When life gets busy and we have kids, it is easy to put our marriage on the back burner. Basic needs such as time alone, time together or sleep often go unmet. When stress hits, we can easily fall into negative patterns, then we try to figure out why our relationship has problems. When we do this, we often come up with theories that cause more harm. “He doesn’t care for me or listen to my feelings.” Or “She doesn’t appreciate everything I do; she’s always complaining.”
We create more separation when we blame our partner and see them as the cause of our unhappiness. While we are wired for relationships, we are also wired to see problems and protect ourselves. When this happens, we lose our ability to care for each other. It is hard to feel empathy and curiosity about our partner’s pain if we are in the limbic ditch of fight, flight or freeze.
To help our relationship not only survive these busy years but thrive, we need to gather in knowledge. The first step is to believe that this is important otherwise we are going to put our focus on anything but our relationship; kids, work, other people or hobbies.
Even when you have young kids, you can make your marriage a priority. Just as children have a need for a secure attachment, so do adults. Being seen, soothed, supported and safe represents the needs of all people, not just children.