5 ways to enrich your relationship
Apart from financial and work stress, family life can also put a lot of strain on your relationship. But just because you're both busy parents now, it doesn't mean your relationship has to be put on the backburner.
Here are five easy ways to make your significant other even more significant.
1) The ten minute catch up
Spending just ten minutes a day talking to your partner can make you feel more connected and involved in each other's lives. But in between cooking dinner, bathing the kids and bedtime story duty, it can be hard to find these precious minutes. Try changing your nightly routine to allow time. For example, instead of switching on the TV straight after kissing your little cherubs goodnight, spend ten minutes talking together. Likewise, rather than having dinner on the table at 6pm on the dot, make it ten minutes later and while the kids are doing their homework, or playing, enjoy a glass of wine, or a cold drink together before you sit down to eat as a family. Avoid talking about the kids during this ‘us' time if possible.
2) Date night
Once the initial spark of your early relationship fades and kids enter the equation, it's more important than ever to reconnect with your partner and recharge those relationship batteries. Apart from giving you a break from the kids, a regular date night with your partner is a chance for you to be alone with each other and be romantic. From dressing up and spraying on perfume, to good conversation, red wine and sex, dating your partner can spice up your relationship.
Find some funds in the family budget to make date night a priority. If you're lucky enough to have free babysitting on call, book grandparents for a regular date night slot. If money is an issue, suggest a babysitting swap arrangement with your friends who also have kids.
Whether your date night is once a week, once a fortnight, or once a month, make a commitment and a promise to your partner that you'll be there. Put it on the calendar and think of it as an obligation (that you enjoy!) just as important as a doctor's appointment.
3) Know your needs
Relationship experts says one way to enrich a relationship is to talk about each other's relationship needs. By doing this you're not only showing your partner that you value his needs and feelings, but you are also letting him know what you need from the partnership.
They recommend that you both write down five qualities, or needs, that are most important to each of you in a relationship. Have a look at each other's list and see which of your partner's needs you can do something about, and which you need to negotiate and vice versa.
4) “You're so clever!”
Research has shown that people often don't stray outside a marriage for sex, but because someone else has made them feel good about themselves. Compliment, praise and make your partner feel wonderful about themselves, whenever the opportunity arises. Chances are they'll catch on to your drift and the compliments will come your way too!
5) Make friends with technology
Take advantage of modern communication technology to make your partner feel significant when you're not together. A simple “thinking of u” text before a work meeting he's nervous about, or a quick “love u” instant message, or email, while you're with the kids at the park will make you both feel closer when apart.
This article was written by Lana Vercoe for Kidspot.com.au and has been adapted for Kidspot.co.nz