A lady told me a while back, “We have put our (marriage) relationship on hold for now while the kids are small.” In a kind but direct way I think I said something like, “Good luck with that.” I then went on to tell her that I hope there is enough of her marriage left to get back to when her kid were grown. Many couples start to wind down their parenting role and realize they barely know the person sleeping on the opposite side of the bed. That is why my second tip for surviving the effects of parenthood on your marriage is…
2. Relate to each other as husband and wife, not as mommy and daddy
I knew a man who had an interesting philosophy on children and marriage. He used to say, “The kids came to live with us.” I think he was trying to say that the marriage relationship comes first.
It’s so easy to allow our whole life to revolve around our kids. If you have kids, think about this past week. How many minutes of conversation didn’t center around kids? What percentage of the activities didn’t? If you’re not careful, your relationship can very easily move from being marriage-centered to child-centered.
I’m not saying that you should ignore your kids. You have a responsibility to provide the best possible environment and upbringing for them. I’m saying that creating that environment starts with a strong relationship with your spouse. Actually, I’m not saying that, the Bible says that:
You were united to your wife by the Lord. In God’s wise plan, when you married, the two of you became one person in his sight. And what does he want? Godly children from your union. Therefore, guard your passions! Keep faith with the wife of your youth. Malachi 2:15 TLB
“Do you want good kids?” Malachi is asking. “Great, God does too. And here’s how to get them: Guard the relationship with your spouse.” Relate to each other primarily as husband and wife, not as mommy and daddy.