I found a few inspirational marriage quotes about marriage the other night, and it reminded me how hard it can be to keep your marriage alive with kids. It can be hard, keeping your marriage healthy with kids, but it can be done. We have worked very hard, and dealt with so much in our 6 years together, but we have come out on top because we are both dedicated to one another, and our family. At the end of the day I can honestly say my husband is my best friend.
I remember the days when my life was a fairy-tale. I was excited about spending every last second with my husband, planning our wedding, talking about the fun we would have on our honeymoon, turning our house into a home, and starting our family. Too bad happily ever after isn’t always as easy as you once though it would. The fact of the matter is keeping your marriage alive with kids can be difficult if both parties are not willing to work, keeping that flame burning is not an easy task. The good news is being a parent doesn’t mean you need to abandon your marriage. Trust me I have four kids, keeping your marriage healthy with kids is possible. In most cases having a healthy marriage makes you a better parent, because you are able to focus on what is important.
I admit, I’m lucky. My husband and I are happily married, but there was a time when our marriage was extremely unhealthy. We even split up for over 6 months a year after our daughter was born. It was hard, but it was the best thing that could have happened to us. You know that old saying, “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone?” It’s true, if you love something not having it will help you remember how much it matters.
When my husband and I split up things were hard, but we both had to move forward with our lives. We had kids to take care of, jobs to go to, and other responsibilities to tend to. It took us a little over six months, but my husband and I eventually got back together, and things couldn’t be better. I mean sure we have our issues, don’t we all? The difference between now and then is we have both committed to doing whatever it takes to keep our marriage alive, and most importantly our family together. We have experienced life without one another long enough to know it’s not what we want, and that we both love one another.
Something I have learned is that it’s not about that diamond ring, or those fancy shoes, but about the small things that matter. Taking the time to be with one another, going out of your way, respect, trust, and loving one another. When you love someone those small things outweigh the big ones.
I love the above quote! So many of us tend to drift away from our spouse when kids come into the picture, when in fact we should be putting more focus on it than ever before. Keeping your marriage alive can be stressful, but so can be being a parent. Why do we give up on our spouse, but not on our kids if we love them too?
If you’re looking for a few ways to keep your marriage alive with kids, or even without kids here are a few easy tips to get you started. Some might work for you, others might not. We’re all different people, in different situations, but if you love your spouse it’s worth experimenting and trying new things. Here are a few things that have helped Shawn and I manage to keep our marriage alive with kids, which has helped us have a happier family. Some might work for you, others might not. I do know that if you are looking to improve your marriage anything is worth trying.
Say Thank You and I Love You
It’s so easy to forget to say thank you to your spouse, but DON’T! They need to hear it, they want to know that you appreciate them, as you would like to know. Say I love you all the time. It’s true actions speak louder than words, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to hear it.
Let Him Know You Think About Him
You don’t have to spoil them, or spend a lot of money. Something small to let them know you thought about them. Picking up a single rose, their favorite candy bar, or going on a drink on your way home let’s them know you thought about them while you were gone.
Never Stop Talking, And Always Listen
If anything has helped make my marriage healthier, it’s the fact that my husband and I talk about everything, and I mean everything. From what we had for breakfast, to what the kids teacher said. Communication is key to any relationship, and it’s not the big things that matter. If you are not going to talk about what happened at work together, it’s not likely the two of you will sit down and discuss an issue.
Listen, And Wait Until It’s Your Turn To Talk
Don’t just hear what your spouse is saying, listen to what they are saying with an open heart. There’s a big difference between hearing the words that are coming out of their mouth, and listening to what is being said.
You don’t have to agree on everything, but you should listen to one another even when you don’t agree. If you don’t agree with something that is being said, before jumping into the conversation allow your spouse to finish what they are saying, and listen to what they are telling you. It’s easy to become closed-minded when you hear something you don’t agree with. Do your best to listen, and be open-minded.
Even if you must have date night when the kids are in bed, do it. My husband and I have a date night twice a month, most of the time it’s after the kids have gone to bed. We might take a bath and talk, or watch a movie and cuddle. Regardless of what you do, you are spending quality time alone, together, and this will help you remember why you love one another.
Don’t say you trust your spouse, trust them. Trust is like communication, if you are not doing it you need to start to make any marriage work. I think it’s easy to say you trust someone, but the day they come home late begin drilling them about where they have been. I know sometimes our spouse does things that make us not trust them, but you need to make a decision to move forward or not. Trust is earned, and when that trust is broken it takes time to completely trust again, but living in the past is not going to help keep your marriage alive. o
We all disagree, but I’m sure most of you would agree that yelling never solves anything. My husband and I used to yell, and scream, and we ended up splitting up. Trust me we have done it all, but once we stopped the yelling and learned to talk things changed.
Know When To Walk Away
Since we decided not to yell, it’s also wise to know when to walk away. It’s also easy to push someone to their breaking point, and it’s nto fair. Both parties need to know when to stop and walk away for a few minutes. You will be surprised what takeing a break will do for anger. It allows each of you to calm down, and hit the reset button.
Keep Him On His Toes
Surprises are good, and they don’t have to be big ones. You don’t have to do anything big, you can do something little like leave him a note in his truck that says, “I love you have a great day at work.” Call him out of the blue to say you love him, make a dinner date, put the kids to bed early so you can watch a movie together, etc. Use your imagination.
Texting is cool, but pick up the phone once a day to say I love you, and touch base. My husband and I used to text, now we call one another at least once during the day to see how things are going. It’s helped to keep the lines of communication open, which is extremely important to a healthy marriage.
When you have a chance give him a hug, put your hand on his leg, lay your head on his lap, or put your arm around it.
Turn Off Technology and Get To Know One Another
Turn it off! If you are spending time together turn off all the phones, tablets, computer, and anything else that might take attention off one another. If you are talking and the phone rings, don’t pick it up unless it’s an emergency. My husband used to always pick up the phone when we were having a conversation, it made me feel like he didn’t care what I had to say, and I eventually stopped talking to him, and we eventually stopped communicating altogether.
Take the time to know what your spouse likes and doesn’t like, and remember. When you cook dinner, don’t add carrots if you spouse doesn’t like carrots. They might not notice, but they will notice if you continue to put carrots and they have told you time and time again they don’t like carrots.
Support One Another, Be His Biggest Fan
You love them, support them. If they want to try something new, be there for them. Even if you think it’s crazy, show support.
Forgiveness is important, we are all human and make mistakes. Some bigger than others, but in the end if we cannot forgive our spouses we will be stuck living in the past. Which is filled with pain, hurt, anger, and who wants to live that way. Make the decision to forgive and stick to it, becasue if you cannot forgive you will not be 100% happy with your marriage.
Involve The Kids
I have learned, strengthening my marriage doesn’t mean all we need is alone time. Sure it’s important, but at the end of each day if you have kids you are a parent too. In my opinion it only makes sence to find that happy place, where you strengthen your family.
I’m by no means a pro, but I have experienced my fair share of marriage issues, and managed to work them out. I don’t think I have all the answers, you might find some of the tips to help, you may not, but if you love one another you will work to find things that do work. I don’t have all the answers, but I can tell you that you can keep your marriage alive with all the right tools. It’s up to the two of you to find all the right tool and get to work.
I am a firm believer, knowledge is power, and we learn best from one another. Leave me a comment and let me know what your thoughts are on keeping your marriage alive. What are some things that have work, or have not worked.