One very common reason that you will hear couples say about why they got a divorce is this: “OUR KIDS RUINED OUR MARRIAGE!” While it is true that having and raising children is one of the major factors of stress in a marriage, it certainly isn’t true that they are the causes of couples splitting up.
In a study posted on APA PsycNet, it was revealed that “in a group of couples who did not have children, results indicated more gradual deterioration in relationship functioning during the first 8 years of marriage.” In fact, it also showed that these couples had happier marriages when they had kids.
Don’t blame your kids for your floundering marriage. Instead, let them help you save your relationship.
1) Re-think about the nature of your relationship
Many couples view their marital relationship as a partnership involving just them, the husband and the wife. While they may have entertained thoughts about having kids, they still harbor the wrong notion that their relationship is about them and them alone. When they eventually have children, they see them as an intrusion in what was once a happy relationship with just the two of them.
Don’t view your kids as intruders into your marital bliss. Instead, consider them as the next, higher stage of your relationship, and that is becoming loving parents.
2) Live moments with your child
Try to live and embrace every moment with your child. While it is impossible for couples to be always together every minute to watch out for milestones in your child’s life, relish them when they come and share it with the other.
For example, find joy when your child calls you “Mama” or “Dada” for the first time or when he/she takes her first steps. Have a camera on hand to take photos when these important moments come.
More often than not, husbands miss out on the good stuff because they are working and end up feeling left out. Share photos and videos of precious childhood moments with each other.
3) Examine your parenting styles
A difference in parenting styles can be a cause of stress between a husband and wife. One may be strict in disciplining the child; the other may be more lax or even spoiling their kids.
This disparity may result in disagreements on how to raise their child, with some spouses even blaming the other if the kid in question exhibits unruly behavior.
It is best to sit down and discuss calmly how you can go about raising your kids. Talk about each other’s views on discipline and come up with ways on disciplining your child that are agreeable to both of you. One important point of discussion is the matter of your child’s allowance. Be firm on how much money you should give your child every week.
4) Allot quality time for each other
Raising a child is not a 24/7 duty. You also need some quiet time with each other. It doesn’t have to be a short outing to watch a movie or dinner in a fancy restaurant. Sometimes, all it takes is just a simple walk in the park hand in hand, talking about the things you both love can be sufficient to keep the heart fires burning.