How to keep your relationship fresh: working, kids, and a spouse?
It happens to all of us. With work, parenting, and keeping up with laundry, it can feel like there is barely time to floss before bed, never mind keeping your relationship fresh. We know it is an important part of our lives, yet our spouses often get pushed to the back burner. We go to bed early instead of connecting with our spouse after a long day. There are times it feels going to bed early is essential to survival and the thought of one more minute awake will send you over the edge.
You are not alone. Many people feel they are missing important moments in their children’s lives, not quite hitting the mark in their careers, and experiencing a disconnect with their spouse. While there is no magic amount of time you should be focused on any particular part of your life, there are simple ways you can shift to become more marriage-focused.
After all, kids grow up, they will lead their own lives, and you don’t want to learn who your spouse is after 30+ years of neglect. As you and your spouse each pursue a career and parent, the gap between you grows wider and deeper and it is much harder to reconnect if you do not make your relationship a center focus of your life.
The Work- Life balance is a myth. The goal is to keep our relationship happy and thriving while being an engaged parent and feeling professionally fulfilled. That means all things are important but not all things are equally important.
There will be no recommendation to date your spouse. It sounds nice. Quality time with your spouse is important, you know that. You have read a hundred articles telling you to date your spouse. This article is to share ways to build, grow and nourish your relationship in a way that will you prepare you for any storm.
Know your Spouse’s Love Language.
This information can completely transform your relationship. We each have a primary love language: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time or physical touch. While we are each a combination of these, we have a primary language. Our needs often feel unmet if our spouse isn’t speaking our language, and the same for your spouse. Take the test here. Use this as a baseline on how to communicate with your spouse.
Reprogram your relationship.
Life with a career and family is worlds apart from life as a couple without kids. You may have to redefine roles. When you are crystal clear about each of your roles, responsibilities, and expectations, you will begin to work like a well-oiled machine. Get a family calendar to keep everyone’s schedule in one place.
Take personal time.
When talking to stressed mums a reoccurring topic is how often they feel their cup isn’t full. Mums are hesitant to take alone time because of ‘mum-guilt’. You will be at your best when your needs are met. Self-care isn’t indulgent, it is crucial for you to function optimally. Self-care reduces stress, lowers the risk of burn-out and helps you refocus on what is important in your life.
Take time to tell your spouse what you love about them. Be specific and honest. Start by complimenting them and showing appreciation for the things they are doing right. Look your spouse in the eyes and be sincere with your positive feedback.
No television in the bedroom.
We live in a time where there is a television in each room. The bedroom is a place to unwind, have conversation and connect with your spouse. Television can interrupt or stifle all three. Instead, opt to read together, or to talk about the best parts of your day.
None of these steps are hard, but they do require you to be deliberate. Just as our career or parenting requires us to make deliberate choices, so does the nurturing of a relationship. Start a conversation with your spouse. Let them know you want to be intentional and engaged with them. It is an ice breaker and an invitation for them to do the same.
BIO: Amanda Basse is passionate about leadership, self-discovery, and marketing. She hopes to inspire people to passionately pursue their dreams. She keeps people stylish with reputable workwear brands