Let’s face it marriage is hard. It’s like any relationship, a person needs to communicate and spend time with the other person. With little kids in the house it’s sometimes hard to find time to even breath!
How do we move from surviving in marriage with the chaos and busyness of family life to a thriving, happy relationship?
Relationship building needs to be intentional. Yes, the children need your attention but so does your spouse. Keep in mind three important facts. First of all, you and your spouse started your relationship and children were added to the equation. Second, your marriage vows included “love, honor, and cherish” at all times, not just when there’s down time after the kids go to bed. Third, you two are the marriage model your children will carry with them in their adult lives. It’s a big responsibility!
Here are ten tips to help you move from surviving to thriving in your marriage, even with little ones under your roof.
1. The first kiss belongs to your spouse. When you reconnect at the end of the day, the first greeting (hug and kiss) is for your spouse, not the children.
2. Establish an after dinner quiet time for adults only. Encourage the children to clear the dishes and if they are old enough, clean up the kitchen. The two of you share your day’s activities and a grown up conversation with one another.
3. Compliment one another. Notice the little things to encourage your spouse.
4. Listen. Use good listening skills when communicating: eye contact, body language, repeating what’s been stated, and asking questions.
5. Use a babysitter. Having someone else care for your children is good for them and good for you.
6. Post DATE NIGHT on your calendar at least once a month. Be committed to going on a date. It can be a simple picnic or a jazzy night out on the town.
7. Make a habit of being together after the kids go to bed. Have dessert, watch a movie or television show, read together.
8. Plan a weekend get away where you can relax and rekindle the romance. Intimacy is an important part of married life.
9. Parent as a team. Always back each other up. Standing as a united front for the children provides security.
10. Tell your spouse “I love you” every single day. Write a note, send a text message, or email your spouse during the day. Say “I love you” daily, the three most endearing words your family members need to hear.
When mom and dad are happy, the whole family is happy. Children find security in the leadership of a committed couple. Your children will benefit greatly from the love they witness and experience in the home.