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Sustaining a healthy marriage

Hi lovely Mamas!

Today we are continuing our conversation about relationships. And we are talking about intimate relationships such as with your spouse or significant other. As we all know, they change rather dramatically sometimes when we bring children into the picture. And this is because of a variety of reasons.

Some of the key ones are:

Physical changes. If you gave birth to your child, there may be some physical shifts that occurred that make that intimacy, the physical intimacy difference. And if it’s a problem, if there’s challenges and struggles there, I highly encourage you to reach out to a physical therapist or your OBGYN for support. Because that is a key area of connection. Certainly not the only one, but if there are difficulties there, it’s worth looking into.

Another area is time. Time shifts rather dramatically, again. And we have less of it. And it’s a lot harder to make the space for time together. So that’s a big one.

Another one is sleep. Lack of sleep causes everyone to be much more reactive. So any buttons your spouse used to push, in just general life together, are getting pushed, most likely much, much more. And you may have found new ones that are getting pushed in the process.

So, all of that is totally normal. And it is important to make sure you are attending to those things. For example, it’s really easy to fall into the expectations. Which I like to call premeditated resentments. And assumptions. About how one goes about life as a family.

Each of us comes from different backgrounds. And while it may have seemed somewhat similar when you first came together, there may be many things that are normal to you. Or things you think are helpful or not, that your spouse doesn’t think about in the same way. And it’s important to acknowledge, however you are feeling and however your partner is feeling, are normal, based on the way you’re experiencing whatever situation is going on.

So, to really acknowledge and validate yourself as well as your partner in this process of growing and learning.

Communication. Drop the assumptions. And really communicate. Drop the expectations and share what you need. Say, this is what’s working for me. This is what isn’t. Make sure that you are both sharing and listening. And listening the way you would want to be listened to. Hopefully, it’s reciprocal. But there are two things that will absolutely help.

One is being the example of the dynamic that you want to encourage in the relationship. And two is asking. Using your words, as we tell our children all the time. Use your words! And share what you need.

The other part, in addition to communication, is having time for play. Having time to engage with one another in a fun way. Where you are connecting as people. As lovers. As partners. And, so if you’re struggling with this, ask yourself, what did you use to do before children that brought you together? What are things you built your relationship upon? What are the fun things? And maybe some of those are not as doable now. But ask yourself, again, what about those activities helped us connect?

Maybe it was going off and doing something and talking about it afterward. Or maybe those things you used to do aren’t as doable, but you can still find things that you can have a deep discussion over. And connect that way.

So, check in and make sure that you are communicating. And that you are playing.

The other piece of that is to do it consistently. Put it in the calendar. Find a time that you believe that you can consistently connect. So maybe it’s not once a week. That would be great. But maybe it’s every other week. Maybe it’s once a month that you do something out as a couple. Whatever it is, find space to communicate regularly about what’s going on in a not charged space, where you’re just actually checking in. so you are more able to listen. And play. Connect with each other as human beings. Put it on the calendar. And make sure you are making time.

Because making time to keep that relationship healthy is a big part of being able to keep your family relationship healthy and show up as a mom and as parents, much, much better and calmer and happier with your children.

If you are struggling with any of these things, as always, feel free to reach out to me. I love to talk to you. And I will see you all next week when we talk about the other foundation, and the core foundation, which is relationship with self.

I’m Valerie Friedlander from The Unlimited Mom, and I’ll talk to you all next time!

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