Brittany is married, with no less than four kids. Yeah, we think she knows a thing or two about what it means to stay connected.
Relationships are hard. Marriage is hard. Add littles to the equation and it goes from hard to harder. Add work schedules on top of that, and UGH. It can seem almost impossible. But it can work. It does….all the time.
It takes compromises, communication, patience and a long list of other things though. But no one ever said life would be easy, and neither is staying connected with your spouse!
Before adding kids to our family, it seemed like there was so much time for my husband and me. We made so many great memories together before we had kids. We would stay up all night and talk, even if we had to work the next day. We would take spontaneous weekend trips and have dinner dates a couple nights a week.
We could actually lay on the couch and watch an ENTIRE movie, start to finish, together, without having to pause it a million times or miss half the movie. (I know that doesn’t sound like much, but if you have kids, you know what I’m talking about).
After our family grew, we started making new, but different amazing memories. Yet, it seemed like we didn’t even have time to make eye contact, let alone show each other any affection or attention.
We never really thought much about how life was gonna change after we had kids, other then the fact that we would have an extra family member or two. We were in for a very rude awakening for sure! We went from being together all the time, to barely speaking. We would cross paths a couple times throughout the day, and pass out in the same bed at night, but that was about the extent of it.
Our youngest kids are just over 13 months apart, so we kinda did it to ourselves. Once our youngest son finally started sleeping through the night, and we had ourselves into something that resembled a routine…our daughter was born. So we just kind of went with it and made it work as much as we could.
But with the exhaustion, 2 littles in diapers, and my husband working 10 hours a day, 6 days a week, it was hard to really connect with each other like we used to.
After awhile, we realized that we had pretty much just become roommates. Just coexisting in the same home, and it wasn’t working. So one night we sat down and talked about how to fix it.
Communication was the first step. I’ve always heard that communication is one of the key parts to a successful relationship, and I believe it.
First we talked about our feelings and if we still wanted the same things out of our relationship. Then we talked about how to find that loving relationship that we used to have.
Of course we wanted to be able to spend time together like we did before. We missed the spontaneity and the passion that we had when we first got together. But we had to face the fact that it wasn’t going to happen.
No matter how hard we tried, there just weren’t enough hours in the day, and even if there were…..we just didn’t have the energy. So we started small. And when I say small, I mean small. We almost had to start all over again.
We made sure to kiss each other goodbye in the mornings. We would send each other messages throughout the day, and we would try to meet up for lunch at least once a week. This really helped us as a couple. It let me know that he still loved me and was thinking about me, and the same for him. The extra time we got with each other on lunch breaks wasn’t much, but it was enough to be special.
We also tried to set aside time each evening to talk to each other. We would talk about our day, plans for our future, what was stressing us, our feelings. Pretty much anything we had on our mind for the day. It’s crazy how just talking with someone can make you feel closer to them. Sometimes it would turn into an argument over money, or aggravation with each other, but even when that happened, it still made us feel closer and like we still had a passion for each other.
It Gets Easier
Once we started making time for each other every day, it got easier and easier for us to connect regularly. We had to make a conscious effort at first, but after doing it for awhile, it just became a normal part of our routine.
Once we got the basics covered, we got more enthusiastic about our relationship. We started planning date nights again, and going the extra mile to make it work. We even pulled my mother in law into our equation. She started helping out every now and then so we could have some quality time together.
We didn’t have the spontaneous fun we use to have, but planning dates and having something to look forward to gave us the excitement that we needed.
Relationships take a continued effort from each person to make it a long lasting, happy, and loving relationship. Being open with your spouse about what you want, and being in tune with what your partner wants, will help keep everything in the open. I don’t know about you, but I am getting too old to play games, so I put it all out there and so does my husband. And It seems to work for us. Communication, honesty, finding common interest, and planning is how we keep our relationship together.
Are these important in your relationship, or do you use other tactics to keep things interesting with your spouse? Let me know in the comments!