Intimacy and Parental Relationships: How to Help Intimacy Thrive as a Busy Parent

Couples look healthy and happy on the outside, but how do they manage parenthood, work and life while still staying happy? From the endless to-do lists to grocery shopping to taking care of children, parents are exhausted. Thus, intimacy in the relationship suffers.

 

Though most parents are doing their best at maintaining a healthy, happy relationship, they are missing two very important things:

 

  1. Taking care of themselves
  2. Taking care of their relationship with one another

Parents tend to ignore the dangers that lie ahead for their relationships with one another, especially when they lack intimacy between each other. Worse, that lack of intimacy can actually impact children down the road.

 

Getting Caught Up in the To-Dos

Parents who are too focused on improving their parenting skills try to be  super  parents to save their sanity, but they seem to ignore their own self-care and intimacy in their relationship. Eventually couples will find that the endless chores, financial issues and arguments about lack of sex take over their relationship. For some, it is already apparent that the lack of personal intimacy is there. These parents typically put  them  on the back burner and put their children first.

 

Unfortunately, these couples do not end well. For most, the animosity about who does more and the lack of intimacy between them tears them apart. For those who make it to marriage counseling, it takes months to relearn how to be a couple first and parents second. For those who do not go to marriage counseling, the relationship typically ends.

 

When the nest finally empties and children have grown up, parents who never focused on their relationship and personal intimacy are in for a world of surprise. These couples not only do not know how to function without children to care for, but they do not know how to function alone with one another. The lack of intimacy over the years has left them to be two people who co-exist and nothing more.

 

Tips for Improving Intimacy

It may sound silly, but when a couple focuses on their own intimacy, they become better parents and a stronger couple.   In order to preserve that intimacy and relationship down the road, parents should:

 

  1. Commit to their relationship first, no matter what happens down the road.
  2. Be respectful to one another – even if one parent feels they are not respected by the other.
  3. Take care of them first. If they are not giving themselves what they need, they cannot give it to other people.
  4. Make emotional deposits to one another by validating, appreciating and encouraging one another.
  5. Connect with one another daily or weekly by using date nights and private time.
  6. Accept one another as who they are and overlook the weaknesses that may be there.
  7. Plan for emotional and sexual intimacy – do not just wait for it to happen on its own.

 

 

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