So, you’ve been married for years and have a few kiddies under your belt that keep you on your toes (or raise your cortisol levels daily) and take up most, if not, ALL of your time, naturally. You are busy chaffuering them around to hockey games, dance classes, music lessons, tutors, school plays, birthday parties, you name it! A typical day may sound something like this….
The alarm goes off and you get up and get the kids dressed, fed, and packed for their school day. It’s then a fast dash to get them to the bus or drive them to school. Mid-day you or your spouse text or call each other trying to organize and decide who can pick up which kid depending on who has more job flexibility and who is going to take them to their evening soccer practice or art lesson, all the while someone needs to make dinner so you all don’t starve. You rarely eat as a family anymore with all the different commitments at competing timelines. Eventually you all end up at home later in the evening and it turns into the biggest homework cram session of all time (and you haven’t done math equations in about 30 years and have NO clue how to help your kid and you find yourself googling the answers while feeling eternally grateful your job allows calculators or better yet, requires minimal math skills). Once the homework is complete, the kids are off to bed and you wish you could too because you’re completely exhausted, but someone has to do the dishes, right? You crawl into bed, say goodnight to your spouse, and tomorrow it begins all over again.
I am exhausted just writing this.
Does this sound like you? Do you and your partner talk to each other about anything else other than the kids? Are date nights non-existent? Do you forget how it feels to be truly intimate with your partner these days? If this is sounding familiar, keep reading. You adore and cherish you children, of course, but when did it become okay to slack off in the love department? Follow these 8 steps to ignite that fire again that brought the two of you together in the first place!
- Date nights are mandatory: No matter the busy schedule and demands of work, bills, kids, or the house, you MUST make a commitment to date nights at minimum once a month. Date nights are a space for partners to re-connect and maintain that connection and enjoy one another’s company in the absence of children. It helps to keep the fire and passion alive and to remember why you fell in love in the first place. Try a new restaurant, hit up a concert, register for a new activity. It doesn’t matter what it is, just that you two are together spending some private quality time!
- Find an activity to do together: Couples can increase their connection and intimacy when they join an activity to do together. Join a co-ed baseball or volleyball team together, go to the gym together, or maybe try a cooking class (double bonus for sharing dinner duty!). Whatever it is, make sure it is something you both enjoy and can have fun with!
- Touch, touch, touch: Over time, couples can forget the importance of physical touch with their partner and start to limit it to only kissing hello and goodbye each day. When we are not kissing, hugging, holding hands, or cuddling as much, the connection can dwindle and even resentment can creep up, especially if physical touch is your partner’s primary love language (more on that hot topic later!). Find times throughout each day to grab your partner’s hand, wrap your arms around them unexpectedly, give them a shoulder rub after a tough day, and kiss them with passion. Not only will your connection grow, but your intimacy in the bedroom will too!
- Check-in: No, this doesn’t mean check in to ask about the kids or determine who is on driving duty that day. Check-in with each other every day about how their day is going, how they are feeling, asking them what was challenging and what was great about their day. This helps your partner feel cared for, heard, and sends a reminder that they are important to you.
- Never stop being curious: As time goes on, we believe we know everything about our partner, and for the most part we do, but there are always new things to learn about one another. Always be curious to learn more about your partner by asking questions and you may be surprised by some of the answers that you thought you already knew.
- Show your appreciation: As human beings, we can so easily find ourselves complaining and highlighting all the faults/quirks/habits in our partner and disqualifying all the positives they bring in our life. Express your appreciation for them and be specific! Tell them how much you appreciate their great big hugs at the end of a long day, or how they always make sure to get the garbage out in time, or how they always leave the last of the cookies for you, or perhaps they always make sure the bills are paid on time. Tell them about all the things you appreciate about them!
- Always communicate: Life can be challenging, especially with kids, and it is so easy to get wrapped up in the everyday mundane activities that we can lose sight of the importance of communication. Communication is the foundation for connection and intimacy and without it, a relationship can quickly dwindle and the flame can burn out. Keep the lines of communication open by talking to your partner about your fears, your pain, your hopes, and your dreams.
- Getaways: Family vacations are fun and a great way to bond as a family unit, but a couple’s getaway is equally as important to keep the passion alive! It doesn’t have to be a lavish upscale cruise to Antigua (although that would be nice), but even a weekend at a bed and breakfast, or a one night stay in a nice hotel in an exciting city! Get out there and explore a new place and enjoy the adventure together!
Laurita Gorman is a registered social worker, mind-body therapist, and yoga educator. She helps people transform their lives from places of pain and suffering, to journeys of growth, healing, and valued-living!
For much of her life, she has been curious and intrigued by the human condition and the inherent resiliency of the human spirit through pain and difficult life transitions. With compassion and empathy, and through a unique blend of clinical social work and alternative therapies, she can help support you in healing from trauma, mental health issues, relationship challenges, and difficult life transitions using a holistic approach to healing and well-being.
Laurita is passionate about supporting people through their journey and feel honoured and humbled to bare witness to their story, acknowledging the amount of strength and courage it takes to share such intimate and private details of their life.
Her commitment to you is to help you get to a place where the pain you are experiencing is no longer controlling your life or your happiness.
Laurita’s goal is to help you discover what matters most to you and support you in taking action steps toward a life rooted in those values so that you can create the life you want, now!