By Amelia Phillips
Relationships are tough at the best of times… then throw in a kid or two (or more!) and many a couple have crumbled under the load. So how can you keep the love ALIVE when you have bambinos? I asked clinical psychologist and relationship expert Jacqui Manning, here are her fav tips… #yourewelcome.
1 // The six-second kiss
When was the last time you had a six second kiss with your partner? It may seem awkward or just plain funny, but you’ll be amazed at how quickly this brings you closer (not just literally!). The more you practise, the more intimate it will feel.
2 // Start with ‘I feel’, not ‘You’
Often it’s not what we’re saying but how we’re saying it. If a conversation even hints at being combative, hackles go up along with defensive barriers. By reframing in a softer way, communication can be way more effective. For example instead of saying ‘You never help out with the housework’ try ‘I feel like I’m drowning in housework at the moment.’
3 // Take a mindful moment
Instead of waiting for that date night or holiday to rekindle the flame, try a mindful moment a few times per week. You could create a ritual such as a few minutes on the couch before you turn on the TV to really connect. Look into each other’s eyes. Have a deeper chat (not just logistics), really check in on how your partner is doing (and vice versa). Doing that a few times a week can do wonders for your connection.
4 // Get intimate (and no, we’re NOT talking about sex)
When we hear the word intimate, we often think of sex, but true intimacy is about connecting on a deeper, more vulnerable, level. Sex can be a part of this, but it can also be achieved by sharing your true vulnerabilities during a mindful moment. Counselling can help a couple unlock and communicate these (which can be hard at first). For example try reaching for those deeper feelings (insecurity, jealousy, sadness) around a situation and be a good listener when your partner does the same.
Amelia Phillips is a registered exercise scientist, nutritionist, podcaster and mama to four under 5.5yo. For more conversations for mums with drive download Healthy Her Podcast.