How to Manage a Marriage with Children

 All married couples have their up's and down's, especially when there are children involved. Read on for some tips on maintaining a happy marriage, despite the stress of raising a family.

You met and you fell in love. Fast forward; you’ve got your own place, have started a family, and when you look into each other’s eyes you just want to… throttle one another. Relax, this is normal! It’s frustrating enough to have to learn how to deal with each other’s nuances such as cleanliness and fiscal responsibility (or lack thereof). Then, just when you think you’ve got it figured out, that little bundle of joy comes along and shakes up the foundation that you dedicated so much time to laying down.Before you start figuring out how to split your assets, try thinking about the reason you fell in love with in the first place.  Still remember? Yeah. The two of you are going to be just fine. Here are a few pointers to help you stay focused on what’s important - each other.

Think before you speak:  Although most adults have this proverb engraved in their minds more deeply than their Social Security number, it is arguably the most common first step to an explosive dispute for men and women alike. Children are demanding; fathers are prone to believe they are taking a backseat to their kids, moms often feel as if they have to shoulder the entire burden of parenthood alone, and a person can only go so long without some one-on-one attention or a full night of sleep before they start saying the wrong things out of sheer depravation.  It takes a great deal of practice, but make a habit of holding onto an unfavorable comment for at least ten minutes before blurting it out. Use that time to mull it over; you don’t really think he deliberately leaves his clothes all over the floor to irritate you, do you?  Crisis averted.

Pencil each other in: Yes, you are busy. I know that, at any given moment, there’s a pile of dishes in the sink, two loads of laundry just waiting to get folded, and a crying baby looking for some attention. These are the times when you need to prioritize the most. Is your significant other more important than a slightly wrinkled pile of toddler shirts? I’d hope so. Take a break and spend some quality time with each other. The dishes aren’t going anywhere, I promise. Even if it means enlisting the help of Grandma or hiring a housekeeper from time to time, be sure that you are scheduling some “adults only” time at some point during the week.

By Laura Viars

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