It’s inevitable – children change marriage. The way this happens is determined by the priorities couples set consciously and/or unconsciously. Some people marry with the intention of being lifetime partners first, and parents second. Others put parenthood on the front burner and their spouse on the back. Children need parents who are devoted to each other, who can provide a secure base for them, and with whom they feel safe. They need to see that Mommy loves Daddy most, not them. It has been said that the best thing parents can do for their children is to love each other. Children don’t “ruin” marriage, unless their parents give them the power to do so.
The child raising-years of marriage are years when couples typically have less time for each other, when they must make time, find time to be together, and create space. Date Night will not happen spontaneously (but is highly recommended, once a week) and an occasional overnight away from the kids will not materialize out of thin air. Spending time together is an active pursuit that takes mutual energy, commitment, creativity, and planning. Children quickly come to accept, understand, and expect their parents to spend time together if it is introduced to them as a given, and as a family value. It actually helps children feel loved and cared for to know their parents love and care for each other.