Most people desire to make to a long-term commitment to another person. Long-term relationships and marriage can bring out both the strengths and weaknesses of the individuals involved. Even when choosing a partner wisely, there are many issues to be faced and potential stumbling blocks that need to be navigated.
Individuals change throughout life. Learning to change individually as well as together as a couple can present challenges. There are additional challenges (and rewards) if and when children are brought into the family. Dr. Friedland counsels individuals in developing healthy, engaged, reciprocally rewarding relationships.
Much research shows marital relationship functioning declines during the transition to parenthood. Cohabiting fathers, in comparison to married fathers dropped more in personal dedication and relationship confidence. No difference was found between cohabiting and married mothers. “Commitment Across the Transition to Parenthood Among Married and Cohabiting Couples,” by Claire M. Kamp Dush, Galena K. Rhoades, Sara E. Sandberg-Thoma, & Sarah J. Schoppe-Sullivan, Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, 3(2), 6/1/14.