Ever feel like you and your husband are running two households in one home? Can you even remember why you married him? Where’d the romance go? Parenting your children consumes your day; parenting his kids consumes his.
And then they act up. Children get out of line, forcing one of you to delicately toe the line between straightening them out and offending a spouse, widening the ever-growing chasm between the two of you. They’ve become the marriage’s focus, moving your relationship as a couple onto the back burner.
Obstacles to closeness
Being a wife to a man with children from a previous relationship is a complex, challenging role that requires thick skin, patience, tolerance, and flexibility. The children are the backdrop to your marriage. When your husband fails to acknowledge, appreciate, support, and participate in your efforts to integrate the family, you end up feeling irrelevant, frustrated, and drained. Here are some things that distance you from your husband:
- Fear of being vulnerable and getting hurt by your husband
- Lack of time and privacy to devote to your relationship
- Fragile trust
- Lack of mutual compassion
- Poor conflict resolution skills
Solution: Collaborative efforts
The path to a happier, more intimate marriage is paved with understanding. Only open, honest, transparent communication will get you there. Deepening emotional intimacy means having the courage to engage in difficult conversations: constructive, effective conversations that lead to mutually satisfying conflict resolution.
Additionally, the following activities will help you restore and secure closeness with your husband:
- Bring romance back to your marriage by scheduling uninterrupted couple time in and out of your home.
- Schedule 15-45 minute conversations on topics such as: vulnerability, fear of being hurt, being heard, feeling alone, needing support, conflict resolution procedures.
- Develop at least one fun activity for just the two of you.
- Devise a parenting plan with clear guidelines for the two of you to follow.
- Be compassionate in understanding each other’s challenges.
- Create a vision for your marriage.
Building loving relationships is complex and hard. You need honest communication, trust, courage, and compassion—all things made especially difficult in the wake of failed marriages’ past hurt. Understand, act, survive, and thrive.