It’s tough to be a parent one minute and an attentive spouse the next. So if a strong marriage provides your kids with a much-needed sense of stability and security, how do you make time for your spouse and your marriage? Here are five tips:
1. [email protected] Regular Date Nights
Hire a sitter and grab dinner and a movie every week or month. Short on time? Meet each other for lunch. Short on funds? Watch a movie at home after the kids fall asleep. It’s not what you do that matters. The important thing is that you spend time together having fun. Date nights are a time to connect and talk like adults, ignore the “business” of life (bills, parenting issues, in-laws), and just spend time together! Even when you’re married, it’s important to continue to get to know each other and talk about everything from the weather to your feelings, hopes, and plans for the future. We all grow and change over time and “dating” is a great way to keep in touch.
2. Explore the Little Things
Take advantage of smaller encounters and moments to let your spouse know how much you love them. When you see each other at the end of the day, stop what you’re doing, greet each other, and talk briefly. Offer compliments, and do them a favor (or two!) without being asked. Don’t take your spouse for granted. Show them often that you care.
Make time for small talk and meaningful discussions. Be respectful and listen when your partner talks. You don’t need hours to connect, just some uninterrupted time. Communicating and working together to solve problems are key to maintaining healthy relationships. Look into marriage education workshops in your area to learn tools to help you make the most of the time you have to talk with each other.
4. Do It Together
Take up a hobby, enroll in a class, or pursue an activity you both enjoy. Again, it’s all about spending time together as a couple and enjoying yourselves. If you can’t agree on an activity, consider creating a list of experiences you’d each like to try and alternate from one list to the other. You may find that regardless of the activity, the opportunity to spend time together as a couple makes the event worthwhile!
5. Make Time for s*x
When it was just the two of you, there was no need to make time for s*x; it just happened. Unfortunately, spontaneous intimacy isn’t one of the hallmarks of parenting. Babies need your full attention, which can leave you too exhausted for s*x when a private moment arrives.
And just when the children become old enough to give you a bit of free time, interruptions become an issue. It won’t be easy but you need to make s*x a priority in your marriage. The intimate, one-on-one time you share will be exactly the closeness you and your spouse need to stay connected.