1) Fight Respectfully:
It is normal to have disagreements in a marriage. Many times these disagreements can present themselves while the children are around. This is a good opportunity to demonstrate to our kids what conflict resolution skills look like in a healthy and respectful manner. When couples belittle each other and tear each other down in front of the kids, we demonstrate to them that we do not respect each other. They are more likely to mimic that same behavior towards you when they are in disagreement with you.
2) Remember the fun times:
Usually after the kids enter into the dynamics, couples can easily get into a rut that can feel like a “routine.” Therefore, it is important that couples take time to remember what they did for fun before the kids arrived. They can recreate those moments for an ongoing connection with each other.
3) Share Responsibility:
It is important that couples agree to share responsibility in the household duties. For example, you can take turns each night putting the kids to bed while the other one cleans up the kitchen. This will lessen the chance of one spouse getting resentful because they feel like they do a lot around the house and may not feel appreciated. It will also demonstrate to your kids what teamwork looks like at home. You can also have the kids share in this so they can be part of the team while learning responsibility.
4) Date Night:
Some couples avoid scheduling a date night because the fear that it costs a lot of money, however, couples can be creative in being proactive to continue to date each other. You can take walks holding hands, you can sit in a park and watch the sunset or you can rent a movie and eat popcorn. The important part is not how much money you invest in date night but that you are still investing in each other.
5) Schedule Sex:
This is one of the hardest things for my clients to hear, but it is the best advice to keep the physical intimacy part of the relationship a priority. Many couples say they want spontaneity, but how often is that interrupted by a headache or I am just not in the mood. This way you both know this is our night and you both can look forward to it. It also gives couples an opportunity to be creative with their night and it creates less anxiety for the couple (wondering when it is going to happen).
Remember how creative you were when you were dating and pursuing each other? This does not have to stop in marriage but it does take being intentional and creative. The results are not only incredible for the marriage but also give the kids a great role model and security in their home.
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