Experts Reveal 6 Rules To Keep Your Marriage Intact When You Have Kids

Just because you have kids doesn't mean you stop putting in effort in your marriage.

Couple uses tips to have a super happy and healthy marriage. eli77, Kzara Visual | Canva

Sometimes, it seems as if being married today is a lot harder than ever. Whether it's getting caught up in a super timely project for work, taking care of the kids, or finishing chores, we're all absorbed with our busy schedules. We want to spend time with our spouses but things keep coming up and before you know it, "just ten more minutes" becomes a mantra in our marriage. And then we wonder why our relationship is in trouble. 


Yes, raising a family indeed means putting in a serious effort to keep the house tidy, putting food on the table, as well as making sure that you take care of your kids' needs. But as a wife AND a parent, it's important that you also remember that your marriage is just as important — if not, more so. After all, you can't raise happy kids if their core foundation isn't rock solid; a healthy family is only as strong as the parents. Dr. Tammy Nelson, Imago Institute's Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt, Tony Victor, Sue Butler, LMFT, and Certified Intimacy Therapist Kimberly Anderson raise great points about how you can maintain a great marriage. The good news is that isn't as hard as you think!


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Here are 6 rules to keep your marriage intact when you have kids:

1. Setting a daily routine for you and your relationship is a must

Whether it means setting up a weekly double date with your best friend or setting aside time for just the two of you, having a routine will motivate you. Getting out of the house for some much-needed fresh air is a good first step if you're not sure where to start.

2. Be honest about what you're feeling

It doesn't matter how obvious your mommyhood stress is, chances are, your husband doesn't fully understand what's going on. Don't be afraid to let him in.

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3. Call in some reinforcements

There's nothing wrong with getting outside help from time to time. Get rid of that mentality RIGHT NOW. Having an extra set of eyes and ears on the situation can make a huge difference.

4. Sometimes, putting your marriage first is necessary

Hear us out. Your children are your world, end of story. But sometimes, you get so caught up in being parents that you forget that being a parent isn't your only identity. Kimberley Anderson says, "I think one of the most important things that couples can do is celebrate their identities as husband and wife, rather than just a mother and a father. Parenting [is] very de-eroticizing. I think it's important [that you] jazz things up by seeing your partner as a man and a woman and not just as the father or the mother of your child."

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5. Agree to disagree

All healthy couples fight. It's completely natural. How you handle those arguments is what really matters. Remember that fighting isn't about finding a clear winner, but getting to a point where you both feel heard and understood.

6. PDA is healthy

Showing your kids just how much you love each other will impact the way they see future relationships. Although these quick tips are guaranteed to improve your relationship with your partner, Rome wasn't built in a day. Whenever you feel the urge to bury yourself in your work, do yourself a favor and hit that play button again and again.

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Tammy Nelson, PhD is an intimacy and relationship expert, an international speaker, an author, and a licensed psychotherapist with almost thirty years of experience working with individuals and couples. Tony Victor, D.Min. LCPC is the co-founder and owner of the Midwest Relationship Center, LLC.  He is on the faculty of the Imago International Training Institute, and has been in private practice for nearly 30 years. Harville Hendrix, Ph. D., is a couples therapist with over 40 years of experience as a counselor, educator, clinical trainer, author, and public lecturer and has received many awards for his work with couples. He and his wife, Helen LaKelly Hunt, co-created Imago Relationship Therapy, a therapy for couples now practiced by over 2,200 certified therapists in 30 countries. Sue Butler is a counselor, relationship coach, and speaker who uses her expertise to help her clients work out issues like PTSD, stress, and addiction and get back to themselves. Kimberly Resnick Anderson, LCSW, is an AASECT-certified intimacy therapist with more than 20 years of experience evaluating and treating clients, as well as a clinical instructor of Psychiatry at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine, and an associate professor of psychiatry at Northeast Ohio Medical University.