We are so happy to have Arnie Rozah Krogh share her top tips on how to keep your relationship alive. This is very important in the life of a mother as we mostly get to put our kids priority before our man. She is a Mum of four children, you can read about her motherhood journey here.
It’s so heady when we fall in love with someone new and everything we/he/she does is so exciting and intriguing. It feels like nothing can go wrong. Experts say and many will agree, the early days of a relationship is called the ‘honeymoon period’ whether we make a commitment of marriage or not. Generally, this period will last between 12-18 months before the ‘mundane’ takes over.
Most relationships can survive being mundane though what happens when mundane sets in when you start having kids? The stress of earning an income coupled with the daily chores of school runs, laundry, cooking dinner and catching up on the latest news on our hand held devices can put a toll on our love lives. So what do we do to counter act all these? More importantly, why should we bother?
It’s a sad fact that today, silver divorces are on the rise. These are couples who are divorcing in their 50’s and above. These are the same people who are the pioneers of 2 working parents’ household. They were the first generation that worked hard outside, earning an income while juggling kids and housework. A lot of them cited growing apart while growing older as a big reason for it.
Growing apart in a relationship can be down to a lack of communication on many levels. So let me share with you some tips to counter this trend.
- Stop treating each other like mum and dad or house mates but back to being lovers again
So many couples make this mistake and no, it’s not a terrible mistake to make. Our kids become the centre of our family life and in many ways, that is fine. It becomes unfortunate when they are the sole focus of our time together as a family. We need to remind ourselves that before we became parents, we were first lovers. Talk like lovers again and with the same gentleness we afford our young toddlers. You’ll be surprised how passionate evenings can become again even before the lights are off.
- Go on regular date nights
Referring back to the point above, a date night is a good reminder to ourselves that we are also lovers away from the madness of our household. It doesn’t have to be weekly but do do it regularly (at least once a month). During this date night, ban any talks of school work, PTA meetings, household chores that need dividing but instead, talk about the kind of topics you used to bring up when you were dating. Discuss the latest movies and the reviews, check out the latest must-try restaurants/café and review the menu as a couple with differing/similar taste, watch a late night funny movie with a giant tub of popcorn and giggle away like kids, take a stroll hand in hand along the river and discuss positive news you’ve heard and experienced recently.
- Find a new hobby/activity to do together regularly
Find a new activity as a couple even if you have enjoyed something together in the past. Been thinking of trying out that new hot yoga class around the corner? Go on and cheer each other on! How about becoming volunteers at a soup kitchen? This is the more spiritual version of the ‘family prays together’ bit. You can appreciate again how compassionate and kind your partner is and helps you both appreciate how blessed your lives are. Start discussing what kind of mutual sports or activities that has piqued your interest recently and start exploring
- Go someplace new once a year just the 2 of you
The location doesn’t even have to be ‘exotic’ meaning fancy. It could be a local city nearby! All that needs to matter is that you have both decided on this new place together and actively planned activities together. As in the rules above, this (possibly) short getaway must have no talk of kids, housework or other mundane stuff that will possibly bring the mood down.
- Grab Sports Tickets
Why not catch a local football/hockey/basketball match together and get your adrenaline pumping cheering on your preferred team? Pumping your blood with adrenaline is great for the relationship: it heightens your positive attitude towards your partner.
- Have a photography session
Instead of hiring a photographer, grab your own impressive digital camera and start snapping away shots of each other. Most women generally are the family photographers so besides her own selfie, she might not have candid portraits of herself. This is a good opportunity to see how our partners look at us through the lenses.
- Watch a Comedy Show
Science has proven that laughter is indeed one of life’s best medicine. Laughing can lower our blood pressure yet put colours to our cheeks. Laughing together with a partner can heighten sexual tension as endorphins are released.
And last but not least,
- Silent Communication
With all said and done, today a lot of people are missing deep emotional connection despite our attachment to digital connection. Spend some time before bed just looking at each other. Dim the lights, put on some soft classical music in the background and perhaps unwrap that lovely candle you got as a Xmas gift. Don’t feel the need to say anything. Just take a deep breath, let all your muscles relax and just hold hands. Look gently into each other’s eyes and let your soul speak to each other. Stroke his/her cheeks to show your passion. Let that gentle kiss come across without any urgency to do more. This should not be the pre-cursor to sex. This is just you 2 ‘talking’ with your chemistry and your soul. Cuddle tight and just listen to each other’s breath for as long as possible. Feel each other’s stress melt away. Silently send loving thoughts to our partner and let them know how much they mean to us.