Hey, welcome back to Part 2 of How to Save Your Marriage!
If you haven’t read Part 1 – Communication, please do. Communication is the foundation of all relationships so if you haven’t gotten that part down, it’ll be difficult to improve your marriage.
As I mentioned in the previous post, when my husband and I were going through our toughest times, we were able to transform our relationship by focusing on communication, time management and accepting each other. Let’s get into the details!
We all know there just aren’t enough hours in the day, so it’s important that we make the best use of our time. It’s easy to spend minutes and hours idly staring at TikTok or IG, but how does that serve or benefit your relationship? It doesn’t. Unless you’re enjoying it together, of course.
Either way, it’s really helpful to define how you and your partner think your time would be best used.
Prior to having a baby, you and your partner had free reign over your evenings, right? Welp, that’s no longer the case (unless you have around the clock nannies and servants). To avoid feeling like “the one that has to do everything,” come together with your partner and divvy up your tasks fairly.
In our family, each night, one parent cooks and does the cleans while the other parent is responsible for baby’s bath and bedtime routine. On the weekends one parent cleans the bathroom while the other parent does the laundry and we take turns putting the baby down for naptime.
Team work makes the dream work!
Routines may sound boring, but give it a try. By setting a routine, both you and your partner know what to expect. What kind of routines?
Here are some examples from our home life:
- Dedicate baby free time everyday. We do this every evening, after the baby is asleep. This helps to prevent us from neglecting our relationship. By devoting even a small amount of time to each other everyday, you’re nurturing and developing your relationship. It gives you both an opportunity to enjoy each other’s company again.
- Have a date night. This can be as often as you like. Don’t have a babysitter? Have a date night in, our date nights in usually involve wine and cheese or Netflix and chill. If you do get to go out you can try something new or enjoy an activity you both enjoyed before having a baby.
- Sunday is family day. We both know that regardless of what’s going on, every Sunday is our day to spend together. We can go to the beach, lay around on the sofa, go on a bike ride, whatever…as long as we’re together.
Remember to have fun, don’t take life so seriously that you forget to enjoy it.
Make Time for Intimacy
I get it, yall aren’t in the best place so you’re not in the mood, but intimacy doesn’t have to start with sex. It can start with thoughtful words and actions of love and appreciation.
- Compliment them on their appearance
- Acknowledge when you see them putting in extra effort
- Send an, “I love you” or “I miss you” text
- Volunteer to take a chore off their to-do list
- Make their favorite meal
- Hug them longer and tighter than usual
- Give them a passionate kiss
- Pick up a small gift that reminds them of you (card, flowers, bottle of wine, something on their Amazon wish list)
The above speak to the 5 love languages, so at least one of them is bound to resonate with your partner. And as you’re taking these steps, you and your partner will likely find your way back to enjoying private time together.
Give Each Other Space
Before having a baby, you probably had more “me time” than you even realized. You had time for you, your partner, your family and friends, all the time in the world, right?
As new parents, we don’t have the luxury of endless leisure time to spend however we want. We have to contribute to the family unit. However your “me time” is still necessary. This is time for you to relax and do something that doesn’t require you to be responsible for or considerate of others. It allows you to decompress and recharge.
For our family, once every week or two, each parent can go out with the girls or the boys and have fun. The other parent that stays home with our son and gets to order dinner from the restaurant of their choice. During my “me time” days, I’ve gone to the spa for a massage, went for dinner and drinks with girlfriends, and worked on my blog at Starbucks.
Giving each other free time has truly transformed our interactions with each other. It’s given us time to find ourselves and reclaim our identities outside of the family unit. And being happier individuals has helped us to be better partners and parents.
We no longer feel trapped in our relationship because we still get to be ourselves instead of Mom/Dad and wife/husband.
Acceptance…most people desire to be accepted their entire lives. We all want a partner that knows the good, bad, ugly, and still accepts us and loves us for who we truly are. If you desire this in your partner it’s important that you also give acceptance as well. Avoid pointing blame and judging, instead foster a spirit of forgiveness and understanding in your relationship.
You May Not Parent the Same
You may have spoken with your partner about your parenting styles prior to getting pregnant, but boy can your opinions change once your bundle of joy is actually here. I was the best parent that ever lived, until I actually became a parent.
When you actually become a parent you realize that some of your ideas may not actually work for your current situation or your child’s personality. I swore I’d never give our son formula, but at a certain point in our breastfeeding journey, I had to supplement because my son was losing too much weight. I also thought I would be the stricter parent since Hubby is such a big kid, but nope! I’m more lenient with our son and while Hubby is still the fun parent, JC knows not to misbehave with his dad.
What can I say, expectation and reality don’t always align.
The same happens with our partners. Maybe your parenting styles matched completely when you had hypothetical children, but now that your child is actually here, one of you or both of you have changed your minds. Having different parenting styles is okay, we have to accept that we’re different people with different reactions, but it’s important to find compromises and agreements on the important subjects such as a vaccinations.
It’s important not to sweat the small stuff. If your partner likes to bathe the baby in the sink, instead of the tub (the way you do), life will go on, no biggie. Avoid the argument, you don’t want to discourage your partner from actively participating by nit picking their every move with the baby. Just because they do it differently, doesn’t mean they’re doing it wrong.
Let Your Partner Deal with the Consequences
Since different approaches to parenting have different results, I find the most effective way for us to settle our differences is by letting each parent deal with the consequences of their approach.
For example, one night JC woke up screaming hysterically at 4AM. I wanted to go get him, Hubby said give him time to settle himself. I ignored Hubby and went to get JC with the intention of putting him in bed with us and going back to sleep. Well just my luck, by going into JC’s room, he woke all the way up and only wanted to play. So guess who had the pleasure of taking care of JC until the other parent woke up? You guessed it, I got him, so I had to take care of him. You can bet, I learned my lesson!
I hope that this information was helpful to you and your relationship. In the end, as long as you’re both willing to work on having and maintaining a healthy, happy relationship, you can achieve it. It just takes work, but having a happy home is absolutely worth it. If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to let me know in the comments.
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