I continue to see a growing trend in my private practice of partners struggling to find the balance between couple time and family time. Some parents become so focused on their children that they neglect their marriage in the process.
While children thrive when they receive lots of love from caregivers, parents need alone time to recharge and focus on their romantic relationship which brought them together in the first place.
According to psychologist Pat Love, “Each and every day, parents experience the joy of making a child’s life better, more productive, and far more meaningful – all while doing the same for themselves.”
Strive to balance your couple time and family time
In Fighting for Your Marriage, author Harold J. Markman, Ph.D. says the amount of fun partners have together is a key factor in predicting their overall marital happiness.
Markman explains, “When we interview couples planning marriage, we learn that most of them have tons of fun early in the relationship. But for too many, fun fizzles out as time goes by.”
Sydney and Kevin, both in their late-thirties, are raising two sons aged ten and twelve. They were on the brink of divorce because they had drifted apart. Both work full-time, are drained by the demands of parenting, and had fallen into the trap of neglecting their relationship.
Kevin reflects, “Sydney wants to spend most of her evenings and weekends as a family, but I don’t get home from work until 8pm most nights. By the time Friday night rolls around, I just want to go out to dinner with Syd. I see it as a priority to play with the boys on weekends, but I need time to recover from work and I want to spend more quality time with her.”
Sydney responds, “I didn’t realize you felt that way. I feel really torn. I don’t want to leave the kids with a babysitter on Friday nights because they’re in school…