Parenting & How to Keep the Marriage Alive

Hello, my name is Sevin Philips. I’m a licensed marriage and family therapist. I’m here to talk about parenting and keeping your marriage intact. It’s a challenging time for most people, and I have some great suggestions that I think will help your relationship.

The first one is staying connected. It’s a tough one. It’s all about the baby – and it should be all about the baby. It’s the time in our lives when we’re raising a child and we’re focusing on the child and we put all our resources into it. There are some small and yet very powerful ways, though, to stay connected.

One of them is date night. Of course, it’s cliché. But for those who take it seriously and go every week or every month, whatever your ritual is, keep it important and get enough babysitters to back up anybody who cancels. Go sometimes even if you’re tired. Go to a movie or whatever it might be. Give yourself that time and make it important and really protect that time.

On a more day-to-day level, I think we get so stressed due to the tasks of raising a child that we sometimes forget to just stop and look at each other, acknowledge each other, kiss, touch, cuddle, and ask “How are you doing?” Taking the time throughout a stressful day to do those kinds of things goes a long way in staying connected.

Another thing I feel is sex. It’s a hot topic. Couples come in and talk about it all the time. It’s not happening as much of course as it used to and it’s understandable. “We’re not sleeping and we’re stressed.” Those two factors definitely don’t make things sexy.

But there are some things that make things go well for couples. One of them is just acknowledge that it’s been a while, if it has been a while, for each of you to take responsibility and acknowledging how important sex is in your life. I know sometimes we avoid the topic because maybe one of our partners is wanting it and the other is not. It’s important to at least discuss it and talk about it and acknowledge how important it is. Just acknowledge that it may have been a while.

Date night of course is a great time to relax or intimacy. Whether it’s sex or not, intimacy can happen during those times, so it’s obviously another good reason to keep that date night going.

I know resources can be short for many of us whether it’s family time or money, but if you can go once in a while overnight for just one night, maybe some friends take care of your child and you swap and take turns taking care of each other’s children so you get this one night out, it just does a miraculous amount of help for a marriage, for your relationship, for intimacy, and for sex.

Another thing is that many of us do co-sleeping with our child in the beginning of child-rearing which is completely great. At some point in time, if there has been not a lot of intimacy (especially sex), many of us avoid sex, believe it or not, because we’re anxious about it. It’s been a long time. And sometimes couples can use children and allow the children to get in the way of their own private, intimate time.

So if your children are getting older and they’re still coming into your bed, you might want to consider whether or not you’re doing that to avoid intimacy. If you’re not, that’s fine.
I hope you like my suggestions and I’d love to hear any comments that you might have. Thank you.