Marriage typically gets harder after you have kids, but its important to prioritise your spouse and your relationship even after you become a parent. We recently came across these great tips from marriage therapists Hal Runkel and Rachel Sussman and just had to share a summary.
1. Get in touch with your guilt
Parents feel guilty about not spending as much time with their kids as they hope to. But here’s a thought: By making your children the most important thing, could you also be neglecting your partner? And then how is your child going to feel if that marriage falls apart? That is to say, by giving all your attention to your kids and none to your partner, you’re potentially putting the family in a very precarious position.
2. Know that your job is to make your kids need you less
People often forget that the whole point of parenting is to get kids to not need you (in other words, to be independent). They need to need you less every year if you’re doing your job right. You don’t need to abandon them of course, but you can feel OK about going away for the weekend with your partner every so often. By doing this, you’re communicating to your kids: You’re able to handle life without me for a weekend. I believe in you.
3. Have a ‘date night’ every night
No need for a fancy night out and a baby sitter. Just establish a consistent bedtime for the kids so you and your partner can spend some quality time together – at home! It’s not just good for the two of you – it’s good for your kids. If they see that their parents are taking time for themselves, and that they genuinely cherish each other, it gives kids a sense of stability.
What other ways do you keep your marriage strong – even with the kids around? 🙂