I am always in awe of how well parents take care of their kids. Prevention and safety are a number one priority, what with regulation car seats, regulation cribs, and baby-proofing houses.
I sometimes wonder why parents don’t give the same amount care and attention to their relationship. I’m certain they want to but always have an excuse to put it on the back burner.
Perhaps it’s because there is an unspoken social belief that states: after baby, a couple’s relationship becomes almost non-existent and stays that way until the child is a teenager. I am here to tell you it does not have to be that way.
“What unhappy couples do not understand is that if they make their children their number-one priority, thinking they can work on their marriage later, they’ll probably wind up as one of the one out of every two marriages that end in divorce today….It’s imperative to have time alone to give each other that which is so desperately needed in a relationship—your undivided attention.” Wrote Ellen Kreidman author of How Can We Light a Fire When the Kids are Driving us Crazy.
A simple truth is: the happiest, best-adjusted children come from a home in which the parents love and keep an intimate connection with each other.
So why, then, do these parents feel guilty if they do eke out a couple hours every week “selfishly” for themselves? It’s mind-boggling really.
Parents, if you are serious about raising healthy children, you need to establish ground rules for how you will give each other your undivided attention.
Here are some of the excuses you may have for why this is not feasible.
Relationship excuse buster #1—We do not have the money
Going on dates, weekends away, and vacations do take money—and who has money after paying for all those diapers? Yet, you need to ask yourself whether you can afford not to go.
Think of this money as being an investment in your life’s most precious commodity: your relationship. Because when your kid hits eighteen and is (hopefully) out the door, you’ll be left with each other…alone.
Relationship excuse buster #2—I’m too tired
I can appreciate how inviting your lovely couch must seem to your butt after a long week. And, in fact, your internal talk will be whispering—maybe even screaming—during the day, “I’d really like to spend time with my partner but…insert excuse here…We’ll do something next week.”
Trust me, making one-on-one time with your sweetie will be rejuvenating.
Relationship excuse buster #3—We do not have the time
Really? You cannot make ten minutes for your partner in your entire week? But do you have…uhm…like an hour TV or Facebook or Twitter? Thought so. Over twenty TV viewing hours per week is the average in most households.
Sorry (not really) to be brutally frank BUT it’s not a matter of time management rather priority management.
Relationship excuse buster #4—You really don’t feel romantic or sexy
The end result of your time together is about reconnecting and not necessarily about having sex. If sex happens, great. It’s an added bonus. If not, you at least gave each other your undivided attention.
Ultimately, the best gift you can ever give your children is to model a happy, healthy relationship that translates into a lifetime love affair.