How to Keep the Romance Alive (after the Arrival of Children)

No matter how you look at it, kids can take a bite out of your life. They demand time, attention, and love, all of which you and your spouse will likely take away from each other to give to your children. There’s nothing wrong with this; it’s only the natural order of things that the attention of parents should be diverted by their offspring. But that doesn’t mean you should completely disregard the person who helped you to create said kids. In fact, you’re going to have to make an extra effort on the relationship front if you want to keep the spark alive once children arrive on the scene. Here are just a few ways to fall back in love when your life doesn’t seem to have room for it.

1. Go on dates. There’s really no better way to rekindle romance than to get away from the kids for a while and spend some quality time alone with your partner. Every couple should be able to get out at least once a month by simply arranging for a sitter (instead of grumbling about the cost, consider that it’s far less expensive than couples therapy), although more often is even better. Or if you have family or trusted friends nearby (grandparents, godparents, etc.), see if you can’t get a weekend away every now and then. Making time to reconnect will ensure that the romance remains.

2. Ask for input. You aren’t in this alone; if you’re the only one making an effort you’re going to fail. So try talking to your partner about how you feel, explaining what you need, and then asking what he/she needs out of the relationship. It is often difficult to have these conversations, as they can be emotional affairs, but it is necessary to communicate with your partner on this level in order that each of you can fully understand the wants and needs of the other.

3. Try something new. Take a cooking class, go for a hike, or visit an art museum with your partner. It’s all too easy to fall into the rut of conversations that become boring because neither of you has anything new to say. This will quickly turn your relationship stale. By throwing new activities into the mix (even if you have your kids tag along), you’ll have something interesting to discuss, creating a bond that deepens your relationship.

4. Have fun. No matter what you’re doing, you should always try to have a good time, and you and your partner can do this together. Cooking dinner, sorting laundry, and any other mundane household chore can become a fun activity if you behave in a playful manner. So rather than letting the daily grind get you down, find ways to make it fun instead. And don’t ever hesitate to plant a smooch on your honey!

5. See a counselor. If nothing seems to be working and the rift between you and your partner is growing, then perhaps it’s time to seek professional help. By attending therapy sessions (or saving some time and money with marriage counseling online) you can get an outside perspective on your situation and begin working through some of the problems that are keeping you and your partner from connecting romantically.