My kids are ruining my relationship
Question: My kids are getting in the way of my relationship with my spouse. We are always stressed out because of all the stuff we have to do with the kids. At night, after we fight with the kids to go to bed, we don't want to be around each other, we just want alone time. I love my kids, but I think they are ruining my marital relationship. What do I do?
Answer: You get a babysitter and spend some time with your spouse. You put down some rules for your children, and enforce them so that they go to bed on time without a fuss. You find ways to make your marriage a priority no matter how much your kids require of you or your time.
Here are some tips on how to do that:
1. Have a date night. A standing date night is going to help you appreciate your kids more, and spend some one on one time with your spouse. So, find a sitter that can come every Friday night, or every Wednesday afternoon, or whatever day and time of the week works for you to get out and have a date with your spouse, no kids allowed, and do it.
2. Have fun family time. Kids can be a parent's pride and joy, or a little monster. The point is to focus on the times when they are your pride and joy. A whiny, fussy, clingy kid can make any parent want time alone, and away from all other humans, even their spouse. Every day do something that is "fun" with your kids, so that you feel joy associated with your family. This fun can be making cookies, can be playing dollhouse, can be going somewhere, eating a picnic, taking a walk. Whatever you want it to be. This will decrease your need for alone time because your family time is actually enjoyable.
3. Get your alone time. If you never take time for yourself during the day, you can crave alone time to the point that it is all you want. So, every day take a few breaks where you do something for you. You can close your eyes for a few minutes. You can read a book. You can watch a show. Do it during your child's nap. Get up early so that your kids aren't up yet. Use your time in the bathroom as your personal time. Whatever you need, just make sure you get it in.
If your kids are all it takes to ruin your marriage, you probably have some marital problems you are ignoring, or don't want to admit. So, in addition to the above three suggestions, evaluate your marriage and make sure it is healthy. Make sure you are communicating well. Make sure your needs are being met and that your spouse's needs are also being met. Make sure that you take the time to touch base each day, work out problems, and feel good about where your relationship stands.