“I could walk for miles looking for those eyes to see the light I need” – Chuck Ragan
You can’t build a strong structure on a weak core. A common saying to describe the importance of core strength when it comes to overall strength. Of course, without a strong core your strength suffers, you are unable to build your body. When it comes to family, what is your “core”? What is the foundation you built your family on? It’s a very critical part of your family and with out it, your structure will suffer. The relationship between you and your wife needs to be solid in order to grow a healthy family, and to live a happy life.
Buried with work, chores , kids, house chores and the unexpected stresses of every day life the one you fell deeply in love with seems more like a co-worker than the love of your life. In passing you might share a short embrace, a quick kiss and maybe a mumbled “I love you”. If Your core is weak, your structure will suffer. And, the relationship between you and your spouse can start falling apart quickly if you look at yourselves as parents and not two people who are madly in love. I think the The Avett Brothers said it best:
“Always remember there is nothing worth sharing, like the love that let us share our name” – The Avett Brothers
If we are going to take time to maintain our bodies, we need to maintain our lives. A huge part of your life is your family. If we want a strong family we need to remember our core, the ones who started this crazy mess. You and your spouse. So, how do we do this? It’s more simple than you’d think. As men, husbands and fathers we need to look at who we where before the kids. Remember the things that made you both happy, excited, and in love. Some of those things are difficult to ascertain with rug-rats managing your life. However, there are elements of our relationship we can nurture everyday. I have not mastered the art of a strong marriage, being human (and, especially a man) I am are prone to mistakes. These tips aren’t doctrine, but small actions that can make a huge difference.
Appreciation: sometimes we just want to be appreciated. Let your significant other know you appreciate what they do on a daily basis. Believe it or not at times your significant other will feel inadequate. Juggling a career, family, kids and you, she might feel she is failing at some if not all. Let her know she’s doing awesome, and you appreciate everything she does.
Random acts of love: when was the last last time you wrote your wife a note? Sent a nice text? This stuff seems silly, but I guarantee your wife will love it. Leave your wife a message on her lunch box, something has simple as “I love you” written on her napkin.
Romance: if your kid was was your wing man during your single years, you would have ignored his phone calls and gone out on the prowl solo. Kids make it their mission to make sure you are to tired and can’t find time for romance. Let’s face it, romance is important and with kids, its at times impossible. Never stop trying, find that time. Plan a date night once a week or at least every couple of weeks. Hire a sitter, or con a family member to watch your kids. And, when you do go out, connect…… which brings me to the next tip.
Disconnect to Connect: Put down your phone and live in the moment. I’ll admit, I am a repeat offender of this one. Often I’ll pull that phone out several times during dinner. Put it away and be present.
Compliment: Your wife is beautiful. Remember that and remind her of that everyday. A simple “you look good today!!” can go a long way.
Honesty: Lies can corrode your core fast, they eat away at the very fiber that built your family. Be honest, be open. If you fear your wife going through your phone or your emails, your doing something wrong.
Public displays of affection: Often frowned upon during our high school years, I strongly believe publicly showing affection for your wife is critical. Do you hold hands while shopping? Do you put your arm around her at a movie? No? Then start today.
Now, sometimes no matter what we do marriages just don’t work. Maybe you’ve both changed or you have realized that the person you married wasn’t the right one. During these moments we have to realize that some couples just can’t get along, and sometimes its best to move on and seek happiness elsewhere. Being in a “loveless” marriage will take years away from your life and will add stress to your kids as they see two loveless people co-habitate under the same roof. However, if you have that dynamite wife (like I do), do what you can to nourish your relationship, never neglect, always remember who you both are.
Your a parent now, and you lead by example. Kids need to see a healthy relationship between you and your spouse. Being a police officer I see several examples of unhealthy, abusive and at times violent relationships. The kids in these families are the real victims, they grow up with a twisted perception of what “love” is. Our home is only as strong as its foundation, make sure yours is solid, not built on swamp land. Make sure your children live in a solid nest.