According to Bowman, kids thrive in a healthy home environment. Happily married couples are better able to model good communication skills, too -- and these are skills that we all want our kids to learn. Happily married couples are healthier physically and have more energy, so they are better able to do fun things as a family. Happily married couples are also more aligned in their parenting, so kids are less able to pit one parent against the other. Says Bowman:
"I'll give you an example. I have a daughter, and there are some difficult discussions that work best if my husband tackles them. For instance, when she's a tween, I want him to be the one who tells her about boys and sex and what not. She will trust that information more from her father. Since we have a good marriage, I can feel comfortable asking my husband to do this -- and talking with him about the best way to have this discussion with her.
"My husband and I see ourselves as a team. Because of that, we strategize together. If I did not nurture my marriage, my husband and I would be more separate. I might not feel comfortable talking with him about this. I might even be competitive with him, trying to get our daughter to love me more. Then I would have the discussion with her, even though that is not best for her."
Once a month or so, think about the state of your marriage. Mentally rank your marital happiness on a scale of 1 to 10. If you feel disconnected with your husband or realize that things are not as good as they should be, make an effort to work on your relationship.
It doesn't have to be time consuming to prioritize your marriage. Often, it's as simple as taking a few minutes each evening to connect.
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