Q: With two pre-schoolers in the house, it seems like my wife and I seldom connect anymore. She always talks about how tired she is after being with the children all day. What can I do to reinforce our relationship?
A: When you arrive home after your long, tiring day, remember that your wife has had an equally long, tiring day. She needs two things most of all: (a) adult conversation, including overt appreciation for her efforts, and (b) an adult pair of hands to pitch in, take charge of the children, wrangle dirty clothes, or begin any other activity to lighten her load. Beyond that, here are some tips:
- Don’t expect to be taken care of like another child in the house. Pick up your own clothes and toys.
- Don’t expect much sexual response if your wife is exhausted and you haven’t set the mood during the course of the evening. Remember, sex begins in the kitchen – with meaningful conversation, compliments, acts of kindness, and some elbow grease applied to helping reduce her to-do list.
- Get involved in (or even take over) the process of getting your children ready for bed. It will help you stay connected with them, and do wonders for your wife’s frame of mind.
- Maintain a regular date night – a meal (fancy or otherwise), a movie, a walk, whatever your imagination and budget can manage – in which the focus is conversation and companionship. Make it a point to keep your wife current on your day’s activities and find out about hers.
- Take her away for a romantic weekend, or even dinner and an overnight stay, at a pleasant location where her daily responsibilities are suspended. (With planning and creativity, this doesn’t have to be expensive.)
- Call or text her during the day to offer an encouraging word or simply say “I love you.”
- Flowers and gifts for no particular reason speak volumes.
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