegro N. Psychological impact
    of single and multiple courses of assisted reproductive treatments
    in couples: A comparative study. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod
    Biol 2013;171:61‑6.
    21. Twenge J, Campbell WK, Foster CA. Parenthood and
    marital satisfaction: A meta‑analytic review. J Marriage Fam
    22. Hirschberger G, Srivastava S, Marsh P, Cowan CP, Cowan PA.
    Attachment, marital satisfaction, and divorce during the first
    fifteen years of parenthood. Pers Relatsh 2009;16:401‑20.
    23. Tavakol Z, Moghadam ZB, Nasrabadi AN, Iesazadeh N,
    Esmaeili M. Marital satisfaction through the lens of Iranian
    women: a qualitative study. Pan Afr Med J. 2016;25:208.
    24. Jose O, Alfons V. Do demographics affect marital satisfaction? J
    Sex Marital Ther 2007;33:73‑85.
    25. Yousefzadeh MR, Yaghoobi A, Rashidi M. The impact of
    metacognition skills instruction on secondary school girl students’
    self‑efficacy. J Sch Psychol 2012;1:118‑3.
    26. Shakerian A. Evaluation of the factors influencing marital
    satisfaction in the students of Islamic Azad Uiversity in Sanandaj.
    Sci J Kurdistan Univ Med Sci 2008;14:40‑9.
    27. Lincoln KD, Taylor RJ, Jackson JS. Romantic relationships
    among unmarried African Americans and Caribbean blacks:
    Findings from the national survey of American life. Fam Relat
    28. MacDermid SM, Huston TL, McHale SM. Changes in marriage
    associated with the transition to parenthood: Individual
    differences as a function of sex‑role attitudes and changes in the
    division of household labor. J Marriage Fam 1990;52:475‑86.
    29. Onyishi EI, Sorokowski P, Sorokowska A, PipitonecRN. Children
    and marital satisfaction in a non‑Western sample: Having more
    children increases marital satisfaction among the Igbo people of
    Nigeria. Evol Hum Behav 2012;33:771‑4.
    30. Guo B, Huang J. Marital and sexual satisfaction in chinese families:
    Exploring the moderating effects. J Sex Marital Ther 2005;31:21‑9.
    31. Cumming SM, O’Reilly WA. Fathers in Family Context: Effects
    of Marital Quality on Child Adjustment in the Role of the Father
    in Child Development. New York: Wiley and Sons; 1997.
    32. Bernier A, Jarry‑Boileau V, Lacharité C. Marital satisfaction and
    quality of father‑child interactions: The moderating role of child
    gender. J Genet Psychol 2014;175:105‑17.
    33. Minnotte KL, Pedersen D, Mannon SE. The emotional terrain of
    parenting and marriage: Emotion work and marital satisfaction.
    Soc Sci J 2010;47:747‑61.
    34. Mohammadi Khashouei RA, Mohammadi Khashouei M,
    Ghorbani M, Khosravi S. The experiences of supportive and
    participative needs of couples in the first experience of child
    bearing: A qualitative study with phenomenology approach.
    J Fam Res 2016;11:455‑69.