One of the best things you can do for your children is to have a strong relationship with your partner. By demonstrating how healthy adults interact, you're giving your kids an example to look -- and live -- up to. Like any living thing, your relationship needs to be nurtured in order to grow. No matter how busy the two of you are, it's critical to make time for each other. Whether it's a standing weekly coffee date or a phone conversation when you drive to work each morning, you both need to commit to regular communication and interaction.
Sometimes it helps to remember that your spouse is probably not actually trying to make you miserable. Think back to when you first met and all things that excited and enthralled you about each other. Keep that in mind when you're wondering how a grown man can step over his own jacket five times in five minutes without picking it up. Cast your mind back to the moment you knew you loved your spouse more than anyone in the world. Talk to him about that moment -- let him know you remember it, you think about, and why it matters to you. Starting the conversation might lead you both to new and exciting places.
You cannot change anyone around you. You can only change you -- you can change your response. So work on that. When the jacket is on the floor, make a conscious decision not to let it become a symbol of disrespect. It's just a jacket. You can pick it up yourself, or you can ask your spouse -- the same way you would ask a friend -- to pick it up. Instead of, "How many times do I have to ask you to pick up that stupid jacket?" try, "Could you hang that up for me, please?" When your husband does something that hurts you, instead of seething quietly and letting your resentment build until it explodes, speak up. "It hurt my feelings when you didn't call last night to tell me you'd be late. It makes me feel like you don't respect me." And then -- let it go.
Everyone argues. That's fine. It's how you argue with each other that matters. Make the decision to always speak civilly. This will take a lot of practice, but it's worth it. You'll find that when you keep your tone polite, your words will follow, and vice versa. Let your kids see that you and your husband can disagree without screaming insults at each other. Nurturing a relationship takes time and commitment. You won't see results overnight. But if you put in consistent effort over time, you will see positive changes. You will see something growing, blooming, and becoming beautiful.
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