You’ve been married or living common-law for several years and have two children. Many of you probably can’t remember the last time you went to a movie together or had a dinner date without children. How do you ever find the time with all the demands of jobs and parenting? You barely have time to keep up with the laundry, never mind going to a movie.
What I’ve described is a very common scenario among married couples with children. We get caught up in the day to day managing of the household and our work outside the home. For some reason it just doesn’t seem as important as everything else. We in fact might even feel guilty if we spend the time and money to go out for dinner. We think of the cost of the babysitter, the dinner, the wine and the parking. We also think of the logistics around making it happen. We’ll often say to ourselves that it’s just too much trouble.
I’ve known couples where years can go by with no couple time at all. Each parent might spend time with their own friends but they don’t spend time with each other. When we neglect our primary relationship we risk losing it; the same as anything else in life we neglect. The strength and health of the relationship depends on how much time and effort we put into it. It doesn’t just happen. To make a relationship strong and healthy, we have to nurture it.
Children need and deserve a loving, safe and peaceful home environment. It’s what makes them feel loved and secure. We owe it to them to make it a priority to regularly work on our primary relationship not only for our sake, but for theirs. Yes, it takes time. Yes, it often takes money. Yes, it takes effort. Know, without a shred of doubt, that it’s worth it and your children will thank you.
Couples with children too often make the mistake of neglecting their relationship and risking the loss of the relationship, which is never anyone’s intention. Commit to setting up a date night at least twice a month. Do something together in the evening you both enjoy, once the kids have gone to bed. Send each other little love notes during the day. All these things work towards a strong union and a more secure foundation for your children.
Don’t catch yourself looking back five years after the birth of your first child, not being able to recall the last time you and your partner had a date or just took time out to be together in a meaningful way. It’s too easy to let things get off track to the point you’re not sure how to get back what you had in the beginning. It doesn’t have to be that way.