How to keep your marriage alive with kids?
In the United States, 40% to 50% of marriages end in divorce, and the divorce rate for any following unions is even higher. While there’s any number of reasons for couples to get a divorce, kids can certainly be a huge factor. Sleepless nights, dirty diapers, and petty arguments don’t exactly set the tone for romance. Plus, when you feel like an empty shell of a human, it can be difficult to give your spouse affection or attention, even for a few minutes.
Luckily, there are a number of relatively simple ways to revive your marriage. Here’s how to keep the spark alive, even with tiny humans tugging at your sleeves.
Find a babysitter
Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you can’t go on dates anymore. Of course, scheduling dates may be more complicated now that you have a little one, but romantic evenings out of the house are important. Find a babysitter you know and trust by asking friends and family for recommendations. Then, hand over the reins and take the night off.
Routines are beneficial during the day and can help you better manage parenthood. However, when date night rolls around, don’t be afraid to switch things up a bit. If you usually head to a restaurant for dinner, try taking a cooking class together instead. This new experience will offer insight into your marriage and allow you to bond with your partner on a deeper level — all while having fun.
Check in weekly
If you simply don’t have the time or money to spare for dinner dates or pottery classes right now, you should still make a conscious effort to communicate on a weekly basis. During this weekly check-in, express your appreciation, voice concerns, and share important aspects of your week. Doing so can help increase intimacy, improve communication, and remind your spouse how much you love them. Even a quick 15-minute meeting can do wonders for your marriage.
Go to therapy
Many couples consider therapy a last resort for marital conflict and tension. However, therapy can act as a preventative measure, keeping many issues from arising in the first place and teaching you how to better handle them when they do. Therapy can even improve your sex life and keep the spark alive after having kids. One such therapy is sex therapy, which can help resolve issues of sexual dysfunction and create a deeper sense of intimacy.
Take a stroll down memory lane
Sometimes, keeping your marriage alive is as simple as taking a stroll down memory lane. Think about how you met and share your memories with one another. Visit restaurants or listen to music from your past to relive the good moments. Look at old photos of your wedding or from when you were dating. Reliving the positive moments from your past together will remind you of all the reasons you fell in love with each other in the first place.
Practice small acts of kindness
Odds are you don’t have the energy to surprise your spouse with a homemade candlelit dinner and a rose-petal bath after putting the kids to sleep. However, you probably do have time to send them a sexy text or make them coffee just the way they like it. Loving them with small acts of kindness throughout the day will keep things interesting and, eventually, they’ll begin to return the favor.
Rethink your partnership
Having kids is certainly a catalyst for change. Before, you were a united front, supporting each other’s career choices, pet preferences and partners in major decisions like purchasing a home. Now, you are partners in something so much bigger than anything you’ve experienced before — raising kids. Recognizing your spouse as your partner and not just the father or mother of your child can remind you why you cherish that person, which can certainly rekindle the romance.
Communicate your needs
There’s nothing sexier than a man or woman who can clearly express their needs. If you’re craving physical attention or words of encouragement after a long day at work, simply tell your spouse. They can’t read your mind, so be straightforward and ask them for a long hug or for help with the dishes. Learning to communicate your needs in this way can help you both be more vulnerable and honest with one another, thereby keeping the romance alive.
Making your spouse a priority
Modern society puts a ton of pressure on parents, expecting them to accommodate and be attentive to their children more than ever before. After all, if you don’t screen your children’s friends and make sure they take their nap on schedule, who will? While you do have a major responsibility to care for your kids, many parents simply put too much effort into doing so. As a result, they end up pushing their spouse to the wayside.
However, ruining your marriage for the sake of being an A+ parent is actually counterintuitive. In order to be the best parent you can be, you must have and model a strong, stable marriage, which entails putting your spouse first every day. Making your husband or wife your top priority will naturally make you a more successful parent and keep your marriage alive even after your chicks have flown the nest.