To have a great relationship after kids, there are three key things you need to know. Based on my experience as a couples therapist, these three tips will support intimacy, connectedness and fondness for one another as you adjust to life with kids.
1. Schedule sex, but don’t tell your partner.
A lot of couples schedule sex together. They decide on one or two nights a week when they have sex and it becomes just another part of their routine. This will likely rob you of passion and excitement in your sex life.
To keep things exciting the sex needs to be spontaneous sometimes. Rather than scheduling sex for every Wednesday night, pick a different night at the beginning of every week and don’t tell your partner. Put it in your phone to remind you. Then on that night, at that time, initiate intimacy. He/she will be surprised and likely love how you are coming on to them, out of nowhere!
2. Write down the important stuff.
Couples often tell me that the important things in their relationship aren’t dealt with because there just isn’t enough time or energy to deal with them in the moment. When we don’t deal with important issues, we get irritated and resentments build.
If you notice your partner leaving bills unpaid or if you want to talk about something great that happened during your day, try writing it in your phone when you don’t have time to talk in the moment. These are important conversations we need to have, but we often forget.
Writing it down will help you remember what you’ve been meaning to talk about when you do have some quality time together. When you finally have some downtime, you can reference your phone and have those important conversation starters.
3. Have a weekly date night, even a non-romantic one.
A date night is the perfect time to hash out all your irritations in the relationship and reconnect. If you’re a busy parent with small children, date night might look like going for a long drive with the kids asleep in the car. But the point is that there are no distractions and you have time to catch up.
During date night, you can communicate about those bigger issues you’ve been putting on the back burner. It’s also the perfect time to share what’s going on in your life when you’re away from each other. Sharing and keeping each other informed supports friendship and fondness for each other.
You don’t want to miss chunks of your partner’s life because you were too busy in the moment and forgot to ask during quality time. So write it all down, and then commit to quality time with each other. Supporting your friendship – not just as mom and dad, but also as husband and wife – will keep you closer and happier.