Healthy Relationships: How to Keep Love Alive
Maintaining a healthy relationship is often last on the list of priorities for busy couples. But keep in mind that an intimate relationship is a comfort to your kids. They can rest more easily knowing that mom and dad have a healthy relationship. And when all areas of intimacy are fairly strong, children learn how to have a healthy relationship by watching their parents interact.
Here's our relationship advice about how to maintain a healthy relationship:
- Schedule a regular date night. If it's planned, it's more likely to happen.
- Spend at least twenty minutes a day as a couple. Not as parents, not as business partners, not as housemates. Act toward one another like you would if you were still dating. Cuddle on the couch, happily chat about your day, rub your partner's shoulders or feet, go for a stroll or sit on the porch with a beverage and relax awhile together. Kiss.
- Show affection: If each of you showed affection two or three more times a day, that would be over one hundred shows of affection per month added to your usual amount. If most affection is sexual, make sure that a lot of non-sexual affection takes place. Many busy parents tense up when affection is sexual, because they view it as a non-verbal request to have sex—and they may not be in the mood. (Ironically, one of the better ways to increase the frequency of sex is to increase the frequency of non-sexual affection.)
- Add one more thoughtful gesture a day: Again, if you each did that, you'd be adding sixty thoughtful gestures a month to your relationship. Thoughtful gestures can either help your partner's day go easier (such as helping with some chore) or make your partner feel special (a love note on the car windshield, a thoughtful compliment).
- Ask yourself: "What's it like for my partner to have me around right now?" If the answer isn't very flattering, do something constructive to change it immediately.