Managing marriage, kids, career and home requires communication, organization and commitment. A breakdown in any one of these areas could create problems in the bedroom and beyond. If you’ve been fighting with your spouse and your relationship has taken a nose dive, consider these tips to point it back in the right direction.
1. Agree on the non-negotiables. Every parent has things they have to have, they’d like to have and things they don’t really care about. Sit down with your partner and independently make a list of the top 5 things you need to have to feel happy and satisfied in your home life. The lists could include basic things like enforcing the rule of no shoes in the house or more intimate things like not going to bed angry. Take each of your lists and combine them into the 10 relationship rules you agree to live by.
2. Take time for your relationship. Make it a priority to schedule in date nights. Whether it’s grabbing coffee together once a week or going for an after dinner run each night, intentionally schedule time in your calendar to do something together. And don’t slouch off the benefits of having sex regularly. It’s hard to fight or stay mad at each other when you’re getting busy beneath the sheets
3. Fill each other’s love tank. Everyone feels love differently. Some men feel loved when they hear words of affirmation, others feel love when they receive special gifts and still others feel love through physical affection or time spent together. Figure out what fills your spouse’s love tank and make a conscious effort to fill it each day.
4. Put your partner’s needs first. The funniest thing about relationships is that the more you give, the more you tend to get. If you’ve been fighting to have your needs met and your needs put first, try something unconventional: putting your spouse’s needs first. You may be surprised to discover that once you start meeting his needs, your needs get magically met.
5. Deal with your own family drama. One of the biggest sources of conflict in marriages, especially ones with children, is the in-laws. When a spouse is forced to deal with an in-law that they don’t particularly get along with, the pot will begin to brew. Take charge of managing and making plans and solving conflict with your own family. You’ll be surprised at the number of fights you’ll avoid.
Many couples find that once their children grow up and start their own lives, they discover they’re in bed with a stranger. Don’t be that couple. At the end of the day remember one thing. The only fight really worth having is the fight to stay together.
Michelle LaRowe is the editor-in-chief of eNannySource.com. eNannySource.com has been helping families and nannies can find each other since 1994. LaRowe is also the author of Nanny to the Rescue!, Working Mom's 411 and A Mom's Ultimate Book of Lists. She was the 2004 International Nanny Association Nanny of the Year.