It's not easy at times to keep the spark alive in marriage, especially after children are born. Life can be so hectic and raising children is often all-encompassing.
Beyond caring for our babies, it's vital that we realize that it takes intention, time, and energy to keep a relationship thriving. It's about giving our partners our full attention in the sometimes rare moments we have alone, while remembering that we need to keep each other at the center of our worlds.
As Sean and I have worked to create our little family, we've been 100% committed to growing together. We've learned together that connection fuels passion and constant effort fuels the love adventure of a lifetime.
I've learned so much over the years, and I want to share some surefire ways for keeping a marriage strong in the face of raising children:
#1 - Prioritize Your Partner
Putting your partner first is key! If you're not constantly working on your marriage, the chemistry and connection will surely dwindle.
I once heard someone say, "Marriages are like muscles, if you stop working on them they will weaken." That has always stuck with me. Sean and I try to put each other first no matter what. We keep focused on each other's needs, even when our schedules are hectic and overwhelming.
Paying attention to your partner and nurturing them is crucial. When they're feeling down, take time to really dig in and understand how they are feeling. Be attentive. Comfort them. Take time to be empathetic to their emotions and give them the validation they need to find strength.
#2 - Spend Quality Time Together
Quality time together and just spending time together are two completely different things. Take time to connect, without interruptions. No phones or distractions allowed!
This can be after the children to go to bed or early in the morning before they wake up. It can also mean leaving the children with a highly trusted sitter, friend, or family member.
Sean and I constantly make it a point to connect together at night when our children are asleep. We have a glass of wine together and watch our favorite shows. Take a jacuzzi or a bath together. Talk about our day.
Getting one-on-one time is so important for us. It results in us both tending to each other's needs with love, attention, and pure nurturing.
I notice that this energy transfers into our everyday moments and keeps our spark alive.
#3 - Try Something New
I love trying new and different looks when it comes to my appearance. There's nothing better than Sean's reaction when I surprise him with a cute outfit — with my hair and makeup done, and I'm wearing his favorite perfume.
I love how much he appreciates when I put effort into impressing him. It's keeps things interesting! It goes the other way as well. I love when Sean surprises me.
Encourage your partner to try something new and out of the ordinary. This includes constantly experiencing new sights and sounds. Getting out of your routine, where fireworks are sure to appear.
I love that I am constantly learning new things about Sean, and I've known him since we were kids! We try to inspire each other to get our of our boxes and expand our horizons together.
#4 - Get Away Together
Whether it's a quick day trip, a one night getaway, a weekend staycation, or a full-blown vacation, make sure to get away with each other. New experiences in new places have a way of creating the perfect environment for romance.
Try new foods, drinks, and restaurants. Getting away from regular everyday life helps Sean and I reset. I always feel so connected and bonded when we break our normal routine and go somewhere. We absolutely love exploring together!
#5 - Be Intimate
Intimacy can be hard to find with busy schedules and raising children, but it's so important for a thriving relationship. Making love, of course, keeps the bond and passion alive.
Connecting on an intimate level with Sean keeps me feeling fulfilled and connected. We go out of our way to touch each other, cuddle, kiss and hug. We keep it playful, fun, and meaningful.
One of the easiest ways to lose intimacy is to allow life to swallow you whole. Make effort to get back to square one, and constantly rediscover the bond that brought you together in the first place.
#6 Connect Daily
Constantly check in with your partner — know what's going on in their life. This means being bold enough to understand their stresses and basking with them in their achievements. Don't take any piece of your partner for granted.
Take time to learn your partner's love language.
Of course, we all have different ways of how we feel loved and appreciated. One of Sean's love languages is physical touch, so I make sure to randomly kiss and hug him out of nowhere, touch him, sit on his lap, and be intimate.
One of my love languages is "words of affirmation." I feel appreciated and understood when I'm told I'm a good mommy or when Sean compliments me on a job well done at home or at work.
Something Sean will do out of nowhere for me is look me in the eye and say, "wow you're really pretty," or "look how beautiful my wife is." And I know he means what he says. He's so genuine and sincere.
No matter who we are with or what we are talking about, if he feels it in his heart and needs to say it, he will always pause and give me a sweet compliment. It literally melts me. I hope he does this even when we are 80-years-old! 🙂
I strongly recommend that you learn your love languages. Click here for a great resource!
If you're reading this at a moment when you're struggling with your relationship, know that you're not alone! Every couple has their moments. The key is to remember that each day is a new opportunity to reclaim your love for one another. It may take a little time to warm things up, but if you pour your heart into it, anything is possible!