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My husband and I have been married for 15 wonderful years. In the last 15 years we have lived in 13 homes in 6 states (thanks Air Force!) and added two children to our family. It has been an amazing journey together, but life certainly looks different now compared to when we were first married.
Each stage of life has it’s own challenges. This stage of our life feels a little crazy at times. There is always something to do or somewhere to go. Being a parent is exhausting and it is easy to get caught up in the frivolous fluff of life and forget about the truly important stuff.
Marriage Tips for Parents
I have been told that my husband and I make maintaining a great marriage look easy. It actually even feels easy, but part of that is we made each other a nonnegotiable priority early in our marriage. Marriage has changed somewhat after having children. Our time, focus, and money is more divided than ever. It is still possible to have a fantastic marriage by having the right attitude.
Date night is a must. We all love our children, but it is good for marriages to spend a little time apart from the kids. Budget the time and money to make this happen as much as possible. Date nights don’t need to be fancy. Many times we have just sat in a coffee shop and chatted or gone out for a quick bite to eat. Sometimes we just made a grown up dinner and watched a movie after the kids were in bed. The important part is spending time together not distracted by children or to-do lists.
Getting out for date night is easier now that Hannah is old enough to babysit for an hour or two, but I’m glad we got in the habit years ago when the kids were tiny.
Before we were married, I worried that we would eventually run out of things to talk about. After 15 years of marriage, I feel pretty confident saying that we will never stop talking to each other.
Communication is vital for a healthy happy marriage. Talk about goals, dreams, and daily struggles. This is your chance to bounce ideas off one another and figure out a game plan for your family. We are constantly adapting our plan…which requires constant communication.
My two rules for healthy marriage communication are:
- Always be respectful
- Keep private things private.
You can’t take back unkind words, so choose them carefully. Your spouse is absolutely deserving of your respect and loving words.
I see people criticize their spouses on social media all the time. Honestly, it feels like inviting people to gang up on the person you promised to love. Voice your concerns and complaints privately (and respectfully)!
Make time for each other
Making time for each other is bigger than just spending time together on a date. It can be as simple as taking a few minute to check in with each other a few times a day.
In my house that means:
- Chatting over a cup of coffee when we wake up
- Texting a few times during the day
- Talking to each other before we call the kids to dinner
- Relaxing together before bed.
Be a team
Work together as a team to accomplish goals for your family. I stay at home with the children and my husband goes to work. This works for us because we are a team. We are both working together to make sure our family has everything we need – money, health care, and a great education. Sometimes we have to adjust our roles a bit to fit real life. For example, if I need a break, my husband figures out dinner without complaint. If he has to work late on an important project, I don’t fuss about taking care of the house and children by myself.
Always assume the best about your partner. I wouldn’t want to be judged by my failures or my worst moments, so I extend that grace to my husband (and my children). If they are having a hard day, they need your grace and comfort, not an argument.
What marriage tips would you add? Leave them in the comments!
*This is all based on my own perspective and marital experience. It isn’t meant to take the place of counseling. No amount of date nights will fix an abusive relationship.*