The Five Things Mothers Can Do To Improve Their Marriage (Even Without their Partners’ Support or Knowledge)
Let’s face it: since the kids came along things have changed. A lot. You and your partner are not the same people you once were. Your roles have become distinctly separate and your experience of parenting is different.
This lack of having a shared experience can often lead to partners resenting each other and thinking “you don’t understand what I am going through.”
All this can lead to tension and a lack of connection between you and your partner.
There’s a lot of other dynamics that can get in the way of feeling the love you have for your partner once the kids come along. If you find yourself wondering “where does this marriage go now?” Or “Is this all there is?” about your relationship, I’ve written this article for you.
Below are five things you can do to improve your marriage right now. These are all things that you have control over that will make a big shift without even having to talk to your partner. Things you can do without having to ask him, yet again, to read that relationship book with you (when you know he won’t).
#1. Shift your attitude and view of the situation
This of course is always the place to start with any challenge you may be facing in life. It may seem redundant to hear it again, but it’s always an important reminder.
So I invite you to notice your thoughts. What are you focusing on? Is it what he’s NOT doing (to support you, to help around the house)? Do you have a running commentary going on in your mind about how things are NOT going to work? Do you find yourself judging, criticizing, blaming, or wishing things were different? Notice how your view, or the story you have been telling yourself is making you feel. Ask yourself- is this what I really want to be experiencing?
How could you be like an eagle and get a bigger perspective? How could you challenge yourself to see the good? To see his side? To choose hope, belief, and faith?
#2. Fill yourself up with what you love.
Instead of looking to your partner for your happiness, look within.
Did you put your creative interests on the sideline when the marriage and the kids came along? What do you LOVE to do? What’s missing in your life? Are you having fun regularly?
You may have to get creative about making time to bring your hobbies and interests back into your life. But even finding time once a month to join that knitting circle your friend keeps inviting you to will fill you up and be worth it.
#3. Awaken your SEXY
Here’s the thing: finding time for sexual intimacy with your partner when you have kids around is challenging. But when you don’t have regular sex, you aren’t firing those neurons in your brain and body regularly, and thus you have less interest.
We are sexual beings! So do some exploring. Touch yourself. That’s right ladies. I’m talking about masturbation or what I like to call “sexual self-play.” This is about pleasing yourself. The plus here is that you can get in touch with your sexy side on your own time- no schedules to have to coordinate!
When you awaken this aspect of yourself I bet you’ll start looking at your husband differently, and he may just pick up on the sexy vibes you are putting out!
#4. Increase your Self-Care
Really? Am I going to tell you to get more sleep, eat better, and get more exercise? YUP. It’s true. This stuff really does make a difference in how you experience your partner, your kids, and your life. How can you enjoy your life when you are tired, run down, dehydrated and just plain old irritable? Irritability and dissatisfaction are direct signs that you are not practicing regular self-care.
So what is one thing you can do to put yourself back into the picture again? As moms we are so good at caring for others, but when is the last time you took a long bath and scrubbed your toes?
When I talk and write about self-care I also include care of your spirit. Are you connecting with your higher power regularly? Whether you find the divine in nature, in sacred books, in prayer or meditation, in your creative pursuits, in music, or somewhere else, creating time (even 5 or 10 minutes a day) for some reflective contemplation on the meaning of your life can do wonders for your spirit, which will ultimately feed your relationships too.
#5. See how you can shift a dynamic-FROM YOUR SIDE
Here’s the thing. You don’t need to ask your partner to change to give you what you are wanting to experience in your relationship. You are the creator of your reality. So I challenge you to reflect deeply on what you feel is missing, and then choose one dynamic that you can give attention to. A dynamic could be playfulness, lightheartedness, affection, compassion, understanding, appreciation, support, or freedom.
For example, let’s say you want to feel more appreciated for all that you do to keep the house running and raise the kids. Start shifting this dynamic by looking for moments that you can give appreciation to your partner for what he is doing.
The principle here is to embody the quality of the dynamic you feel is missing within yourself first. This is my take on the golden rule: give what you would like to receive.
Then, notice when that feeling of wanting appreciation comes up. What triggers it? Explore it and pay attention to it.
Next, start a gratitude journal or start noticing little things in your day that you can give appreciation to (i.e. the cup of coffee; the smirk on your son’s face; the nice weather; or the birds singing).
Lastly, appreciate yourself. Say nice things to yourself whenever you can. Notice your self-talk and make an effort to shift it. When you start to give more appreciation for others, for life’s gifts, and for yourself, you will shift your whole experience. You may start to notice the gestures of appreciation your partner is already giving you. He may naturally start to show more appreciation to match your energy. And so on....
Now, I am not telling you to ignore your feelings or just gloss over your pain. Feelings are there for a reason- to point to a need or a value that isn’t getting met. So yes, speak up about your needs with your partner. Speaking up is also an act of self-care and self-love.
What I am saying is that you can take greater responsibility for your experience. I like to think of us women as magical sorceresses. Our bodies have the power to create and grow life; we also have the power to shift the energy in our relationships. It’s amazing!
So claim your sorceress energy and play with these ideas. Explore what happens when you change your perspective, fill yourself up, awaken your sexy, take care of yourself, and shift a dynamic. Comment below and share with me one thing you are inspired to do after reading this.
And, of course, if you desire (or need) more personal support you can always contact me for a “Discovery Session” to see how you can make some shifts from your side of your relationship.
Happy exploring! ~ Lauren
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** Many thanks to Julie Tallard Johnson and her work including the books “Wheel of Initiation” and “The Zero Point Agreement” for bringing this concept of “living life from your side” to me. More info here: www.julietallardjohnson.com