It’s a cliche in our society that when a couple has children, the romance goes away. The idea is that a happy loving couple who can’t wait to hop into bed every night and be as romantic as possible changes almost overnight into something else entirely when a child is born. From that point on, the focus in the relationship is not on each other, but on the child and the children as time goes by. This is such a truism that we recognize the assumptions and even mentally supply the background story when it’s the situation in a movie or TV show episode. We all know that it can and does happen in real life, but does it have to be a case of life imitating art, or is it an exaggeration? Is there a way to keep the romance alive with children?
Refocus The Attention
It is true that with a new baby, it is completely natural for the parents to turn their personal attention to the child. We don’t often think about the power of awareness, but when we turn the attention in this way, things change in our lives. Concerns, energies, worries, dreams, hopes and fears – all become centered on the child that has been created. The problem is that at some point this attention needs to be redirected, back to the partner where it was originally focused. Loving our child is one thing, but ignoring, taking for granted, and otherwise abusing your primary relationship is not a healthy thing to do. And in our child-oriented society,we are not encouraged to slacken the attention or change the focus from the child. But if we want the romance to stay alive, pay attention to your lover – he or she needs you too.
Make Time For Being Together
We’ve all heard this one before, but it is so simple and direct, yet so ignored, that we need to be reminded. Take time to be with your spouse, all by yourselves. Sometimes, many times, it’s difficult, but like refocusing it has to be done for the sake of your romantic relationship. Date nights, weekends together if you can manage, or shorter together times, all can be remarkably effective at rekindling the spark and keeping it alive. And don’t make the mistake of being together physically but letting your attention go to the children. Being present and attentive with your lover is very important in feeding the flames of passion and love.
Don’t Drift Apart
Many couples who have kids hear advice such as this and think that it will never happen to them, so they don’t worry about it. Then over a period of time that can be months or years, they discover that there has been a change because of having children. They have somehow drifted apart and no longer are able to be romantic and passionate. Again, conscious effort is needed to keep this process from happening. Do things together, take time to be together, pay attention to what is happening in your emotional being and in your spouse. We have so many ways to distract ourselves these days, that drifting apart can happen almost without us noticing – don’t let it happen to you and your romance.
Talk, Talk, Talk – When Do We Have Sex?
Everyone says that communication is vitally important, and that it is the key to maintaining a healthy romantic relationship, especially when children are added to the mix. And of course they are correct – it’s understood that couples have to be able to talk about everything that’s happening in their lives, and about how to keep the romance going. But don’t overlook the importance of relationship maintenance in the bedroom, either. Studies have shown that couples who can keep a good sex life happening are also happier and more effective in the activities of their daily lives – like loving and taking care of their children. Intimacy connects people and helps them to keep focused on each other, and to do a better job at raising the children. It is really possible to do both.