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There's no doubt that marriage is heavily impacted when the relationship transitions from being only a couple to being a couple AND parents.
From my own experience as a wife and a mom as well as the experiences of my clients, I've observed three common mistakes that get in the way of marriage and family life being exactly what we envision.
1. Prioritizing Everyone But Yourself:
The Unintentional Sacrifice:
Many of us, especially mothers, fall into the trap of prioritizing everyone else above ourselves. It's not a conscious decision, but a gradual shift that happens as we embrace various roles. We're conditioned to be selfless, often neglecting our well-being.
By prioritizing everyone else before yourself, you are setting yourself up for continuous burnout which can affect who you are being in the marriage.
And if you're taking a closer look at all the things leading to your burnout, you can start to see that it's all a choice. Which means that burn out is a choice.
The Impact on Relationships:
I recently polled the mamas inside of The Marriage and Motherhood Community on what order they prioritized the 3 most important relationships they have - marriage, kids, and self. 90% of the responses had one thing in common. Self was often last.
Our relationships can only grow as much as we grow our relationship with self. This is why working on yourself will always mean a deeper connection in your marriage as well as with your kids.
2. Giving Your Marriage Leftovers:
Is your marriage being prioritized or de-prioritized?
Becoming parents can easily lead to neglecting the marriage. However, when couples don't take the time and energy to connect on a regular basis, it can often feel like the marriage isn't important anymore and that they don't care.
Giving your marriage your leftovers can lead to the heartbreaking feeling of not being chosen and not mattering. Instead of viewing quality time together as another chore, look at it as investing into a stronger relationship because when the connection is strong, the communication and partnership will follow.
Rediscovering Connection in Parenthood:
Remember the level of attention and nurture you gave to your marriage before children. If you're realizing that you've unintentionally neglected your marriage, start small. As long as you're connecting consistently, your marriage can feel connected again.
3. Ineffective Communication:
Building a Foundation Through Communication:
Great communicators are born, not made. Even if your parents didn't teach you healthy communication, it's important to learn and nurture your effective communication skills so that you can navigate conflict in your marriage with more ease and partnership.
When you have effective communication in your marriage, the emotional intimacy and connection grows exponentially. Your marriage becomes more resilient and it grows stronger and closer with each conflict.
Breaking the Cycle:
Even though I now help couples communicate better, I started out as a HORRIBLE communicator. I didn't know it back then but I sucked at communicating. It was only once I started noticing how every relationship I was in always involved a lot of arguments that went nowhere, even though I was "communicating". Once I realized the role I played in my experiences, I took it upon myself to never be in a relationship like that again. So I took it upon myself to become a better communicator so I could transform my relationships through my own personal growth and communication.
It's amazing how effective communication can transform your marriage.
Remember that addressing these three common mistakes requires intentional effort and self-reflection. Don't hesitate to seek support, whether through personal commitment or professional guidance. Your marriage deserves to be a source of joy, and by tackling these challenges head-on, you're taking the first steps toward a more fulfilling and resilient relationship.
If you'd like to listen to me dive in deeper about this, listen to episode 85!
And if you'd like support, schedule your free clarity call so you can get the help you need to enjoy your marriage again!
Other episodes you might enjoy:
Ep. 75 - Your Marriage or Your Kids: What Comes First?