Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Benefits of Putting Your Marriage First
Like many couples, when you have children you fall into a pattern. That pattern usually consists of your kids, because they now have become your life. Although your children may be your pride and joy and are a huge factor in making your life complete. The child-centered life can take a toll on relationships and can be even harder for the kids. Focusing on your marriage first can not only create a healthier marriage, but also produce happier children as well.
Researchers who study family behavior agree that a strong bond between parents is the heart of a happy family. As sex therapist Laura Berman, Ph.D., puts it in her couples' guide, The Book of Love, "No matter how sacrilegious it sounds...you need to put your relationship before your children. A strong relationship provides security for your children and demonstrates how a loving, respectful partnership should be. What could be more important?"
"Our studies show that how a couple's relationship is going has an impact on how the kids are doing," says Philip Cowan, Ph.D., an emeritus professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. He's studied families for decades with his wife, psychologist Carolyn Pape Cowan, Ph.D. When parents are so focused on their children that they don't have the time or energy to relate as a couple, he notes, they're more likely to grow discontented. Kids can pick up on the unhappiness and feel insecure about family unity; that anxiety could lead to problems such as depression or aggression. And when adults pour their attention into their children instead of their spouses, the balance of power is skewed. "Kids end up thinking they're the center of the universe," says Code, "and might act selfishly and manipulatively."
First rule: Start small. With a routine already in place breaking away from it can be difficult. It’s about starting small and making the most out of your time together. It doesn’t have to be a dramatic change at once. Consider things like waking up fifteen minutes earlier to chat over coffee or go to bed at the same time.
Have kid-free conversations. When you are out together save the talk about the kids for later. Be all about the relationship.
Stay in touch during the day. With the many ways of communication today it is easy to stay in contact. Send sweet emails, or text throughout the day to express your love for them.
Try new things together. It allows quality alone time together, without the pressure of scintillating conversation about life or the kids.
Indulge in PDA- Affection keeps you connected and demonstrate to the kids an important part of your marriage. As a result you are modeling what a good relationship is like.
Make pleasure a priority- Dr. Hutcherson says "I tell patients to hold hands or
spoon when they fall asleep. The pleasure chemicals released from skin-to-skin contact bond you." Spontaneity is fun, but if you are realistic and plan for intimacy, at least you know you’ll have it. Intimacy is a fundamental part of having a happy and healthy relationship and should be incorporated into your routine as such.
Don’t be a martyr. Ask your partner to their share of house work means you will be less tired, less resentful, and more amped for intimacy.