Growing up, like most little girls, I always dreamed of what my life would be like when I got older. I planned my wedding and of course fantasized about my beautiful gown. I pictured my husband (Prince Charming Of Course) and the beautiful children we’d have. Being married with children seemed like a fairytale! And while I still view my family as a dream come true it’s still a lot of hard work, primarily my marriage.
Whoever said that kids change everything definitely hit the nail on the head especially when it comes to your relationship with your spouse. But although maintaining a healthy marriage takes even more effort after kids, it’s definitely achievable and should be a priority. These are a few ways my husband and I work toward this goal together.
Always Remain Partners In Parenting
Our biggest parenting rule is not to fight in front of the kids. (Actually, we try not to fight in front of anyone in general.) Do we break it from time to time? Sure, we’re human. But we try really hard not to. It’s important for us to remain a united front in front of our kids even if we don’t completely agree on everything. And standing together in parenting ultimately strengthens how we stand united in our marriage as a whole. We make it a point to figure out how one another feel on different parenting topics so that we can parent as a team and this helps us feel less distant when taking care of the kids.
Plan Date Nights Regularly
Dating your spouse is SO IMPORTANT! We’ve found it out the hard way that when we put alone time as a couple on the back burner, we can definitely get burnt out and drift apart. As a couple you need time together away from your children where you’re completely focused on one another. It reminds you why you fell in love with one another in the first place.
There have been times in our marriage when we weren’t able to get someone to watch the kids for us and we’d have to go without traditional date nights for extended periods of time. But in times like those we’ve gotten creative and had our date nights at home once the kids were asleep. Pick a night of the week where you both stay up once the kids are asleep and have drinks while watching a movie or something else you both enjoy. Prioritizing one on one time with your spouse makes all the difference.
Make Time For Intimacy
We’re all grown here right? Okay, perfect! Ya’ll need to be having sex! Too forward? Sorry, but it’s true! Men typically show intimacy for their spouses/ significant other through physical touch so sex is extremely important to a relationship. Remember when you guys were early on in your relationship and couldn’t keep your hands off of one another? That’s the spark that you want to keep alive well into your marriage and after kids.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely easier said than done. The logistics get tricky when we throw clingy toddlers and infants into the mix. But having sex as often as you can brings you both together not only on a physical level but a physiological level too. You’ll find yourself thinking about each other more intimately throughout the day too. And isn’t everyone in a better mood when they’ve gotten some?
Praise One Another
If your love language is “Words of Affirmation” then this will especially hit home for you but in general, speaking life into your partner is so important. My husband flirts with me all the time, it’s just a part of his personality when it comes to me. And even when I try to play it off like I’m not melting inside when he does it, I always get butterflies. We always make it a point to compliment each other whether it be on something physical or how great we think the other is doing at something. We try to always show gratitude to one another even for seemingly mundane things and as a result it helps us both feel loved and appreciated in our relationship. (I even put cute little notes in his lunch.) Effort is key!
Always Communicate Your Feelings
No one is pettier than a married couple that is mad at each other. I’m serious. Your whole household will get flipped upside down over the smallest disagreement so you better make sure you both bring your issues to the forefront instead of letting tension build up. So many people think that my husband and I never fight because we don’t bring our issues to social media or argue in front of other people but honey, it gets really petty in the Witherspoon household when we aren’t communicating with one another.
You and your spouse are partners so they need to know when you’re upset, burnt out or just not in a good mood that day. Bringing your issues to one another sooner than later leaves less time for things to be misinterpreted and less time for you two to dwell on things that don’t matter. And frees you up to focus on what does, YOUR BEAUTIFUL MARRIAGE ❤️.