Between soccer practice, meetings, work, school, homework and — did someone forget to make dinner? — family life is chaotic and leaves little intimate time for you and your man. Take the chance this New Year to make some resolutions for your marriage and check out these five expert-inspired ways to reignite the spark in your union — starting now.
Show a little love
Christina Steinorth, licensed psychotherapist and author in Santa Barbara, suggests getting a little touchy-feely in the New Year.
You wouldn’t let your kids leave for the bus stop without showering them with love and kisses, right? So why let your hubby head to the office without the same affection?
“Kiss in the morning before you leave to work, hug when you get home,” Steinnorth says.
“Once one partner starts acting more loving toward the other, there’s a good chance the other partner will reciprocate.”
Give each other the benefit of the doubt
“Give him/her the benefit of the doubt about reasons for an action/behavior that you don’t like,” says “Fearless Marriage” expert Lesli M. W. Doares, MS, LMFT, of Balanced Family Therapy and author of Blueprint for a Lasting Marriage: How to Create Your Happily Ever After With More Intention, Less Work.
Ok, so he gave the kids cookies before dinner. He’s not trying to sabotage the healthy meal you just made. Maybe he’s feeling a guilty that he’s been away at work all day and just wants to feel a little love from the kids — even by way of a sugar rush. Dads feel parent guilt, too, ya know!
Try something new… as a family
Anita A. Chlipala, MA, MEd, LMFT, says, “One of the best ways to keep the passion alive in your relationship is to try novel things.” This is something you can do as a family (sans the passion — save that for the bedroom).
Make a fun bucket list of kid-friendly adventures and enjoy crossing activities off your list as a family.
Check out these 6 Weekend adventures for the family >>
Psychotherapist and author of Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting about the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., says, “Intimacy is the art of making your partner feel understood and accepted.”
Parenthood has a funny way of interfering with your intimacy. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Stay connected through hectic schedules and tough family moments with simple things such as eye contact (or a sexy wink!), gentle touching and maintaining a sense of humor. Sometimes laughing together can put the stress of family life in perspective.
Read about these 5 Tips for stress-less parenting >>
Focus on the positive
Janet Pfeiffer, president/CEO of Pfeiffer Power Seminars, LLC, suggests focusing on one another’s “goodness and attributes rather than imperfections.” You may not think your husband changes a diaper as well as you — but at least he’s pushing up his sleeves for even the dirtiest parenting tasks.