Couples who do not have children can be placed into two categories: those who choose not to have children, or are voluntarily childless, and those who would like to become parents but are unable to, and are involuntarily childless. Having a baby can change the relationship between partners in positive and/or negative ways. Likewise, being unable to have a baby because of infertility can also change a couple’s relationship. The extent to which positive and/or negative emotions affect the relationship depends on the self-esteem of the individual partners and the couple’s ability to cope. Voluntarily deciding not to have children can affect couples as well. Societal and familial pressures may weigh on couples emotionally. This entry discusses the effects on couples of being unable to ...

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