Maintaining a healthy connection after children
In couples therapy I ask questions to paint a picture of what my client’s life looked like before they had children and, most importantly, what intimacy looked like. Working with clients to understand how their sex life was before children and exploring what changes have occurred since allows me to offer some perspective into how they can move forward. This is incredibly important for forging a healthy connection.
Children bring people together in many incredible ways. But there is also a shift in your priorities, with more time being spent on them. Sometimes, strengthening the bond with your children can weaken your connection with your partner.
Often couples are told to make time for each other and go on a date night or take a trip away. However, although these are lovely ideas, building a connection that is sustainable in your ordinary life, rather than a life away from your ordinary duties feels like a better move towards having a healthy connection.
Looking at small changes you can make that will build that connection creates much more achievable relationship goals. Asking “how would you like to be touched?” or “what did your partner do before children that you would like them to do again?” allows couples to see each other’s perspective and their wants.
It is all about communication and not presuming your partner is a mind reader. To help with this, I like to apply positive reframing to as many situations in life as I can. If we consider that everyone is acting with good intentions, it allows us to break down barriers and consider why our partner does what they do.
Having children can sometimes turn into a battle of resentment fought over who did what and who does more. You should share responsibility and communicate any feelings around this. You are in it together, so you should take steps to limit what breaks you apart.