Being a mom is such a special, special privilege. Life is just so much more colorful through the eyes of our littles! I remember when my son was first born, the first four months were TOUGH. Between learning how to breastfeed, getting my milk production up, changing diapers every hour, entertaining him, and putting him to sleep, I had very little energy or time for myself. I had even less time for my husband.
While my son got easier to care for after the newborn stage, I found myself so much more easily irritated by my husband. When he walked loudly, I would be annoyed for fear of him waking up the baby. When he blew his nose, I’d get irritated. ANYTHING he did that was loud was like…. “SHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! You’re gonna wake up the baby!!!!”
Looking back now, I regret treating my husband that way. He’s the very reason I have my little love, why a sweet little calls me mommy. The reason why I know what it means to have unconditional love for someone. If I continue pushing my husband out and criticizing him, the love that brought so much fire to my life will die out and my son will not get to grow up with two loving parents together because of something preventable!
Makes me wonder if this is what happened to my parents. They got divorced when I was in elementary school, but I’m sure that all it took were small decisions here and there that led to that.
If I can help it, I don’t want to get divorced. It’d have to be a really bad situation that I see no way for us to recover for us to get divorced. I also don’t want to be unhappy though, because I need my kids to see what a healthy loving relationship looks like.
Here are choices I make to prioritize my marriage every day.
Continue dating each other
Regardless of how long or short you’ve been married, make sure you don’t stop dating your husband. Your husband should continue being your boyfriend!
Stop to think about how things used to be when you two were dating. What do you two still do? What stopped? What do you miss? Granted, adding kids into the mix complicates things, but that just means there’s room for creativity to still get those butterflies here and there with your husband.
Go on those date nights! Ask family, friends or hire that babysitter to watch your kids! Regular dates are way cheaper and more fun than a divorce. Think of all the money saved from hiring that divorce lawyer and sending yourself and the kids to therapy. Figure out a frequency that works for you and your family! It can be weekly, biweekly, monthly, every 6 weeks. Just get it on the calendar in advance so you know it’ll happen! If you leave things to chance, well… chances are they won’t happen.
If going out isn’t possible right now…
Try a date night in! You can still connect without having to spend a pretty penny. If you need some inspiration on how to liven up your date night ins, check this out! If you’re worried about not having enough time after the kids are asleep, then try setting an earlier bedtime for the kids! Maybe it’s time to get them to bed earlier so you and your husband aren’t exhausted by the time you two are able to spend time together! Try 10 minutes earlier, then 20, then 30, maybe even an hour! If your’e prioritizing your marriage, then that means you gotta put your marriage FIRST. Think about what you can rearrange in your routine to make time for your marriage. Maybe that means meal planning so dinner time gets pushed up. Get creative! Nobody feels their best when they’re tired! Have the kids go to bed at a decent hour and then spend time with your husband catching up on some good shows, have a glass of wine, play a game, or have some fun with an early bedtime for you two! ;)
Continue surprising each other! Can you be more playful some of the times? Can you make his favorite dinner or order takeout from his favorite restaurant? Flirt a little! Grab his butt! Tackle him on the couch! All you need is just a second of your time each day to keep the connection strong! Obviously the more time, the better, but if you only have a second, put it to good use!
Need more inspiration on what you can do to make him feel really appreciated? Do things that will the largest impact by figuring out what his love language is! Read more here!
Don’t stop chasing each other! Keep pursuing each other like you’re both trying to get your third date. ;)
People are always changing. We’re not ever the same person as the moment prior. It’s so important to see each other for the person we are today. The one way to always know your husband is to keep asking questions! Pro Tip: Stay away from yes or no questions.
How was your day?
How’s that project at work going?
How’s your boss been treating you lately?
What’s something you’re struggling with lately?
How can I support you more?
I have a post with 30 questions you can ask your husband over a month to get to know him. This will create more connection and allow you two to have the emotional intimacy that you crave in your marriage. Check it out here!
You can even use this approach with your kids! This is a great practice to get away from the generic answers of “fine”, “great”, “ok”. When you ask questions that that are more involved, they start getting that you genuinely care about knowing them and seeing them however they are in that moment. In the end, we all just want to be seen.
Operate as a team
Kids can really test your patience and they’ll run to the parent who will give them the most desirable answer. To work your way around that, make sure you and your husband are functioning as a team! Make sure you two are on the same page with how to parent. This includes what responsibilities are, what privileges are, and what the consequences are. If one parent says one thing, then you go with it and talk about it in private if you disagree. The kids need to see you as a united front, even if you’re not at the moment. They need to see that whatever one parent says, the other one will say the same thing. Along the same vein, make sure you keep each other in the loop! If something came up, tell your husband and vice versa! This will help appearing to be on the same page a lot easier.
Be clear on what you need and want
No one likes to play guessing games. That’s the benefit to being married. In the dating world, it’s all about guessing. Once you’re married, you’re not in the game of explaining. Understand what you need and want in order to be happy in your marriage! Write the manual and hand it over to him. S-P-E-L-L I-T O-U-T! If you need more help taking care of the kids, then let him know! Let him know exactly what it is that you want him to do. Is it chore that you need relief on? Talk to him about it! List out all the chores and divide and conquer! There’s no need to play the martyr.
If you don’t ask, the answer will always be no!
This approach even works for intimacy! If you need to connect with him more often, whether it be verbally or physically, then ask what he needs and share what you need! Otherwise you’ll just both fester in resentment because you have unmet needs.
Be each other’s #1 fan
Think of someone you really enjoy being around. The person that makes you feel truly special. What do they do? I’m guessing they are very encouraging, supportive, and appreciative, yeah? Well, do the same for your husband! Be someone he loves coming home to!
Compliment him when he’s looking good or doing an awesome job as a dad. Encourage him when he’s down about something. Support him through life’s challenges! Share your appreciation for him for all that he does for you.
Be kind! It’s so easy to get comfortable where you stop trying all together, but don’t stop! All a successful marriage is a bunch of choices that you make to continue prioritizing your marriage. It is in those moments where you make a choice that lands you in a position where you’re considering divorce. Either way, you’re making a choice. So make choices that help you get what what you want… which is to grow grey and old with your husband by your side.
Give each other the benefit of the doubt
Assuming you trust your husband… give him the benefit of the doubt more often! If you two run into an issue, hear each other out! Put your ego to the side and listen with the intent on learning so you two can figure out where the breakdown happened. When we listen with the intent of explaining, the defensiveness actually causes the issue to grow. When you get defensive, that is actually you putting a wall up when really you two should be building a bridge so that you two can get back to how things were, but better.
So next time you have an argument, try and be an observer rather than an active participant. Allow him to speak his piece and acknowledge him for where he may have been hurt. Disregard that you may have been the cause of it, just see him for what he’s trying to show you. Apologize if necessary! Own your part in the situation. If he says something that hurts you, try not to pay too much attention to the words because hurt people have a tendency to hurt people…even if it’s unintentional. I’m sure you’ve said something you regretted when you were upset, so it’s possible for him to do the same.
Seek to understand before being understood. Again, help him feel seen and acknowledged and you will find that with each argument, you two will be stronger and stronger as a couple because you two are learning more about each other. Learning what triggers you and how to support each other through it better next time.
If you’d like ideas on how to reconnect with your husband, you’ll love this!