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This is a guest post by Steve Pare who is the founder of Spouse Dates and the author of Build a Better Marriage: [ One Date at a Time ]. He and his wife, Chrissy, have been married for over 20 years and have four great kids. If you are interested in some quick and easy ways to “spice” things up, check out his free 13 page ebook, “75 Micro Dates to spice up your marriage”.
It is easy to date each other when it is just the two of you. But once children come along, well, that obviously changes things up, a lot!
No matter how much you value dating before you have kids, it is a practice that is very easy to neglect once children enter the picture.
Marriage counselor and life coach, Beth Stafaniak says, “As a counselor, I’ve never had a couple come to me with a deteriorating marriage that was committed to “dating” each other throughout the years. It’s always one of the first things they let go as they slid toward disrepair and apathy.”
With the arrival of the precious little one it is understandable that they are now the center of attention. Yet it is important to remember that it is your marriage that is the true backbone of your family, not your children.
There is obviously nothing wrong with investing in your children. It is beyond question that the parents’ role is to invest in their children. But investing in your children does not mean you stop investing in your marriage.
Children benefit as much as if not more than the parents from a marriage that is healthy and strong.
When a marriage fails the children suffer. When a marriage thrives the children benefit.
One of the best ways to invest in your marriage, and one that your children will benefit from, is to continue dating your spouse on a regular basis.
Here are five benefits your children will experience when you make it a regular practice to date your spouse:
- Dating your spouse gives you the opportunity to model the kind of spouse you would like your child to eventually have, and the kind of spouse you would want them to become. It may be a stretch to think this way at first, but what type of person do you want your child to eventually marry? Is it someone who will keep dating them even when they themselves are parents? Doing it yourselves will show them how.
- Spending time focusing on your spouse shows your kids that they are not the center of the universe. When your children are held in higher regard than your spouse you are giving them an exaggerated sense of their own self-worth that will serve them poorly as they grow up. This reason balances well with the next…
- By demonstrating the priority of your relationship you foster a deep sense of security in your child. They will not worry that their parents are going to separate if the see them investing in their relationship on a consistent basis. Making your spouse feel special makes your kids feel secure. Affection between parents creates an environment of emotional security leading to stronger sense of self-esteem in children.
- Dating your spouse is a good way for you to model how to properly relate with opposite sex. By flirting with your spouse and displaying your affection in front of your kids you give them an example of what is healthy and acceptable. Your example will enable them to recognize and resist improper ways of relating with the opposite sex.
- Relationship expert and psychologist Seth Meyers says, “The happiest parents are those who are disciplined about integrating their old life with their new life” and that includes continuing to date. Dating lets your children know that daddy and mommy enjoy spending time together. Dating your spouse models that marriage is fun.
Neglecting to maintain your marriage is like neglecting to change the oil in your car. It is easy to do but will eventually catch up to you and the accumulated damage could be devastating. Investing in your marriage IS investing in your children. Continuing to date your spouse is a great way to make that investment.
What do you think is another reason your kids should see you date your spouse?
Head on over to Spouse Dates to check out Steve’s other great posts!