What has been your experience with a grownup only child as a spouse, or partner?

What has been your experience with a grownup only child as a spouse, or partner?
Clearly, the likelihood of being:
  • more self-centered,
  • less socialized,
  • less accustomed to living in tight financial circumstances;
  • less “seasoned” by having to navigate and suffer the hard knocks of life among siblings; and
  • less accustomed to child care (I am the oldest of 9 children, so I knew a lot more about child care than other by the time I was an adult)

is higher with only children, but that increased likelihood clearly does not mean that all only children are inexorably going to be that way. Besides, there are some likely advantages in one’s adult life that can come from being an only child:

  • a closer relationship to parents (fewer children for a parent to divide attention among)
  • being better educated
  • being mature for one’s age (because there are no other children to keep you “infantilized” you end up emulating your parents that much sooner)
  • better able to make and keep strong friendships
  • able to handle being alone more easily than those raised in a big family where there was likely someone around

Other than point out that there are upsides and downsides to only-childhood, there is nothing I could say on this subject that John Gragson hasn’t said just as well or better than I could. I commend his answer to you:
I’ve never had a partner who was an only child, so I can’t answer it from that perspective. But I was, sort of, an only child. My sisters, from my Dad’s first marriage, were significantly older than me and did not live in the household with me except summers when I was extremely small and honestly I don’t remember that all that well. So as an older child I was the only one. My wife has two sisters closer to our age; she was the youngest one. Both of my sisters-in-law lived nearby until a few years ago when one of them moved away. My own family, though, are rather spread out and I see them only inconsistently.
I can’t completely presume to speak for her, but by and large, I don’t think that was as much of an issue for us as the fact that we had been living alone as adults for some years prior to meeting. This meant that we had very different notions of how to handle the assorted day-to-day tasks that make up running a household. And honestly, 17 years later, this is still a bit of an issue from time to time. She’s never accused me of being “spoiled because you’re an only child,” though, or made that out to be a “problem.” Even though I was probably a bit spoiled.
We only have the one child though, and what she’s said about that is she has a bit of regret that our child will not experience having nieces and nephews—at least not blood relation ones.

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