Tips For Keeping Marriages Red Hot After Having Children

18722366_sWe’ve all heard the age old saying that ‘parenting is the toughest (yet most rewarding) job in the world’.

Babies and young children require your attention almost all of the time and even as children grow older new challenges and tasks arise.

It certainly can get tiring and sometimes it can cause marital stress.  For example, if a mum works full time and has to come home and take care of the kids, clean and cook dinner while Dad sits on the couch watching television, she will most likely become exhausted and become resentful toward her husband. He could be helping her out but chooses not to.  On the other hand, if the husband is the breadwinner and his wife carelessly spends a lot of money on the children leaving them in financial strain, he could easily become resentful.

The reality of having children

Relationships take an investment of time, energy, and cooperation.  If you add kids to a relationship, extra tasks and a huge commitment to raising them occur.  The first step to reducing marital stress due after having children is to realize and accept that parenting will take up a great deal of your time. You will not get to spend alone time as a couple like you used to. Your life will change as a result of having children and that is not a bad thing; but it will require some changes.

It is important that you accept the fact that life will be different once children come.  You and your spouse will have new roles as parents and sometimes you might feel tired or frustrated.  Try not to take it out on each other. You’re a team. Communicate with your spouse if you’re feeling frustrated, need a break, or just need to vent.

Don’t allow parenting to steal the bliss from your marital relationship

Parenting does require much of your time but do your best to schedule quality time alone with just you and your spouse. This can be as simple as you two delighting in each other when the baby is sleeping or at Grandma’s for a few hours.  Life can certainly get busy with work, chores, and parenting, but your relationship needs little pockets of investment to keep the flames alive.  Plan date nights, cuddle up in the evenings, walk the baby in a stroller together, text each other sweet sentiments, plan a mini vacation without the kids, and keep the romance alive.  You’re worth the investment!

Communicate often

Lack of communication between spouses is one of the biggest reasons for distress in marriages.  For a number of reasons, spouses find it difficult to actually sit down and discuss their thoughts and feelings at any given time. She might think he doesn’t care about her feelings and he might think she will fly off the handle if he comes to her with a pressing issue.  The fear of conflict should not keep you from discussing something that is causing anxiety.  By not discussing issues, resentment, frustration, and anger can build and build; which does not do anyone any good.

Press through anxiety or fear and sit down and have heart to heart talks with your spouse often.  You can even call it “heart to heart time” and plan times when this will occur.  Say, “Hubby, let’s have a heart to heart time this Friday evening over coffee.  Think about any issues you want to discuss.”  Then follow through and both of you commit to honesty and openness about any issue that you feel is causing a negative emotion.  This exercise will strengthen your marriage as you learn to resolve problems through communication, negotiation, and compromise.

Parenting is a full time job for sure, but it doesn’t mean that your marriage should suffer.  As issues arise go ahead and contend with them as best as you can.  If you don’t know how to resolve a certain issue, research the topic to gain some wisdom. Chances are whatever you’re facing many other couples have faced as well and are willing to give you helpful advice to resolve the issue.  Unexpected things may pop up and that’s alright. With the right tips, strategies, and resources you will be just fine.  .

For more help on how to redefine your marriage, negotiate, communicate and iron out those problem areas, check out our relationship book ‘What’s in it for me?’ or our The Truce 6-part relationship video program marriage resources that will educate you on what you need to know to be the united couple and parents you want to be.