Marriage Intimacy: 3 Ways to Remain Close to Your Spouse After Having Kids

byNeetu Katyal Piplani
  • Dec 01, 2023
  • 6 mins
family of four

Once you have children, you may have drastic changes to your lifestyle. Everything changes, and one of the biggest impacts on your marriage will likely be on the romantic relationship between you and your spouse. Kids become a new variable that can change the dynamics between a couple. Since you will probably be spending more time taking care of them, you may have little time to spend with your spouse.

Coupled with how tiring it can be attending to your kids and running circles around them, this can create distance and even lead to rifts, as tempers get short and feelings aren’t properly communicated. In fact, poor communication was identified as the main factor that makes marriages fall apart. To keep your relationship intact and happy, it’s important to actively work on remaining intimate with your spouse.

Here are three ways how you can approach intimacy to bridge any gaps that may have crept in:

Do you remember the last time you and your spouse cooked together? Or how you decorated the house for a get-together? Or went out for a late-night movie? These little joyful activities tend to take a backseat after marriage when attending to the needs of your children – regardless of their age - becomes the family’s priority.

It's all too common to sideline intimacy, thinking, "I'll focus on us once the baby is asleep," or "I’m too tired today." However, the more you delay, the harder it can be to rediscover that closeness and bonding need not always involve making time for more fancy outings or planning complicated dates. Sharing a simple yet intimate experience can be an equally great way to bond as a couple and put the spark back into the marriage. Rather than planning day-long trips, you can opt for a stroll in the park where your kids can have fun by the playground while you and your partner enjoy time together.

For instance, my husband and I love to decorate our home. We often sit together and create DIY art pieces from waste. We sometimes end up creating something entirely different from what we had set out to do, but we enjoy the process, intimacy and togetherness. And every time we look at the finished pieces we create, it brings to mind the fun we had putting it together. Our activities together continue to connect us through shared experiences, creating cherished memories in the process.

Amid taking care of children, one of the biggest casualties is emotional intimacy between couples. Emotional intimacy is all about being open about your innermost needs, feelings, and concerns with your spouse. It also refers to small acts of love and care for each other that can go a long way in nurturing your relationship with your spouse years into your marriage. It enables us to understand each other better and seek comfort in each other’s company, which can be useful in reducing any misunderstanding or conflict, especially in the context of parenting.

If constant check-ins are hard to achieve, allocate a specific weekly time slot to engage in earnest, intimate dialogue, be it about issues at work or in marriage. Through these regular catch-ups, you can address any concerns early and ensure your partner continues to feel recognised and valued within the relationship.

When each partner makes a more conscious and regular effort to express love and care for the other through small acts of service or affirmation, it can help the relationship blossom and strengthen the bond. Personally, how I approach this is to make it a point to see my husband off to the office in the morning and to give him a cheerful greeting at the door in the evening when he returns. On his part, my husband always makes us our morning tea. These simple things can have a significant impact on your relationship.

couple being intimate

Money can be a touchy topic between married couples. That said, to avoid finance-related friction and maintain harmony in a marriage, it is important to work towards financial intimacy. This means having conversations and being on the same page about finances.

As a couple, my husband and I openly communicate about our income and expenses. This often involves making a point to have more regular discussions and reviewing finances together. While it may sound like a big task, this can greatly help to achieve financial intimacy. This is because the financial transparency and joint planning gave us the clarity to prioritise our imminent expenses, such as funding our children’s higher education, repaying the home loan, and saving for retirement. Consequently, it enables us to better align our financial priorities for the future, set common goals, and chalk out plans to achieve them.

Financial intimacy can also encourage couples to work together as a team when they strive to fulfil their aspirations, such as making big-ticket purchases, like buying a house in our case. This collaborative process can forge camaraderie, which can also strengthen your emotional intimacy. Interestingly, this is proven in research, which found that couples who make financial plans together tend to have more resilient relationships.

I remember we were fresh into repayment of our home loan when our daughter was born. The financial situation was tight, but my husband and I discussed our situation and took stock of our savings. Together, we decided that we would liquidate the fixed deposit held in our joint account, as that would provide us with the required funds. Being transparent about our savings and arriving at a consensus on how to spend them when needed helped us to tide over that financial hiccup.

Retirement planning with Income

Another conversation that my husband and I had when our children were still toddlers was about planning our retirement. This is one of the most important and intimate discussions to have after marriage because it enables you and your spouse to envision the lifestyle that you would like to enjoy post-retirement and make concrete plans to get there together.

Considering your current income and expenses, you can decide the most suitable method to save for your retirement. A simple way to begin can be to check out a flexible savings plan such as Gro Retire Flex Pro.

With Gro Retire Flex Pro, I could choose to accumulate my cash payouts1 with Income Insurance at 3.00% p.a.2 or use them as I require, providing more flexibility for me to adapt to my needs. With guaranteed acceptance3, I can also sign up for the plan regardless of my health condition.

If you need advice on how to get started with financial planning, connecting with an Income advisor could shed light on the best path for you.

Ultimately, how loving you are with your spouse affects more than just the dynamics between you and your partner; it is also critical to those around you. An intimate relationship is, in fact, one of the greatest gifts for your child because the love and happiness of your marriage will bring peace and stability to the lives of your children.

It can also create a happy ambience at home, providing your children with a safe environment to grow up in. Therefore, it is in the interest of everyone in the family that both partners put in the effort to sustain the intimacy in a relationship.

Tags: Parenting

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