Thursday, June 11, 2009
After having children, some couples find that the closeness they once had begins to fade. Here's how to avoid that predicament.
1. Make your marriage a priority. Kids will eventually grow up and move away and the two of you will be left with each other. Your spouse should come before the children- always. That's not to say that there won't be times when the needs of the kids have to come first. But in general, do not use the kids as an excuse to not spend time with your spouse. By setting this example, your children will learn to expect their spouse to make them a priority also. They will also learn that the world does not revolve around them.
2. Present a united front Never take the side of the kids against your spouse, even if they are wrong. If you disagree with each other on an issue with the children, discuss it in private. But in public, ALWAYS support your spouse. Doing that will continue to create intimacy and trust between you which often is lacking once the kids come along.
3. Take pride in your appearance. Look attractive for your mate. Remember what he/she found attractive about you before you had kids and continue doing it. Don't buy into the lie that since you're married you can "let yourself go".
4. Give compliments. Make sure you let her know that she is still attractive to you. Show him that you still admire him and appreciate his hard work in supporting and protecting the family.
5. Maintain physical contact. Always kiss and hug as much as possible. Not only is it vital for you, it's vital your kids see your love for each other.
6. Plan a regular date night, and if you can't hire a babysitter put the kids to bed early. Do something that both of you will enjoy, or try something new. Have romantic dinners and baths.
7. Communicate. Make time every day to discuss what's happening in your lives. You may talk all the time, but do you really sit down and hear each other out on all the issues going on? Or do you let them build and blow up? Write love notes that are short and simple.
8. Have interests outside of the marriage, like a hobby or club. That way you always have some time apart. Time apart as well as together is vital. Balance the time you spend together with the time you spend as a family, and the time you spend apart.
9. Don't nag each other. Nagging happens when our expectations are not met. If you expect your spouse to be perfect and meet all your needs, you will ALWAYS be disapointed. If you have a problem or need something addressed right now, instead of nagging, try to communicate better. Ask him to do something, instead of demand that he do it.
10. Show respect. Never berate your mate in public, in front of family, your children, or anyone else. If you have a problem, discuss it privately and rationally. Yelling and pointing out faults only drives a person away.
11. Keep up with the little things. They are what matter most. Flowers, shoes, clothing, etc., for her and a favorite meal, tickets to a concert or game, a hat, etc., for him as a surprise. Consider each other.
12. Be Romantic. Remember how it was before you had children - be attentive and romantic with one another. Candles, flowers, massage oil, satin sheets, lingerie, surprise gifts, filling up her car with gas, movie and dinner... these are essential in keeping things running as smoothly as possible.
Enjoy the children. Play with them and teach them. Communicate with them, and allow them to feel that they are a part of the family. When they go to sleep, make time for the two of you. Ask grandparents to take the children for the weekend or an overnight visit if they live near you. Spend the time together with your mate.