Life is all about change. Parents know that more than most.
Now that you have children, you need to figure out how to raise these little people well. On top of work, family and chores, you now also have to care for these mini versions of yourself. Sleepless nights and restless days are now an integral part of your life.
Your life is full and your spouse just has to take a bit of a back seat for a while. After all, you’re exhausted after a full day of work. Weekends are for your parents or in-laws, and whatever time you have left to catch up with your spouse is spent talking about the children’s needs and how they are doing.
Don’t forget your first love. Children will grow up and set up their own families, but your spouse will be by your side forever. In fact, a happy marriage benefits not only you and your spouse, but your children as well. Studies show that the most important thing a child needs is a happy and loving father and mother.
Bearing the above in mind, here are six marriage tips for parents to consider and practise. If you are encouraged by couples who have been married for a good number of years and are still very much in a strong marriage, do consider the following happy marriage tips.
Marriage Tips for Busy Parents
1. Prioritise your marriage – Make your relationship the main thing
First of all, recognise that your relationship with your spouse is the most important thing in your family and should be prioritised. That would mean that you must be willing to put in time, effort and thought into nurturing your marriage.
Your relationship with your spouse might blossom and in addition to that, your children will benefit from your stronger relationship. They would feel secure and thrive when they know that their mum and dad love each other.
Making a commitment to building a great relationship with your spouse is one of the most common marriage tips for parents and is one of the most crucial too. It is the best investment you can make in your life.
2. Protect your time – Spend quality time with each other
With children comes added responsibilities and it is quite common for couples to spend a lot more time being good parents than a better spouse. Rarely will there be time to just spend in each other’s presence and to build up your marriage relationship with each other.
Take time to be away from the children and spend it with the one person who will be with you all your life. Spending quality time with your spouse doesn’t have to be complicated. It could be in the simple form of taking a stroll in the park, having a conversation about your daily life at the couch, or having a simple meal together.
It would be even better if you could go on dates on a regular basis. Get help from your parents, your in-laws, your friends, or hire a babysitter if you need to. Just make sure to protect the time you have as a couple, and don’t just spend your time being parents.
Although this is one of the more commonly known happy marriage tips, it is difficult when it comes to practice because of the busy lifestyle we lead and for some, limited resources we have. Always remember – spending quality time with each other will prevent you and your spouse from getting distant. Do make time for each other.
3. Serve one another – Help each other win
As the many responsibilities pile up, it is quite natural for some to feel that they just want to retreat into themselves at the end of a long day. That you’ve earned the right to just wind down and rest from the battle. And you have.
But don’t forget that your spouse has had a long day too. Two is better than one, because if any one falls, the other is there to pick them up. Remember that both of you make up a team. Be ready to pick your spouse up, whether it is helping to do the dishes, or changing the diapers or taking the night duty so they get the rest they need. Serve your spouse and they will serve you as well.
4. Express appreciation – Say something nice to your spouse everyday
In the busyness and pressure of life, you may neglect to dedicate a little time to think about how your spouse has invested in the relationship but instead focus on the things not done or not done well.
Eli J. Finkel, the author of The All-or-Nothing Marriage: How the Best Marriages Work, encourages couples to find a few minutes per week to think about how your spouse has invested in your marriage. With that thought, share it with your spouse and use words of encouragement to build them up. Your spouse will be uplifted because they know that they are being appreciated.
In the long run, such expression of appreciation can have the potential to not only increase your gratitude and relationship commitment but also increase your overall happiness, resulting in a happy marriage.
5. Even when you’re not around – Show that you are thinking of them
We can’t always be around our spouse every minute of the day but we can certainly work on some simple gestures like to remind them that we are thinking of them. Snap a photo of your latest date together, leave your spouse secret messages around the house or in his bag, buy a small gift that they like or simply text them a message to show your appreciation and love towards your spouse. Remind your partner that even after the children, they are still your number one.
6. Especially when you are around – Show how much you miss being around them
When you are in the presence of your spouse, show them how much you love them. Hold their hands, give them a hug and a smile. Remind them that they are deeply loved, that they are still beautiful in your sight, and that they will always be your number one.
These happy marriage tips for parents largely stem from The Five Love Languages – Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time and Physical Touch – as outlined by Gary Chapman in his book, The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate. It is highly recommended that you take the couple’s quiz to find out more about you and your spouse’s love languages and to show your love towards them in their love language.
It’s all about practice and we know practice makes perfect!