Tell me if this sounds familiar..
You and the man of your dreams fall in love, get married, go through the honeymoon stage, feel the magic fade somewhat but are still fairly able to easily resolve conflicts, learn you’re having a baby, go into honeymoon mode again, have the child, and feel like it’s the best time of your life, then BOOM. Reality hits and the sleepless nights filled with inconsolable crying plus the spike in expenses that come with supporting a child just put so much strain in your marriage.
Suddenly you and your husband can’t see eye to eye on so many things anymore — especially when it comes to decisions involving the kids. He wants to take the kids swimming after lunch; you say it’s the middle of summer and they’ll surely get sunburnt. He wants a big party; you want a small one. He wants them to go to the school he attended; you want to try this new school that you heard is the best. His family wants to take them to Disneyland for Christmas; your family wants Boracay.
Want to relieve the tension building up between Mom & Dad? Go back to being Husband & Wife.
The secret to having a good marriage is to put your spouse before your kids
Prioritizing your spouse will lead to a happy family life.
According to David Cole, family coach and author of “To Raise Happy Kids, Put Your Marriage First”, many couples today are heading towards a crisis by giving all their attention to their kids. Many parents believe that if they give their kids more attention, their children will grow up to be better individuals.
But guess what? “Devoted parents do not produce happy children,” says Cole. As parents become over-focused on their children, meeting the constantly increasing demands of the kids takes a toll on mom & dad’s personal happiness; and consequently, takes away not just focus from their relationship with each other, but also the energy and effort they put into it.
On the next page: the best thing you can do for your kids.
When helping couples with marital problems, Cole reminds them that they married their spouses not their children.
They advise them to evaluate their priorities and start working on their relationship. He reveals that couples often use their kids as a “shield” from their spouses. When something goes wrong within a marriage, parents have the tendency to pour all their energy into parenting so they can avoid dealing with their marital issues.
Like what child psychologist Madeline Levine said, “When a marriage is cold, a child’s bed is a warm place to be.”
In short, the best thing that parents can do for their kids is to tend to their marriage. When problems or conflicts arise, don’t run away from them. Instead deal with them right away.
When kids see that their parents have a good relationship, they feel secure and will have less emotional baggage. So start spending more time with each other. Remember, you have to be intentional about this because nothing will happen if you don’t make plans.
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