Dustin, Author at Engaged Marriage

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About the Author

Dustin Riechmann created Engaged Marriage to help other married couples live a life they love (especially) when they feel too busy to make it happen. He has many passions, including sharing ways to enjoy an awesome marriage in 15 minutes a day, but his heart belongs with his wife Bethany and their three young kids.

6 Ways to Continue Pursuing your Spouse When Marriage Gets Tough

By Dustin | Communication

Pursuing Your Spouse When Marriage Gets Tough

We know that sometimes those vows don’t feel like they stuck very well, you might feel like they were an overpromise, unachievable, or even impossible.

Not to worry! We have six of our best tips to equip you both to make it through this season even stronger than before.

“A good marriage is one which allows for change and growth in the individuals and in the way they express their love.” – Pearl Buck

1. Make Getting Along the Goal

If you both agree that disagreeing isn’t serving your relationship well, maybe it is time to re-evaluate your relationship goals during this rocky patch in your love story. You two have grown and changed since you first said those special vows.

If all you seem to do these days is argue, make a new vow to each other to always try to end a disagreement with an open mind and heart. This is also a great foundation for evaluating if there are any unnecessary arguments happening that are causing you both unneeded distress and division.

2. Spend Intentional Time Pursuing Each Other Again

Pursuing your partner in marriage looks a lot like it did back when you were dating.

When was the last time you told your spouse how much they meant to you? Or even looked into their eyes deeply to share with them the truest, “I love you”?

Pursuit can look like a lot of different things – it can look like a day trip to your favorite place, dinner at your favorite restaurant, or maybe a date night in.

Maybe you should budget time to pour into your partner? By subscribing to a date night box, you can have a date night every month from the comfort of your own home.

Or you can take your date nights outside! Did you both love adventuring as a dating couple? Now is the time to get nostalgic if you can!

Take a moment to pause here, remember your younger selves, and remember why you both said: “I do”!

3. Give them the Benefit of the Doubt

How many times have you jumped to conclusions and snipped at your spouse for something that you misinterpreted? Too many times to count at this point, right?

Pride and impatience breed discontentment. Instead of entering into a conversation with your spouse with anger, choose patience instead.

Conversations do not need to escalate to full-blown arguments if you both have chosen to make getting along your goal! Take a breath – catching your partner off guard with sharp remarks or trying to always get the last word in will not be fruitful for your relationship.

Your spouse will be much more receptive to talking through things with you if you choose to talk through your concerns when it’s a good time for both of you. If you respect their time, energy, and emotions by being responsible for your own emotions, you will both be better off.

4. Use I and WHY Statements

Did your spouse say something that hurt your feelings? Did they do something that offended you or was not received well by you?

There are healthy tactics to bring these things up without declaring war on the other. Here is one of our favorites – using an “I” statement instead of “you”. Let us explain.

Using an “I” and “WHY” statement allows you to hold responsibility for your emotions and explain your point of view from a responsible perspective.

Example: “I was hurt by the way you said that because I have expressed to you in the past how that made me feel unloved.”

A tactic like this is much better received compared to the same conversation that is started like this: “Why do you always say that, did you not hear me the last time I said not to do that? Do you even listen to me?”.

See the difference between the two? If you explain how you are feeling, you are much more likely to get your point across.

5. Check Your Expectations

Are your expectations too high? Most of us at one point or another in a relationship realize we may have set the bar too high. We are all only human, right?

Take a look at the things that are upsetting you in your relationship currently. Now, are those things realistic things to be upset about? Or are these things upsetting you out of anyone’s control?

Are they outrageous expectations for anyone to meet? If you said yes to any of these things, maybe it is time to lower the bar a little and extend some grace to your partner.

Extra points if you apologize to your partner for expecting too much from them, and tell them that you love them!

6. Meet your Spouse’s Most Important Emotional Needs

We all have different love languages. One of the most difficult concepts is giving and receiving love how others need love to be given and received. What are your partner’s love languages?

Read more here on The 5 Love Languages®. The more you push yourself to love your partner the way they need to be loved, the better your relationship will be.

It is hard work, but don’t let that stop you from rebuilding that firm foundation in your relationship.

You’ve heard it before, marriage isn’t easy. Just because it may not always be easy, doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it!

If you both remember how his love story started, you can work together to make it through this tough time. Be encouraged because flexing your communication muscles will only make your relationship stronger. 

Should Married Couples Have Joint or Separate Bank Accounts?

By Dustin | Finances & Careers

Should Couples Have Joint or Separate Bank Accounts?Do you and your spouse use a single, joint checking account?

Or do you choose to keep separate bank accounts?

Have you considered the alternatives?

I was frankly surprised at the responses I’ve heard to these questions over the past week or so.

And I was really shocked at the emotional reaction that many have in defending the structure of their family finances.

It started in the responses I received where everyone seemingly ignored my main points in the “7 Simple Steps to Financial Success in Your Marriage” and focused in on my statement that a joint checking account was the way to go.

Curious, I then posed the question on the Engaged Marriage Facebook page and received some incredible responses.

For instance, the pro joint account crowd provided comments like this:

Mary: We have a joint checking account. Always have and always will. We’re married and share everything – nothing is his and nothing is mine. We agree on finances and how we spend OUR money.

Erica: We have joint everything…we discuss all major purchases/goals/bills, but gas, food, etc. just comes out of our joint account as needed. It works very well for us and I couldn’t imagine having it separate. All the figuring out who has paid for which thing and how much and trying to make it “even” etc. has never made sense to me. It’s US, and OURS. 🙂

And some readers love their separate checking accounts:

Sam: We have separate accounts. I cover most of the bills and the majority of his money is used for discretionary costs (gas, food, etc). We both have access to each others accounts, so it’s not like my money is strictly my money (and vice-versa). Works for us!  Honestly, I think a joint account would cause some stress for us.

Jennifer: We have separate accounts. I pay mortgage and living costs (groceries, fun, etc.) and he pays all other bills and savings. We find it much easier to manage money that way.

Don’t Tread on My Financial Life

I don’t think my suggestion of trying a single joint checking account was too radical or really all that forceful in the way it was presented.

Nevertheless, pretty much every comment on my Couple’s Financial Success post was related to that issue.  I was even accused of making broad generalizations, and it was clear that I offended some folks with my recommendation.

It turns out that people can be pretty passionate about their choice of bank accounts!  I loved the conversations, and as I have taken some time to think about the issue a little more, I’ve even opened my mind a bit.

I thought it would be useful to outline the main reasons why a married couple may choose a single joint account vs. separate accounts.

And then, for the really important part of this exercise, we’ll take a look at why this decision should matter to you and your spouse.  Here’s a video I created that really cuts to the chase on this issue:

Reasons Why a Joint Bank Account is Best

  • Encourages regular communication about finances
  • Built-in accountability partner on spending matters
  • Fosters unity in money matters
  • Strong sense of working together to meet financial goals
  • Clear that all household income is treated as “our” money
  • No conflict or administrative work in “splitting up the bills”
  • Dave Ramsey says this is best, and we all love Dave, right?

Reasons Why Separate or “Yours, Mine and Ours” Bank Accounts Rule

  • Duties of financial bookkeeping not solely on one person
  • Clear boundaries set up-front for individual spending
  • May be easier to track specific savings goals
  • Easy to surprise your spouse with gifts
  • No need to talk about finances regularly
  • Each spouse can keep “their proportionate amount” of household income
  • Ability to maintain privacy about what you spend money on
  • More independence and autonomy to spend as desired without seeking concurrence

So, who is really right?

After reading a lot about this issue and reflecting upon it, I have divined the one, true and infallible answer to this age-old question:

It depends.

You will notice that the reasons I listed in support of separate accounts are broken into two groups.  In my opinion, the “black” group are legitimate and healthy reasons for having multiple accounts.  However, the “red” group spells trouble.

The reasons listed in red are centered in a mentality of not just separate accounts, but separate finances within the marriage.

I feel strongly that this is a dangerous and unhealthy foundation for money management for a married couple.  These reasons come from a spirit of selfishness, and they do not reflect the fact that marriage is a partnership.  And they certainly do not support open communication and trust.

The Key is Intent

Personally, Bethany and I use a single, joint checking account and feel that is absolutely perfect for us.  And before I gave this much thought, I would have prescribed this same arrangement for every married couple.

Actually, I still think this is the way to go, but I can see where other approaches can work fine, too.

The main reason that we choose to keep a joint bank account is our belief in unity.  We believe that when you get married, you become one, and money is a key area where this is lived out.

There is no “yours, mine and ours” but only “ours.”

When you handle your money together, you are agreeing on your hopes, dreams and goals together.

The use of a single joint account also encourages (requires, really) open communication about your finances, which is absolutely critical to a successful marriage.

As long as the right intent is there, I think you also operate in full unity with multiple accounts.

I don’t think it provides as accommodating of environment for unity and open communication, but I fully believe many couples lead happy, healthy and successful financial lives together under this arrangement.

Plus, we feel it is just easier to manage when everything goes into one account and out of the same account.  For us, it’s the simpler solution to maintain a single checking account.

I realize that some couples find the simplicity of their money management to actually be enhanced by using multiple accounts.  And, while that’s not our deal, I can certainly understand and respect that.

In fact, we have several different savings accounts for this same reason.

The Bottom Line

In my opinion, the real question to ask here is not how many accounts you have, the types of savings accounts, or what you call them.  The key is to operate your finances in a unified way with open communication at all times.

You can do that with one account or twenty. However, if you do operate with multiple accounts, they should all be “joint” accounts that you both can access, and there should be absolutely no secrets about how money is being earned or spent.

And remember that your motivation should be one of unity.  That will keep you in the black and out of the red in more ways than one.

Are You Ready to Take the Next Step with Your Money & Your Marriage?

The question of joint vs. separate checking accounts is important, but it’s only scratching the surface of the money goals and problems you’re dealing with as a couple.

Lucky for you, we’ve teamed up Ann Arceo, an awesome couples financial planner from The Savvy Duo to create an easy-to-follow plan called “How to Get Control of Your Money & Create the Future You Desire Together

We walk you through 5 key money moves and show you exactly how to make them happen in your marriage.

Plus, you’ll have the help you need to overcome the other money frustrations you’ve probably encountered…

…from trouble getting started (or staying on track) to a reluctant spouse.  And we’re giving you all the cool tools you need to make it as easy as possible!

Click Here to Start Your Money Makeover!

How to Get Control of Your Money and Create the Future You DesireTogether (1)

So, I just have to know:

Do you and your spouse use a single joint checking account or do you choose to keep separate accounts?  Why?

Share in the comments!

How to Confront Your Husband About Flirting (without Starting a Fight)

By Dustin | Communication

4 Inspired Ways to Get the Respect You Deserve

Is a woman flirting with your husband at work?  Or maybe he’s the one flirting with another woman?  

Either way, it is crazy-making to deal with a flirty husband!  It’s scary to think what that might lead to. 

It’s also just plain hurtful to live with. 

Does he really expect you to turn a blind eye to such blatant misbehavior?  How are you supposed to ignore his ogles, smiles, and winks?

That’s not right.  He should be more respectful and control himself.

But what if he won’t? 

It’s embarrassing, and it can make you feel like a fool. 

Fortunately, you can use your influence to put an end to such disrespect.

Here are 4 ways to end the flirting problem and get the respect you deserve, without having to just ignore it.  

1. Don’t Make This Very Common Mistake 

Flirting has many purposes.  

It could be reward-seeking or looking for proof that he’s still “got it.” 

It could be an awkward way of getting your attention, even if it’s negative.

It could also be a way to shore up a self-esteem issue.

That doesn’t make it right. 

That doesn’t make it okay. 

But knowing that could be a clue that helps you resolve the issue.

Here’s what I mean: No marriage is perfect – not even mine. If yours isn’t perfect either and if your husband is dissatisfied with the relationship because you’re unhappy with him (maybe because of all his ogling), he may compensate with what he considers harmless flirting.

We all have a deep need to be heard and seen and known in big and small ways. That’s just human. If he’s looking for that, ask yourself: Has he been able to get that from me recently?

I’m NOT saying his flirting is your fault. Not at all. 

But if your relationship is falling short or you’ve lost the joyful spark that attracted him in the first place, then you have more power than you realize to keep his wandering eyes firmly planted on you. 

And it’s not going to happen by scowling at him, even though you’re hurt and upset.

That’s a very common mistake I see so many women making, but it actually makes things worse because what he’s missing the most is your happy, sexy smile directed at him.

Have you flashed him one of those recently? Can he still get the validation and approval from you that he used to get?

It’s easy to become serious or overwhelmed when there’s a lot on your plate. You may have lost the playfulness you once had.

Consider what’s happening on your side of the street. 

Ask yourself if you have behaviors that might cause your spouse to feel insecure? 

Of course you don’t intend to make him feel insecure, but him flirting could actually be a symptom that he’s not sure you think he’s still “got it.”

Just letting him know that you think he does could go a long way toward ending his flirting with others.

2. Avoid Unwittingly Making His Flirting Worse 

When Mia was worried about her husband’s too-close-for-comfort relationships with other women, she laid down the law and made it clear that if he ever cheated, she’d be out of there. 

Guess what happened after her ultimatum?  He cheated. 

Author John Gray of Mars and Venus fame nailed it: “When a man does not feel loved just the way he is, he will either consciously or unconsciously repeat the behavior that is not being accepted. He feels an inner compulsion to repeat the behavior until he feels loved and accepted.”

That’s not to say it was Mia’s fault, but it was a painful lesson for her that what she focuses on increases.  Now that she has shifted her focus to how faithful he is and how much he wants to please her, she’s the one he’s flirting with!  

No one likes a nag.  If you bring up every one-off instance where he flirted, that will only make him feel like your personal punching bag, and he’ll retreat even further. 

Also, if you’re anything like me, you don’t just want him to stop flirting, you want him to want to stop flirting.  But laying down the law does just the opposite of what you want it to do. The moment you make an ultimatum, you’re dangling forbidden fruit that actually makes him more likely to continue the unwanted behavior, as I explain here.

Is there a certain stressor in your marriage that leads to him flirting?  For instance, does he get more flirtatious with other women after you’ve had a nasty spat? 

It can be even more crazy-making when that happens, but consider the possibility that you could interrupt the whole vicious cycle yourself by changing up just your lines in the familiar argument you have about flirting, just like Mia did. 

3. Get More Respect and Reconnect with These Three Words  

Men want to feel masculine.  Going into mom mode by scrutinizing his every move tends to have the opposite effect (not to mention killing the intimacy since nobody wants to have sex with his mother).

So don’t get too caught up in the details of his flirting, like saying, “Remember that one time you ogled the barista and the waitress after and the very next day the crossing guard?” 

Naming names will put him on the defensive.  Nobody’s at their best when they feel defensive.

Instead, listen to his side of the story, even if you don’t agree with it.  Simply responding with “I hear you” when he opens up and shares with you is a magical way to create a culture of mutual respect.  

After all, conflict resolution is a two-way street.  

If you’re not rehashing the dirty details of his deeds, what are you supposed to communicate about?  Try recognizing his strengths and the strengths of your relationship.  Consider going a step further and actually expressing your gratitude for all those strengths. 

This does double-duty: You quit giving oxygen to the behavior you don’t want (which actually increased it), instead increasing what you do want to see more of.  

You’ll also create a culture of gratitude this way, so be prepared to be on the receiving end of lots more appreciation! 

4. Bring the Butterflies Back

Make your marriage fun!  Use tiny gestures that show him your flirty side.  Hugging, kissing, and handholding are all strong relationship anchors. 

An old ad for jeans wisely put it this way: You flirt not because he looks good but because YOU do.

In other words, feeling good about yourself – whether it’s because you gave yourself a pedicure, are flush from a brisk walk, or spent the whole day at a spa–is a great springboard to flirting.

Outside flirting is often a way for him to rediscover the passion and excitement you shared in the early days of your relationship.  If you miss that too, think about what you could do to bring back those butterflies-in-your-stomach moments.

When Candace’s husband’s flirtation with his secretary went too far and he told his wife he needed a three-month break from her, she went full Goddess of Fun and Light mode.  She piled on the fun, indulged in activities that made her happy, making a point to schedule at least three per day. 

She dialed up the gender contrast by dressing sexy and feminine.  She honored her desires, even buying herself flowers.  As she focused on what she wanted, she considered going overseas to pursue her studies. 

But her husband talked her out of it!  

She’d become so irresistible that he couldn’t even wait three months before coming back home.  He started saying “I love you” several times a day, which he had never done in all their years together.  He now held her so tightly at night that she ended up sleeping crooked so as not to forego the delicious snuggling.   

The chemistry was definitely back!  And the extracurricular flirting was gone.

The same can happen in your relationship when you focus on doing the things that bring you closer.

About Laura Doyle

Hi! I’m Laura.

I was the perfect wife – until I actually got married. When I tried to tell my husband how to be more romantic, more ambitious, and tidier, he avoided me. I dragged him to marriage counseling and nearly divorced him. I then started talking to women who had what I wanted in their marriages and that’s when I got my miracle. The man who wooed me returned.

I wrote a few books about what I learned and accidentally started a worldwide movement of women who practice The Six Intimacy Skills™ that lead to having amazing, vibrant relationships. The thing I’m most proud of is my playful, passionate relationship with my hilarious husband John – who has been dressing himself since before I was born.

The Often Overlooked Factor That Has The Biggest Impact on Your Relationship

By Dustin | Communication

Have you ever known a couple that has huge arguments and blow-outs, but is also so in love that they couldn’t live without each other?

Relationships are rife with conflict. But make no mistake: relationships are also our number one source of happiness. Nothing else comes close to it.

Success, wealth, or achievement can’t take the place of fulfilling relationships. Nothing else tugs as tight on our hearts or delights our spirits more than a relationship that meets our longing for belonging.

This, unfortunately, is where the problem lies.

We want to belong. We want to feel like we’re not alone.

Whether that’s home with a partner you love…

Or in the office, feeling like you’re valued and appreciated…

Or around friends and family; those who understand what you’re like…

You long to belong!

This places a lot of pressure on your relationships. Maybe you put so much pressure on yours that you define your happiness and self-worth based on the strength of them. You want them to be strong and healthy. So, as soon as you hit a problem you immediately jump to a solution to improve it.

Maybe this is why you’re reading this article right now…

The problem with this is, you miss the most important aspect that impacts your relationships.

And, you overlook the actual root cause of your pain: your own wholeness.

Why Wholeness Has a Huge Impact on Your Relationships

Although relationships are the number one source of happiness, they will never complete you.

If you try to build intimacy with another before you have gotten whole on your own, all your relationships become an attempt to complete yourself. This is why so many relationships fall flat or fail. Nobody else can complete you. Not a friend, colleague, family member, or even your soul mate.

Nobody can do that work for you. 

They can help you, as iron sharpens iron. 

But you are the one who must do the work.

Any relationship you have with another can only be as healthy as the one you have with yourself.

So although you may have arrived here wanting to improve your relationship with your:

… I’ll instead encourage you to focus on the relationship you have with yourself.

How To Move Towards Wholeness

There’s a lot that goes into making yourself whole. It’s often a life-long journey.

The sooner you start it, the better; the sooner you can finally be whole and feel like you belong.

Until you feel whole, nobody else will fill the void.

You can read books and try every trick in them, but you’ll keep returning to the same point.

Here are a few ways you can move toward wholeness.

1: Define What Being Whole Means To You

Whatever your baggage or background, I know at least one thing about you:

Each day you either move away from or toward the person you want to be.

You’re either maximizing your moments or allowing them to slip by without notice.

It’s hard to know which camp you fit into unless you know where you’re heading.

  • What does wholeness mean to you?
  • What does progress look like?
  • How will you know when you arrive?

Too many people live life with no thought of where they’re going. 

Yet if you want to feel whole, you must first define what it is.

This is unique to you, too. For one person, feeling whole may involve: the freedom to work wherever you like, whenever you like; feeling healthy and fit; have time each day to reflect and enjoy a little “me” time…

Whereas for someone else, feeling whole may center around: family, spending time with your kids each day and enjoying adventures with one another.

There is no right or wrong.

It’s about what’s right for you.

What makes you whole?

What does wholeness look like to you?

2: Appreciate You Are Not, And Never Will Be Perfect

Nobody is perfect. Not even healthy and happy people. 

In fact, the truly healthy and happy ones own their dark side; their ugly parts

They recognize and study their personal flaws, wounds, and idiosyncrasies. 

Knowing they have blind spots, they’re on an unending quest for better self-insight. 

Through good times and bad, they continue on their journey to improve. Their brokenness and failures become the reason to grow, not a deterrent from it. They embrace that they’ll never be perfect.

They may never quite reach the point they’re driving toward.

And they are okay with this because their real purpose is the journey they’re on.

3: Be Content With The Present And Grateful For The Past

To use the thoughts of Epicurus: the most contented people remember the past with gratitude and accept their present situation without coveting what someone else has.

We all have a past.

Some of it is good.

Other parts of it are bad.

To become whole, you must accept the past for what it is; to be at peace with it; grateful, even.

It’s impossible to feel content with what you have, otherwise.

How can you possibly live in the moment if you cling to the past?

Yet once you do live in the moment, you can be thankful and grateful for what you have. 

No longer envious of what other people own, you can finally become whole.

4: You Have A Choice, And It’s Yours Alone

“I never knew I had a choice.”

It’s the saddest sentence I ever hear when counseling someone.

Many things in life are beyond your control. 

But there is a vast, unclaimed territory of actions over which you do. 

These actions involve the countless choices you make—or do not makeevery day.

These choices go on to define your life and how you feel about… everything.

Whatever your situation is, I promise you that you do have a choice.

If you wish to become whole, it’s within your control.

If you want to heal your relationships (with others and yourself), you can choose to whenever you like.

5: Be Aware of Where You Are Right Now

This final step is actually the first one.

Before you can define where you’re going and who you want to become, you must first appreciate where you are.

  • How you’re feeling.
  • How you currently act (and react).
  • The state of your relationships overall.
  • The state of your most important relationships.
  • The state of the relationship you have with yourself!

A question I’m often asked is:

What’s the single most important thing you can do for your relationships?

I offer a simple answer: Get Healthy!

When relationships go bad, we look for things (or people) to blame.

We expect relationships to make us feel better about ourselves.

This is wrong. It’s the other way around.

Our relationships improve once we improve the one we have with ourselves. 

This begins once you gain an awareness of where you are.

You are not perfect and you never will be. So, embrace the point you’re at.

To help you discover this, I’ve prepared a Free Assessment you can take. This free assessment shows you ways you can destroy toxic self-talk and revolutionize your relationships.

The way you talk to yourself prevents you from being (and feeling) whole

Take back control. Once you do, you can mend those relationships that feel most broken.

#1 New York Times bestselling author Dr. Les Parrott  is a psychologist and author of best-selling books including Love Talk, The Good Fight, Crazy Good Sex, and the award-winning Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts.

His work has been featured in the New York Times and USA Today and on CNN, Good Morning America, the Today Show, The View, and Oprah.

Please check out his latest work and take his free assessment for the health of your self talk (and relationships) by visiting HealthyMeHealthyUs.com.

A Creative Date Idea for Parents: Ask the Kids

By Dustin | Romance

Creative Date Idea for Parents - Ask the Kids

When you’re a parent with young kids, it can be difficult to carve out time to spend with your partner.  You might be so exhausted that the idea of coming up with a creative date idea for parents seems like climbing an impossibly high mountain.

What if you didn’t have to do the creative thinking?

One of my favorite ways of coming up with creative ideas for date night is to outsource the thinking to my children.

Kids are naturally creative – and there are some real benefits to getting them involved in planning your next date night.

Creative Date Ideas for Parents…from Kids

It might seem odd at first to include your kids in the planning of your next date night, but your kids will love the idea of being involved.

And, you can bet that they’ll come up with some fun and interesting ideas for you and your husband or wife.

You never know what experience awaits you when you let your kids plan your date.

If your kids are too young to come up with ideas, you can ask nieces or nephews – or if your kids have flown the next, try asking your grandchildren!

Give the children at least a week’s notice and ask them to design a fun date night that you can experience together.

If you want to keep it a surprise, you can wait until the day of your date to have them reveal their ideas.

Or, if you prefer, you can ask them a few days ahead of time, so you can make plans.

From the Mouths of Babes

You may be pleasantly surprised by the creative ideas that your kids have.

They’re likely to include some things that you may not consider traditional date night activities, such as:

Your job is to do your very best to live out their ultimate date night.

We recommend taking photographs as proof that you used their ideas. Photos will also show your kids that you appreciate and value their input.

The Benefits of Having Your Kids Plan Your Date Night

Having your kids plan your next date night can be fun, but that’s not the only reason to do it.

The truth is that every time you interact with your spouse, you’re showing your kids what a happy and healthy marriage looks like.

When your kids come up with a date idea for their parents, they’re learning these things:

  1. Parents are people too, and they need time to spend with one another away from the kids. Spending time as a couple doesn’t mean that you don’t love them and value them. It just means that your relationship is important.
  2. All of you are a family unit and even when you spend time apart from them, they are an important part of your life. Having their input is a way of showing them that you care about what they think and how they feel.
  3. It teaches kids to respect your couple time and value it as something that’s necessary and beneficial to the whole family. When you have time alone, it makes your family time all the more precious.
  4. It encourages your kids to think creatively and teaches them compassion as they work to come up with date ideas that will appeal to you and your spouse.

When your kids grow older and begin their search for partners, they’ll remember that you and your partner made time for one another while still respecting your kids.

That’s a lesson that will increase the chances of them having happy and healthy relationships of their own.

Get Out of Your Date Night Rut

It’s easy to fall into a rut with date night. A lot of couples end up doing the same thing every time they go out rather than trying to find a creative date idea for parents.

A kid-planned date night is by definition going to be different from anything you might come up with on your own. Your kids are less likely to fall back on the tried and true.

They might come up with ideas that truly surprise (or even shock) you – but that’s all the more reason to stay open to what they suggest and make a sincere effort to do it.

Keeping the spark in your marriage requires dedication and effort!

If you close yourself off to the idea of having fun with your spouse, you may end up losing sight of what you love about them.

Getting your kids to come up with a creative date idea for their parents is a great way to keep things fresh, exciting, and new.

The next time you plan to go out with your spouse, have your kids plan a creative date idea instead of doing the same old thing. It will bring you close to your partner and your kids.

Oh, and by the way…if you’d like a PDF summary of this article, please click here now to get yours (on me, no opt-in required).

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