When you’re just dating, it’s easy to put your partner first. You go out of your way to see them and make them feel special. That changes after kids. Not only do you suddenly have less time for yourself as your schedule fills with obligations like kid sports, school pickups and responsibilities like cleaning the house and fixing dinner — now you also have even fewer opportunities to meet new people and find love again. With all those barriers to dating, most parents get married quickly after meeting someone they like; then their attention shifts almost completely to their kids. It’s not surprising that marriages are at risk when couples neglect each other so much. Here are some ways to avoid how not to hate your husband after kids…
Have conversations before you have kids.
It can be tempting to put off serious conversations about love and commitment until after you’re pregnant. After all, you want to be in the moment with your partner. You want to enjoy your first months together without talking about the future. But talking about your relationship before you have kids means you’ll have time to make adjustments if you realize you and your partner aren’t on the same page about love and commitment. If you wait until after you’re pregnant, it’s much more difficult to have these conversations. It’s not just that you have more on your plate. It’s also that these serious conversations can stir up emotions that aren’t helpful when you’re trying to stay positive while pregnant.
Don’t demand a marriage ultimatum.
As you’re just dating, you may decide that you won’t get married unless you’re head over heels in love with your partner. You may decide that you’ll only marry someone whom you’re certain you’ll love forever. This ultimatum is understandable. If you don’t know your partner very well, you want to make sure the relationship goes as well as possible. You’re probably not in love with your partner when you’re newly dating, but you hope that love will come. If you’ve fallen for your partner and love seems imminent, then you may decide not to get married — because you don’t love your partner yet. However, demanding that you be in love before you get married can be very damaging to your future relationship. If you demand that you fall in love before you get married, you may be setting yourself up to resent your partner and feel trapped in a loveless marriage. You could also miss out on many great experiences and benefits of being married to your partner even before you fall in love.
Re-evaluate what you expect from your partner.
As you’re dating, you can often feel like you have to be in constant pursuit of your partner. You want to show your partner that you’re interested and available. You want to make the most of every opportunity you have to show them how great you are. The problem with this approach is that it can make you come off as desperate. It can also make you overlook red flags that your partner might have — like a past they’ve yet to reveal to you or a lack of compatibility that you ignore because you’re so focused on not being rejected. Since you’re just dating, you don’t have much of a chance to be honest about what you like and don’t like. You probably don’t have time to see if your partner is a good fit for you or not. Depending on your age, you may have spent most of your life in school and have little experience dating. You may not know what qualities you want in a partner or even if you want to marry someone.
Take time to care for yourself.
Maybe you’re lucky enough to have a spouse who is totally self-sufficient. Maybe your spouse does everything for themselves and for you. Maybe your spouse doesn’t expect you to help with anything at all. Unfortunately, this is a more rare situation than you might expect. While you’re dating and in your first years of marriage, you probably have to do more for your spouse than you expected. You might not have kids yet, but other responsibilities like school activities, housework and helping your spouse create a good work/home balance may take up so much time that you have hardly any time left for yourself. You need time to relax. You need time to recharge. You need time to pursue your interests and take care of yourself. You can’t expect to be able to give as much to your partner as they need if you don’t take time to take care of yourself.
Resolve any issues before agreeing to have more children.
If your partner wants to have more children, you may have to make a decision before you’re ready. You may have to decide whether to agree to have more kids or not. If you haven’t resolved any issues in your relationship, this decision could cause major problems. You may decide to have more children because you love your partner. Or you may decide to have more children because you feel pressured by your partner to make a decision. Regardless of your reasons, it’s important to discuss the decision with your partner and resolve any issues that make you hesitate to have more kids. Children are a huge responsibility. They’re also the type of responsibility that can grow and change as your kids get older. Children can make a relationship more difficult to manage. They can also change the way you and your partner relate to each other. No matter how much you love your partner, you need to be sure that you’re both on the same page about having children before you promise to give your partner more kids.
Commit to making your marriage a priority after your kids are grown.
If you decide to have kids and then have more, you can’t just start taking care of your kids full-time and expect your marriage to stay on track. You’ll have to put effort into your marriage during your kids’ childhoods. You’ll have to make your relationship a priority. You may even have to make some sacrifices for your marriage. You may have to put more effort into your marriage than some of your childless friends. You may have to say no to things that your childless friends can say yes to. But if you really want your marriage to last, it’s worth it. Your marriage is your biggest asset and having kids doesn’t change that. Your kids are going to grow up one day. Your relationship with your spouse needs to be able to stand on its own then.
If after reading this article, you realise that your marriage is already in trouble, there is help available. Speak to your partner and seek out an expert like a therapist.