After having a baby, marriage can become a little strained. Blame it on the additional responsibility, shorter tempers, and whatever else that gets in the way. However, not all unions are doomed when a newborn makes an appearance. According to the annual "Marriage, Inc.: The State of Our Unions: Marriage in America" report, there are five main criteria that keep couples happy even after having a baby.

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Moms, in particular, are happier if they experience the following:

1. Sexual satisfaction

2. Commitment

3. Generosity to husband

4. Positive attitude towards raising kids

5. Social support from family and friends

Dads turn out to be happier with almost the same list of experiences with the exception of the fifth criteria, which is replaced by a shared "marital spirituality." According to Philip Cohen, a professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina, however, the results are too uniform for what is supposedly a random study. In response, Bradford Wilcox of the National Marriage Project and co-author of the report is quick to say that several prominent sociologists have already given the report positive reviews.

The real challenge, though, is not whether the list will work or not but whether parents can actually make the effort to apply the list in real life. A baby can take a lot of quality time away from couples, and if both parents are working, this leaves them even less time for each other. To make a marriage work, couples must first have the willingness to keep the marriage alive. This comes before any item on the list.

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(Photo by simmbarb via sxc.hu)

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