Raising a family can be challenging and stressful at times. However, the common goals and emotional, financial, and physical investments made can be a common bond between husband and wife. One that compliments their marriage relationship.
Of course, like anything else worthwhile, maintaining a healthy husband and wife relationship with children underfoot takes effort. The following tips can help keep marital bliss alive:
Happy Marriage Recipe
Every happy marriage begins and ends with the same ingredient; the willingness to negotiate. The stumbling block in some relationships, however, is that while the husband was taught to take the upper hand, the wife may have been trained to cooperate. Marriage partners in an equal marriage need to define their husband wife role, to themselves and each other. This lays the groundwork for mutual respect; and the understanding that when there is a conflict, both parties must be ready to negotiate.
A Touch of Romance
Every bit as important as remaining best friends throughout married life, intimacy in marriage is vital. This includes emotional intimacy as well as sexual intimacy. Time alone together to share feelings is a must. An occasional romantic dinner or romantic weekend getaway can work wonders in bringing the two of you closer together and reducing stress. Go on a date with your spouse! And remember, intimacy doesn’t always have to lead to sex; nor should it. Time to just hold hands or cuddle is crucial for maintaining a close, happy relationship.
Rituals and Routines
A family ritual such as mom gets to sleep late every other Saturday morning while dad gets up with the kids, and visa versa, is a habit that can become a fun, meaningful ritual. And although having a daily routine sounds mundane, routines are essential for a happy, harmonious family life. For instance, weekly or monthly family activites, and a pizza and movie night every other week can be fun parts of a family routine. Agreeing upon rituals that support family values and a daily routine as a couple is another key to a happy marriage.
The best advice I received was from my sister, “You have to work on your marriage. The children will grow up and move away. You still want to have a relationship with your spouse after they are gone.” Your relationship with your spouse has to come first if you are going to be a good parent. The children will be happier and more secure if they see you have a strong relationship. Besides, after your children grow up and move away, you don’t want to look at your spouse and wonder who this stranger is because you do not know each other anymore.