Is your marriage the one you wish for for your child and their future partner?
When you think of your romantic partner, what feelings arise?
Does your romantic relationship fill you up, support you, is it the relationship you envisioned as a young adult?
The last three blogs have emphasized the importance of your self awareness and how it affects your relationship with your kids. Today I continue to hammer that message but in looking at our relationship with ourself and our romantic relationship. If you’re a parent, it’s possible you’ve been prioritizing your kids and then wondering why you’re stressed, bitter, and overweight. I have said it before and I will say it again as it was a hard lesson for me to learn: Our most important relationship is with ourselves. How we treat and value ourselves impacts every other relationship in our life. I must take care of myself if I want to best care for my kids and anyone else in my life. But which relationship comes next? Our kids? Our parents? Our friends? Nope. After our relationship with ourselves, the most important relationship is the one with our romantic partner. There will come a day when our kids are out of diapers, out of grade school, out of middle school, out of the house….the strength of our relationship with ourself and with our partner lays the foundation for how we manage those transitions and our future happiness. If we have a strong romantic relationship, we are better able to care for our children.
In this competitive and busy world, we sign up to do so much. So much in fact, it’s often impossible to get it done. We then feel overwhelmed and the easiest thing to do? Look outside of ourselves to find a reason why it didn’t get done. Who might we blame? Our mate. Head into any Starbucks and listen to the conversation: “I ran the kids to baseball, gymnastics, and the pool while he played golf” or, “he worked all weekend and then asked me if he had any clean socks”. I encourage you to get away from the blame game. Yes, it’s easier to blame someone than take the responsibility for our role in what is going on in our lives. However, not only does that not foster close + connected relationships, it leaves you feeling like crap. Do yourself, your partner, and your kids a favor by pausing to look at the big picture of your dig into the routines and habits of your life.
- What have you said yes to that you wish you had said no to? What can you learn from that?
- What needs to be done to run the house? (be honest – its usually a lot less than you think. Lower your expectations and accept imperfections). How much of this do you do? How can you enlist the other people in your house to do these things?
- What do you like doing with your partner? How can you do more of that?
I encourage you to switch from viewing your partner as your adversary to viewing him or her as your teammate. One of the mantras that makes a difference in my current my relationship is: Assume Good Intent. What does that mean? That I trust him and assume that he means well. Choose to believe that your partner is on your team. Choose to believe him when he says he forgot the groceries instead of making up some drama-filled story of why he didn’t get the groceries. When he’s working, choose to believe he is working because he needs to rather than that he’s working to avoid you or a household task. Yes, it’s easy to blame him or her for whatever isn’t great. Don’t do it. Don’t be the victim. Choose courage instead:
-Have the courage to say: I don’t like this. I don’t like how we’ve become roommates. I miss our connection.
-Have the courage to commit to a weekly date time (night, lunch, etc…)
-Have the courage to send a text telling your spouse what you love about him/her.
-Have the courage to shift mindsets: instead of focusing on what you don’t love about him/her, focus on what you
When two people come together as a team, to share their ideas + experiences, they grow individually and as a couple. When two people come together and discuss an issue that they view differently with the intent to understand and learn from the other partner? They grow individually and as a couple.
The family can only be as great as its’ parts. We must take care of the individual so the couple can be great and we must take care of the couple so the family can be great.
If the family can only be as great as its parts, we must prioritize the couple and the individual. Give yourself permission to take care of yourself and to take care of your relationship. If you take care of yourself, speak up for your self and your needs, you will be a better partner. Send the message to your kids that life is a balance. We want them to have balance: a strong sense of self while in a loving and strong relationship. Show them this balance. Yes you can be a great mother, a great partner, and still take care of yourself.
One person can change a relationship. Choose to drop the drama. Drop the conflict. It doesn’t have to be either or. Choose to approach your partners as just that: a partner. You are a team.
Together you rise.
Divided you fall.
It’s your choice.