12 things you should know about your partner

Having children is like throwing a hand grenade into your relationship. Boom! Everything has changed. And yet, with a little talking and a little time you can make each other seem important, loved and valued.

Tell me if this seems familiar…

No longer can you walk down the street engrossed in each other’s company. Now when you are out there are small people to keep a constant eye on, one or both of you must always be alert: “Not so close to the edge”, “Don’t do that to your sister”, “NOT IN YOUR MOUTH!”. We constantly sound like a Joyce Grenfell, script.

At home there is the never ending cycle of washing up, washing and tidying up. The constant score keeping of who has done the most trips to the wheely bin, most nappy changes or most bedtimes is definitely not conducive to the delicious sexual tension of the early days of a relationship.

And then there’s the tiredness. If you do have the bliss of an uninterrupted moment together, then you are most-likely to be found snoring on separate chairs in front of the T.V. rather snuggling in front of a romantic film.

If you are feeling drained, devalued and dehumanised, chances are your other half is too. Teaching the kids not to take you for granted, to give you your space and to make you feel worthwhile is going to take years, but making sure that you and your partner help each other through these feelings rather than constantly sniping, picking and moaning is going to make you both feel better.

When was the last time you really talked to your partner?  Take the time to chat. Turn off phones, computers and iPads and just talk. Talk about the kids if you like, but also try to talk about other things.

Here are 12 things you should know about your partner, and they should know about you.

And I mean really know – not guess, not think and definitely not assume. These are the sort of things that may have changed since you pulled the key out of the bomb that is family life and they are the sort of questions we forget to think about once two becomes more!

  1. If your partner had 5 minutes to themselves with no responsibility , what would they do?
  2. What do they most miss about life before children?
  3. What would they most like you to say more?
  4. What do they think they are good at?
  5. What 5 things about you would they hate you to change?
  6. If they could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
  7. What do they wish they didn’t do?
  8. What do they think you love about them?
  9. What do they love about themselves?
  10. Where would they most like to visit in the next 5 years and why?
  11. Where would they most like to visit in the next year and why?
  12. What’s their ‘pipe dream’ and has it changed since having a family?

Some of these will just be talking, and taking an interest in each other again. Some of them you might be able to do something about. But the most important thing is that you took a moment to talk; a moment to think solely about each other; a moment to remember why you are friends and lovers in the first place.

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