4 Methods to Feel More Loving Toward Your Partner

Your days are filled with lots of hugs, kisses, and drawings from your little ones. It’s obvious why your kids are so easy to adore. However, amid these cherishing moments, there are times when you might feel certain uncomfortable emotions towards your partner. So, let’s delve into some practical methods to feel more loving toward your partner, which might come in handy during these tricky times.

Your 4-year-old son is eager to pitch in around the house and help with chores like weeding the garden and making cookies. He tags along on a series of errands and keeps you thoroughly entertained with his conversation. After a long day, your daughter spontaneously gives you a hug, saying, “I love you, Mommy,” or “You are so pretty,” and you both settle down for a good night’s reading before bed. You and your kids are perfect for each other in every aspect that matters.

As a therapist, I frequently hear parents say that they are happier in their relationship with their children than with their spouse. “It’s like a love affair,” remarked one brand-new mother. Our partners may not shine as brightly in contrast. Parents work hard to make sure their kids are healthy and happy, so it’s not unusual for their relationship to take a back seat.

But sometimes partners let their temporary sadness harden into resentment. They may begin putting less effort into their relationship since they focus on the children. Or, they put off dealing with their relationship issues because they are so preoccupied with their kids.

How do you prevent your love for your partner from being more shallow while your love for your children deepens? We offer four suggestions.

1. Recognize that establishing closeness amongst adults may necessitate some extra effort.

The complexities of adult relationships. You and your partner may have different priorities when it comes to spending time together. Perhaps you both need some alone time to catch up on your favorite show while your partner would rather have a conversation. You may accept each other’s differences and still make an effort to meet one other’s wants and needs in a healthy relationship.

Try to face your partner if you find yourself withdrawing from them or dismissing them. In my experience, showing interest in your partner and their life is the first step in attempting to understand them. Asking a question out of genuine curiosity will bring you closer together. Also, strive to be as receptive to your partner’s tender sentiments as you are to your child’s. Recognize the emergence of an insensitive reaction toward your partner and reinterpret it in an empathic light. Partners have told me they are envious of the easy access to their children that the other parent has, so they suggest that both parents make an effort to be equally charming.

2. Keep in touch.

Children are so gentle and caring, yet it’s important to be careful when touching your mate. Does hugging them make them feel obligated to have sex with you even if you don’t want to? Of course, you may really require less physical contact from your spouse when you spend all day exchanging cuddles with your children, but you may still give each other some of what you get from them.

Try to be generous with friendly, low-stakes touches like caressing their shoulder or holding their hand. Everyone seeks a secure and nurturing connection with another human being. In that respect, we are all children at heart who long for love and acceptance without conditions. But if you’ve lost the desire to connect with your partner physically, ask yourself why. It’s possible that you’ll realize that unresolved feelings of hurt or resentment are holding you back. If talking to a friend or family member doesn’t help, it may be time to consult an expert.

3. Avoid putting off confronting discontentment.

Sometimes things aren’t as great in a relationship as we’d like them to be, but it’s best to stick it out anyhow. However, putting your relationship on hold while your children are small and more demanding won’t help if you feel unloving or blah toward your spouse consistently. Patients who have tried that approach tell me they feel hollow when their children grow up and move out.

Instead, make an effort to learn more about how and if your connection might be strengthened. Your love for your spouse may never match the love you feel for your children, but if your relationship is otherwise fulfilling and you’ve made efforts to improve it, that shouldn’t be too much of a concern.

4. How to love your children: love your partner.

My client explained his argument with his wife the previous week and then exclaimed, “When I’m with my son, I relax and enjoy the simple pleasures—I can be myself!” He believed he constantly disappointed his wife and was aware of his impatience. Paul loved his son very much but also wanted to feel closer to his wife. Indeed, love for one’s children is a powerful incentive for maintaining a healthy connection with the other parent.

Having children is a shared experience that can bring people closer together as they share the joy of witnessing their offspring develop and mature. Your kids are learning a lot about how adults should interact by watching you and your partner. The joys of parenting extend far beyond the infant and toddler years. The goal is to give young people the social and mental tools they need to live independently as adults. This includes modeling conflict resolution, respect for others, and empathy for those with whom one interacts.

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