When you have children, life changes dramatically. Not only do you have to cope with the abrupt change to your lifestyle, but you also must manage the changes to the dynamics of your relationship. Lack of sleep in the early years, and a reduction in the time that you spend as a couple with the constant presence of small people means that your relationship can suffer.
Here are 4 ways to reconnect with your partner.
It doesn’t seem very romantic having to plan to spend time together as a couple, but it is often necessary. Juggling family commitments and work obligations can mean that you are passing ships in the night and any time you do have together you are exhausted. If you are in the position where you can ask grandparents to babysit or exchange babysitting with another family, do so.
Don’t use this time to catch a movie, you can sit silently at home; instead go out for a meal, take a walk, or do something that will enable you to chat and reconnect.
Spending time as a couple is your opportunity to talk about personal feelings rather than just the mundane daily issues. By divulging your personal feelings, you are strengthening the confidence of your relationship. It’s a two-way street, so listen attentively to what is being said. It’s an opportunity for you both to voice concerns and receive support for any issues or concerns. Problems at work, a desire to have a hair transplant, or financial worries, will only be discussed in a relaxed and intimate conversation without the distraction from children. By talking over feelings, you will be able to lessen the burden and offer support.
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When your partner reveals their feelings, it is important that you respond appropriately. Rather than criticising their thoughts, work with them.
However, when you haven’t had the opportunity to spend quality time together, it can be easy to use time together to criticise your partner for their failings: they didn’t do their share of the household chores, or they forgot to buy XYZ from the supermarket. You haven’t had enough other conversations to dilute the sting of the criticism. Leave the critical voice out of conversation. Instead, focus on things that they do to make you happy and reflect on the things that they do well.
Every relationship goes through periods of you feeling that you are more like lodgers rather than lovers, but when this time feels to be getting more the norm than the exception, it is time to act. You need to reconnect and reignite the love that you have. By committing to spending quality time together, you will find that your relationship gets back on course.