HOW TO HAVE A HAPPY MARRIED LIFE AFTER KIDS
So you’re life has been amazing so far...you’ve married the man of your dreams and now you both have grown into a little family! You’re children are your biggest and purest joy.
Of course your beautiful responsibilities consume quite a bit of your time. And through financial, parenting & other family decision, talks & sometimes even discussions, you both are in parent mode most of the time.
Unfortunately, from the moment you stop taking time for marriage mode, Mr. & Mrs. mode, your relationship starts to wither. This is the time when these thoughts start to emerge:
He doesn’t look at me like he used to…
She isn’t as fun as she was back when we were dating…
I wish he would help me more with the chores…
No matter what I do, it never seems to be enough in her eyes…
He used to surprise me with little gifts, now all I get is dirty socks...
Why can’t she be more spontaneous…
But, don’t worry! There are tons of things you both can do to make your love flourish again!
And I am here to tell you what those things are, from the most basic concepts down to specific examples and actual steps to take!
The one most important thing you need to invest in a marriage is TIME! Make your marriage a time-sensitive priority in your life. And trust me, I know all the excuses for not having time:
I need to do the laundry first…
Don’t you see that the house is a mess right now? How could I focus on us now?
We have 4 appointments this week, there’s obviously no time for date night this week!
We don’t have noone to take care of the kids, so how could we go to the movies or dinner?
We weren’t able to pay the mortgage this month, taking us out would be a no-go right now!
I get it, I’ve been there...when you have kids (and not only then), your to-do list tends to get longer and longer. Everything wants to be managed and taken care of.
And especially when you’re newlyweds, you think that your marriage is SO STRONG that it doesn’t need special care. You can take care of it later, cause right NOW everything’s just fine…
You need to constantly cultivate your marriage it in order to KEEP it as strong as it was right after you said “Yes, I do!”.
A lot of couples see it as their obligation to stand behind the motto: "Our kids always come first!" Well it may sound pretty heroic, but it's actually not. Because let's see what your kids learn through this statement. They learn that it's a good thing to devote yourself entirely to ONE person, until you finally loose yourself in the process. AND they learn that they are the center of the world and everything should be about THEM. That teaching can be really dangerous, don't you agree?
Instead they should learn that the love they receive started in the love between you two! They should learn that the love between parents and kids is AMAZING, but that it's not the ONLY important thing in the world. They learn that it's important to take care of a relationship. If they watch you take care of each other, they will learn to take care of others, too! And more importantly, they will learn that it is imperative that they take care of themselves.
HOW TO SPEND TIME TOGETHER
Date night - I want you to pick one night each month and schedule a date night. You make it as important as a parents meeting at school or a doctor’s appointment. The only reasons to miss this is if...well, there’s none! Even if your babysitter gets sick and you need to stay home with the kids...watch a movie, play cards together or just sit there and TALK. No TV, no taxes, no laundry!! Just the both of you, having fun!
Talk, talk, talk - I don't care how much chaos there is in your life right now, I want you to take 15 minutes out of each day and TALK! It doesn't even have to be about work or the kids. Just talk. About your next date night, about something that made you feel good today, about something that didn't go so well. Just talk!
The little things - Ok, let's say you don't even see each other during the day. You just cross paths in the bathroom before going to bed, if even that! Ok, than leave each other notes. Let the other know that you think of them. That you notice them, even if they're not around! Buy them their favorite snack if you go grocery shopping, even if it's not on the list! Kiss them hello and goodbye, EVERY TIME! Wish them a great day. Look them in the eye when you cross paths. All of these things are like saying "I love you" without actually saying it. And it's like spending time together when you actually can't.
You’ve probably heard me talk a lot about positive thinking if you’ve read any of my blog posts. I talk about it all the time, because it’s one the most important secrets to create a happier self.
With marriage it’s no different. It’s what goes on behind our forehead that determines if our relationship stays healthy or not.
When you keep thinking about ALL the things that are GOING wrong or that your spouse is DOING wrong, you’ll make no difference.
THE NEGATIVITY LOOP
That doesn’t mean that you should be ignorant of what’s bothering you. If you feel that something is way off, you should talk about it and what you can do to change that.
And then you MOVE ON! That is the step that most people forget to take. Don’t run situations in your mind over and over again. That doesn’t do no good. It just keeps you in a negativity loop. And trust me, it’s not pretty. It’s sad and dark...and nothing grows there.
WHAT TO DO INSTEAD
Once you've expressed how you feel about something that made you angry or sad, let it go. Don't keep count. Don't warm it up in the next fight. Just be done with it.
Try NOT to complain for just ONE day. Every time you find yourself wanting to complain about something your spouse did, instead of complaining, think of ONE thing you love about him/her. Think about the things you appreciate about them. And if you can't think of anything recent, just think of ONE reason that made you marry this beautiful person.
In the morning, when you get up, think of ONE thing you can do today that would make your spouse happy. Just ONE thing a day. And most importantly - don't expect nothing in return. I promise you you won't have to wait long for that something in return to show up anyways!
Man, I love goals! Goals are my life!
In this case I'm not talking about your personal, business or financial goals. I am talking about marriage goals. You need to talk about how you want to FEEL and what you want to experience in your marriage…
Loved...sure. But what exactly does that mean for you? What do you want to experience? Did you ever even asked that question to yourself? If not, you definitely should! Because if you don’t know, how is your partner supposed to know?
FAIRY TALES & ROMANTIC COMEDIES
Most of us have this fairy tale notion of a loving relationship that we picked up from watching romantic comedies in our t(w)eens. And instead of expressing that in front of THE one person we actually expect to live those fantasies with, we just keep our wishes to ourselves and hope for the best...and THEN we can get pretty depressed when we see that those fantasies and wishes never come true!
Let’s be honest here...isn’t that just a ridiculous modus operandi?
So long story short…I made you a workbook. It will teach you and your spouse to be more intentional and to actually tell each other what it is you want to experience.
And it will teach you to make marriage goals TOGETHER! Instead of living side by side just getting by, you'll be living TOGETHER, creating your life as a WHOLE, without leaving your individual goals aside. Just click the button or the pic, sign up and the download will be yours in a few secs!
I mentioned this bonus in this other blog post about marriage called "How to make your marriage more intentional" a few months back, because I think it's crucial for a marriage to work. You need to be intimate.
And no, I'm not talking about the dirty stuff here...although that's obviously important, too! But what I want to point out here, is that special bond between two lovers. That partners-in-crime stuff that true romantic love is made of. That secrets and memories that only you two have.
It's not only the touches or the strokes on the cheeks, it can be also a meaningful look into your spouses eyes from across the room. Or a hug after a long day. That is pure intimacy! That's the core of every loving and happy marriage.
Well, I hope you enjoyed reading and can't wait to get to work with your significant other! Trust me, you kids will thank you later! But now tell me, dear friend, what's your biggest struggle when trying to keep close to your spouse? Leave a comment and let me know!
Have an incredibly good day!