Parents! 6 Ways To Keep Your Marriage HOT—Even With Kids

couple kissing with baby

While it’s expected that intimacy will die down after kids arrive on the scene, if you make your relationship a priority, it doesn’t have to take a huge dip.

When a baby arrives, parents need to adjust to the emotional and physical demands of becoming a parent. Infants can be challenging (most new parents are sleep deprived), time for intimacy and romance declines, and it’s important for couples to make time to connect both sexually and emotionally.

Author Andrew G. Marshall says the two main culprits that destroy what he calls "Loving Attachment"—the type of love characterized by a deep connection, sexual intimacy, and the ability to tackle the challenges of life together—are neglecting physical intimacy and not accepting each other’s differences.

In his landmark book I Love You, But I'm Not In Love With You, he says that it’s possible for couples to rekindle loving feelings by building a better understanding of themselves and each other, and ultimately building a stronger, more passionate connection.

Want to know how to put your marriage first and rev up the passion (even with kids)? Here are six easy ways:

1. Plan EXCITING dates.
Try something like hiking or kayaking that’s outside of your comfort zone. Make doing activities away from your children a priority.

2. Schedule time for just the two of you—no kids.
They won't suffer if you don't schedule daily play time. Kids are incredibly resilient and they will become self-reliant if they have down time to play alone, with siblings, or peers.

3. Resolve conflicts skillfully.
Don’t put aside resentments that can destroy a relationship. Learn to air your differences and compromise so you both get some—but not all!—of the things you desire.

4. Tune in to your sexy side.
You can do this by treating yourself to a special night out or a massage. Find ways to tell your partner, “You’re sexy,” while avoiding critique after sex. Take your time to allow tension to build. Our brains experience more pleasure when the anticipation of the reward goes on for some time before we actually receive it.

5. Touch each other more.
According to author Dr. Kory Floyd, physical contact releases feel good hormones. Holding hands, hugging, kissing and touching release oxytocin (the bonding hormone) that reduces pain and creates a calming sensation. Physical affection also reduces stress hormones—lowering daily levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

6. Ensure your kids know your relationship with their other parent is important.
This may sound simplistic, but you can convey this through warmth, affection, and spending time away from them with your partner.

Making your marriage a priority will pay off for you, your partner and your children. For your marriage or romantic relationship to thrive, it’s important to create daily rituals like spending time together, showing physical affection and learning to resolve conflicts in a healthy way.

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