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Parents With Partners

Most people who get married aim to have children. Some earlier than others, some later. But at some point in time, what began as a couple is likely to turn into a family. The way it is meant to be.
But as they say, three is a crowd. When it comes to families, it is often one of those who was in the crowd first who ends up being the one left out. What I mean is as follows.

When you first have a baby, the focus is on that child 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. One parent, usually the mother, but often with help from the father, is busy feeding, changing, feeding, changing, putting to bed, feeding, changing and so on. The relationship between the two who fell in love and made the baby is often put on hold.
With time, the little one grows, more are added and the cycle starts again. Unfortunately for some couples, the focus becomes only the children, and they forget that for the first year, five years, ten years, of their relationship, they had a relationship that was all about the two of them! Now communication is only about the children. Some couples even call each other mum and dad, or similar, in front of the children (something I have always personally found a little bizarre).

The sad thing is, that if you don't nurture relationships they don't grow. Sometimes we are so busy nurturing relationships with our growing children that the source relationship, our partner, gets pushed aside until it is too late. We can't wait until everyone is 'off our hands' to continue the meaningful, loving relationship that we had with our partner pre-children. We need to talk to each other now, spend time together now, care about each other now, or later will be a blank piece of paper that both partners stare at with nothing to say.
I was once told by a counsellor that children should not always expect to sit between their parents. That if parents are sitting together on the couch, the child needs to respect that they want to sit together. It is not the child's right to come between the parents. The trouble is that physically or figuratively, we often see it as more important to allow that child to sit between us.
We need to help our children also understand that their parents have a relationship that does not include them. Not only will it help us to strengthen our relationship with our partner but will be an excellent life lesson for them when they have their own families.
A strong couple relationship is a strong building block on which families can grow and be strengthened. Your relationship with your spouse, without your children, strengthens everyone in the family.


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