When you have kids, it is not always easy to spend quality time with your wife or partner. If you don’t make an effort to show your wife your love and understanding, you could find your marriage or relationship going downhill. I am not an expert marriage or relationship counsellor, but I actively do my best to keep my relationship with my wife strong. So far, I feel we are doing great, and having kids has helped us grow closer to each other as a team and family.If you find that your relationship with your wife or partner is not as strong as it once was, or if you would like to take steps to improve your relationship and become an even better husband and father, take a moment to ponder the following points:
- A relationship is something that you need to work on daily, just as you would work on your health or your job.
- Begin and end your day by being grateful for all the things your partner and children do well, and what you love about your partner and children.
- If there is something bothering you about your partner, discuss it with her, but try to deal with it as your problem – not hers. Think about what you can do to deal with it better, and work hard to understand the reason for it and why it bothers you.
Stephen Covey gives an example of this in the great “Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families.” To summarize, Stephen’s wife was obsessed with a certain brand of appliances, and only wanted to buy appliances from that brand. He found it very strange and annoying. When he talked to his wife about it, they discovered that her obsession with this brand was deeply rooted in her childhood, and a positive association she gained with that brand when she was young. Upon discovering this, he had much more understanding for her position, and dealt with this no longer as a problem with his wife, but rather as something that he needed to learn to accept, because it was something perfectly acceptable given its roots, and was an important part of her.
- Find out what your partner’s needs are and do the best you can to fulfill those needs.
- Always make sure you are doing more to help your partner emotionally than you are to drain her emotionally. For example: back-rubs, doing the vacuuming and looking after the kids are emotionally helping her … complaining and making a mess are emotionally draining for her.
This is all much easier said than done, but at the end of the day, it’s worth it. These steps are a process, and must be worked on daily. Think of shampoo – lather, rinse, repeat – daily.
Like I said, I am no expert, but these are ideas based on my own experience and what has worked for me. These tips don’t necessarily apply to every person and every situation, but I am sure at least some of you out there might find some truth or help in them. Happy Father’s Day, and all the best in your family and relationships!
Bio: Vincent at The Dad Jam is a Vancouver father of two beautiful kids, aged 4 and 22 months, and husband to a beautiful wife, whose age shall remain undisclosed. When he’s not hanging with his kids at playgrounds around Vancouver, he is either spending time with his wife, swimming, drinking coffee, blogging, reading, creating a new website, or trying to get some much needed sleep. You can visit him and keep up with his fatherhood adventures at http://thedadjam.com.