Hopefully you read my previous blog about the reality of being a mum, well it was suggested to me that we should do something on how to keep a relationship happy.
I am no expert at this, I have had a failed relationship or two, but I am now happily married. We work together, live together and parent together – and my goodness that takes its toll. So with that in mind, here are a few tips.
When you’re married with kids and you have a thriving career, the first thing that slips away in your daily life is “you time.” The second thing? “You and him” time.
We’ve all been there, too busy running day to day life, taking everything you have for granted.
Expecting it all just to be there no matter what… that’s what love is right? Being there no matter what… Well yes, but with that comes effort, time and support.
It’s very easy to fall into a routine, being a mum, doing the school run, moaning at your partner for not putting the bins out AGAIN!
Always being tired, fed up of doing everything and feeling disappointed that he never helps. Or at least not as you expected him to! I am pretty sure that has crossed your mind at least once?
Very quickly the baby, the business (or both) become everything, and the partner/husband gets pushed back. Maybe its work first, maybe its baby first but either way I think we sometimes forget about how much the relationship still needs us.
Let’s go back to basics, before the business or the baby, before the pressures of life, what first brought you together?
I would personally say it was having fun, having someone to smile with, to share fun times and be there when you needed someone. You supported each other, allowed each other time to breathe.
Then as time went on, things changed. But WHY?
I can think of at least 1000 reasons why but are they reasons or just excuses? In reality love and relationships take effort, time and the want to still make each other happy.
So my top tips! Now, this isn’t a ‘be a better wife’ blog as there are already a million of those out there! I also don’t agree that a wife should make all the effort, this relationship takes two – this isn’t about changing who you are, this is about working together as a team to stay happy.
Ok my first tip – you are not his mother!
Sounds weird, but you know what, he is a grown up! He is not looking for someone to make his packed lunch for him every day, (as much as I’m sure he would love that), lay his clothes out, get him dressed, tell him what to wear or someone that will have his suitcase packed when he’s off on a night away.
You don’t need to put that pressure on yourself to do those things to make him happy, I have no doubt it would be a bonus, I mean I would love someone to do that for me.. But it isn’t going to be what keeps him with you.
Plus, the more you do, the more he will expect you to do. You start doing everything for him, and then get annoyed that he expects you to do it? Don’t make a rod for your own back.
Men like space, don’t mother him, that’s not your task!
Talk to him
I don’t mean nag at him for the bins, or not picking up after himself. I mean talk to him, spend time together, and let him speak – for once! 😉
So when he comes home from work after a long day, let him be able to decompress from the day before you start talking. Allow him to start the conversation on his own. Let him breathe.
It would be unrealistic to say you should never criticize each other, but making sure it’s really necessary beforehand can minimize how critical you’re being.
It is easy to fall into the pattern of complaining to your partner when they don’t follow through with things or don’t do things the way that you want to, be mindful of when you want to criticize and ask yourself if it is really necessary to say something.
If it is, then go ahead. But if it isn’t, bite your tongue and refrain from doing it.
Less criticism will result in your partner feeling less attacked, less controlled, more appreciated, and consequently, more eager to step up and help out.
Make time for each other
Seems too easy to say doesn’t it?! I know we all struggle with time, there is never enough of it. BUT you absolutely must make time for each other.
Once a week, once a month or even just one evening – it helps.
Give each other uninterrupted, time together.
Each one of us needs affirmation and affection, if you are always too busy to be affectionate or set time aside, he may look to someone else or begin to not care.
That isn’t to scare you, but as a human we need affection, we need appreciation – man or woman, we need to feel like someone cares… so be there and care, don’t let someone else be their ‘shoulder to cry on’.
A compliment a day
When did you last make an effort and it went unnoticed?! Annoying and disappointing isn’t it.
Well start making a habit today of giving a little bit of affirmation to each other. Say something nice to each other every day.
Whether it’s on appearance, work, or personality, a compliment is an easy and effective way to make your partner feel great.
We all want our hard work recognised, we crave appreciation and want to feel like our efforts are recognized, so think of something nice to say. Kindness goes a long way.
Be each other’s best friend
You have friends I know, but a relationship I think requires a friendship. Have secrets, be there for each other.
Best friends love each other, support each other unconditionally and are loyal to a fault. Be that cheerleader for your husband, let him know you are an unbreakable team no matter what, as this will open him up to being more vulnerable, honest, and loving.
My final tip – Be happy to see each other.
This one might sound small, but it’s actually a pretty big deal. I know, you see each other every day, and you are probably still annoyed about something he didn’t do, but he’s stressed about work and his mind is also preoccupied – just breathe and smile.
Be enthusiastic, make eye contact, smile at each other, and show how happy you are to see each other.
You’d be amazed at how much it matters. Try it, next time you are together just smile at each other, it will recreate a lot of happiness without a huge amount of effort.
It’s so easy to let the kids/work/Facebook/cooking or any of the other gazillion things that demand our attention take precedence over that special moment of connection.
Just five minutes of your undivided attention and he’ll be feeling loved, and will want to show you how much he loves you, too.
Danielle runs Black Nova Designs and can be contacted here.