Monday, August 5, 2013

Build a stronger marriage and your kids benefit.

Sometimes, in marriage, all goes fine till the kids come along. It’s
sad but true. I’ve known of couples divorcing after the kids came
along, because the marriage didn’t make sense anymore or they just
stopped getting along. I’ve also known of couples drifting apart and
finally divorcing once the kids were grown and had moved on, because
there was nothing to hold them together during the empty nest period.

Isn’t it ironic? You marry because you love each other

 and also, in most cases, to have a family of your own. And the
‘family’ itself becomes the source of your rift? How did it every get
to be that way? And does it have to be that way?


Of course once the kids come along A LOT does change. Most of your
time, if not already taken up by your regular office work and house
chores, etc., is now eaten up by your kids! Everything begins to
revolve around them! Their bedtime, meal times, play dates, homework
and the list goes on! And what suffers? Your marriage. You might not
even notice how your marriage slowly but gradually gets pushed to the
corner, until it gets confined there and becomes more and more
insignificant, and sometimes until a spouse has breakdown and sadly,
too late for damage control.

But it need not be that way. You can make both work beautifully with
some planning and some effort. And interestingly, research shows that
kids too benefit greatly if couples spend more quality time with each
other. It’s so simple that you’ll be surprised you didn’t think of it
earlier. The more quality time you spend with each other, the more
positive and happier you become; this in turn reflects on the entire

And it’s not that hard to steal some ‘couple time’. Yes, even with
kids, office work, et al.

•       Cuddle and hug each other and no it’s not odd to do it in front of
children. On the other hand, seeing this demonstration of love will
only strengthen your bond as a family and children will grow up as
strong, loving and caring adults. Isn’t it beautiful for children to
see their moms and dads ‘in love’? Steal moments together, before the
kids wake up and before you turn to your cuppa or the newspaper. Make
sure you hug or plant a kiss, when you say bye at the door. If the
kids are asleep or are busy with their homework, try and spend that
time together.

•       Tell your children that moms and dads have to also spend some time
together alone. Hire a baby sitter or drop them off at your parents’
or friends, or relatives’ house for a romantic dinner. If that’s
difficult, try and squeeze in lunch date every once in a while.

•       Even on your family time together, see how you can make it a
‘marriage time’ too. When you take the kids to the park to play, steal
some quiet moments at the bench, while you watch your kids, or if you
have help to monitor them, hold hands and take a short walk around the
park. When you help kids with their project homework, involve your
partner so you can spend some time together.

•       When you find some time to yourselves, skip the TV, instead cuddle
or just talk. TV time is not couple time; instead it’s just the
opposite, because you’re not focusing on each other, but on the TV.

We’d love to hear from you! How do you make ‘marriage time’ after the
kids have come along? Share you tips.

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