(SN: I love my children and would never change a thing. I never wanted any, but I'm happy they're in my life. So, don't develop any ideas that I'm suggesting otherwise. LOVE LOVE my little guys.)
It doesn't necessarily mean that one way of living is better/happier than the other. It's just different. As a parent, I most definitely cannot relate with childless couples or even parents who have more than a couple of children. There's absolutely no way that I would ever want six children. If tons of children make you happy, then that's wonderful. However, I would probably go insane. I love my boys, but I'm looking forward to the day they leave for college. Then, I'll be able to experience what it's like to be an adult without the responsibility of children for extended periods of time. Parenting is not for the faint of heart, but neither are relationships in general.
Anyone can claim that their way of life is better, but really, it's just different. Perhaps someone is happy with six children and the chaos that is involved. Maybe another couple is happy without children. That's fine too, but it doesn't make either life better. Different things make different individuals happy. Your experiences in life are not necessarily more enriching or fulfilling than mine. Most parents choose to have children, which is the point. They "chose" their path, which is the same as childless parents "choosing" their path. If I choose to color my hair red, but you choose black; then it doesn't mean you will be happier than I will be. I love red and you love black. Choice being the key term. There are always exceptions, but do I really have to spell them out for you? I'm sure you can come up with a few without my assistance.
Another point, being a parent does not necessarily take away from your relationship with your spouse/partner. Relationships are extremely laborious anyway. There are many disparate stresses which affect relationships and cannot really be compared. Parenting is one of those stresses, but so are things like your in-laws, job, money, insecurities, etc. If you are not happy with yourself, then you will not be happy within your relationship. You have to learn to be happy from the inside first. Children nor a spouse can make you truly happy.
I hope that I've provided a different (more logical) slant on the subject. The next time someone tries to belittle or make you feel as if you're missing something out of life because you do or do not have children, tell them that it's all a matter of what makes you happy. It's that simple.
Smile, love yourself, and be kind! Thanks for reading!
~ Penelope ~