You were smitten from the start.
The two of you talked for hours every day to the point your days and nights all blurred together. You went on dinner dates and week long adventures together, spending just about every waking moment in each other’s company. You both began to fall deeply in love, as this was different than any other relationship you had experienced.
After several months of dating you knew you had met your perfect match and became exclusively committed. Among your group of friends, you became ‘the couple’ everyone invited over for dinner. Next thing you know, you moved into a cozy new home together after dating just shy of a year.
Two years later you officially tied the knot, while bringing your first-born child into the world. Things still seem to be going strong and steady between the two of you like old souls.
Another year goes by and you two haven’t skipped a beat in keeping the spark alive. In fact, you’ve been so busy igniting the fireworks, baby number two is on the way.
After baby number two arrives, you both have become extremely exhausted trying to manage it all. The thought of dressing up and going out to dinner seems like more work than it’s worth. You both are employed full-time and love your children dearly but it hasn’t left much time for your relationship as a couple.
The time with your partner has taken a back seat, prioritizing parenting, and work over your intimate connection. Your relationship is slowly starting to fall through the cracks and you have more negative interactions than you do positive. The shift is beginning to make you feel resentful towards your partner.
Here Are 5 Ways To Keep Your Relationship Thriving Even When It Seems Impossible:
1. Having Date Night
Regardless of how many sleepless nights and long hours you have spent at the office, you both need a break from the weekly grind. Mini escapes as a power couple are not only essential for your emotional and mental sanity, but for the health of your relationship.
Weekly date nights are must-have when it comes to intimately connecting with your partner and closing the door on the outside world, including your phones. Dates can be as simple as a picnic in the park or a luxury couples massage followed by dinner at your favorite restaurant. The point is to make it special and memorable for the two of you where you can enjoy quality alone time with each other.
And if getting out of the house isn’t an option right now, consider creating a date night at home after the kids are asleep. Whether it’s playing a board game, painting canvases with an adult beverage or lighting a few candles and giving each other a massage, carving out the time will help you both feel like you are dating each all over again. The smallest gestures can sometimes have the biggest impact on keeping your relationship thriving.
2. Scheduling Monthly Check-Ins
As we evolve as human-beings, we sometimes go through transformations where our desires alter into new visions and goals. Transitions may come about through lifestyle changes, expansion of family members, personal self-discovery, career opportunities, moving to a new location, etc. Either way, you and your partner are continuously growing and will need to keep up with each other. Not only with external changes, but emotional ones as well.
If there has been a time when you feel you are no longer being valued in your relationship, then voicing your thoughts through a heart-to-heart conversation can help deepen your bond and overcome the disconnect. As you and your partner evolve, the relationship needs to evolve at a similar pace and communicating is the best way to strengthen your connection.
Taking the relationship for granted can often make you and your partner feel like there’s a strong divide between the two of you. If neither you or your partner’s emotional needs aren’t being met then it’s a clear sign there’s a lack of boundaries. Establishing healthy boundaries with your partner will keep both of you fulfilled within the relationship.
We recommend having monthly partner check-ins just like you would to change the oil on your car or getting a physical at the doctor. These meetings aren’t meant for pointing the finger at your partner, but making sure you two are on the same page about your desires and dreams so you keep up to par in functioning as a healthy couple.
3. Establishing Financial Budget
Financial stress is one of the leading causes to the dissolution of a relationship. If one partner is a savvy spender and the other partner has no limits, then you may run into financial problems later on down the road.
Prior to getting married or even moving in with each other, talking about finances can strengthen your connection, especially if there are debts. Hiding financial resources and debts from your partner is known as financial infidelity, which is the opposite of a healthy marriage. You’ll want to decide who is responsible for monthly and annual living expenses within the household, so when monthly bills arrive it isn’t a huge discussion.
Also, it may be wise to create a monthly budget for the family. This prevents underlying resentment towards your partner if you disagree on what seems appropriate or inappropriate for spending on particular items. Allocating funds within your financial means allows you to stay out of heated conversations that could be destructive to your relationship. By having a financial plan, this supports future goals of buying a dream home, taking a tropical vacation, or saving for your retirement and children’s education.
4. Sharing Love Languages
Do you know your partner’s love language? So many of the couples we speak with know their love language, but what they fail to realize is their partner may not wish to receive love the same way they do.
Perhaps, you are big on words of affirmations, yet your partner’s love language is quality time when it comes to receiving love. You keep telling your partner how much you adore them and how attractive you think they are, yet for your partner it sounds emotionally overwhelming. Your partner would prefer a night at home with you since they value quality time.
If you haven’t already, we recommend getting vulnerable with your partner and taking the love language quiz. You and your partner will discover which of the five love languages are most important to you. Once you and your partner identify your love languages, then specifically ask your partner how they would like to receive love. This will assist both of you in meeting each other’s love goals.
5. Honoring Relationship Values
You may be wondering what your relationship values are? Relationship values provide you with clarity for growth in your relationship, they honor your self-worth, and most importantly they support your needs so you feel fulfilled in your relationship. Sounds amazing, right? Yet, most haven’t heard of them.
Whether you are dating, committed or married you need relationship values. Your values reflect your relationship goals and your emotional needs, yet are met from a “we” mindset within the relationship. Some examples of relationship values are: communication, growth mindset, loyalty, transparency, integrity, supportive, kindness, honesty, family oriented, etc.
We advise you to choose your top five relationship values that you are willing to live by accordingly at all times. It’s important you are committed to your values on a daily basis so you are able to receive what you need. If you aren’t honoring your values, then how can your partner?
The reason relationship values are important are because if you and your partner face conflict, this will allow you to resolve it from a place of value and confidence, versus emotions. Not much can be resolved from heightened emotion, whereas values provide logic and reasonable understanding to meet you or your partner’s needs. Ideally, you and your partner will want to align on three out of your five values to sustain longevity in your relationship.
All relationships have their ebbs and flows, yet relationships stay strong and healthy with a daily balance of giving and receiving. When each partner is mutually consistent in understanding and putting in the effort, a couple can prevent feeling a disconnect from their partner. Just like the grit you may put towards your career and fitness goals, your relationship requires the same amount of dedication to achieve long-lasting success.