Here’s a common scenario. You’re married with young children. The husband works full time, the wife does the majority of the housework and child rearing. and the relationship is beginning to crumble. Why? What can be done? For the answers we turned to marriage expert, Michele Weiner Davis – a psychotherapist who runs a private practice in Illinois called The Divorce Busting Center.
Dr. Davis says one of the biggest reasons couples with kids have trouble is that they’re in competition and they don’t even know it. The husband thinks the wife’s got it easy because she gets to stay home all day with the kids. And the wife thinks her husband has it easier because he’s at work, laughing it up at the water cooler. But thinking, “I’m working harder than you are!” undermines a marriage. What’s missing is mutual admiration for all that your spouse does. You need to celebrate each other’s accomplishments – not compare and belittle the contribution your spouse is making to the marriage.
The second thing couples with kids need to do is ask specifically what you can do to lighten each other’s load – then follow through. But women have a real problem letting go. So if you tell your husband it would be great if he could do the laundry so you could meet a friend for lunch – let him do it. Don’t tell him he’s doing it wrong or not fast enough.
And the final thing that can save a marriage that’s beginning to crumble – spending time as a couple – minus the kids. You probably think you have no time to connect as a couple. But if you veg in front of the TV every night after the kids are tucked in, then you do have time. Pay as much attention to your marriage, and make it as big a priority, as your job or the kids. If you’d like to go further, Michele Weiner Davis’ website is Divorce Busting .com.