I recently read an article titled "I've got my husband and kids, but how do I get my 'boyfriend' back?"and a few things came to mind based on the women, couples and families that I have worked with over the years. On top of the list is 'perspective'. Not just that this article and a number of articles like it focus on the negative feelings and what we are lacking but also how the perspective we choose influences our daily behavior in our relationships.
One thing we know is true: "If mom isn't happy, no one is happy." However, life is so fast paced these days and full of To Do lists that we often neglect to cultivate our own happiness and to carve out time in our To Do lists for self care and couple care. When you first have a boyfriend things are new, exciting, spontaneous and a lot of attention is paid to yourself and your boyfriend. As time goes on in the relationship we settle in and pay more attention to every day life tasks, but we are still taking care of ourselves and our relationships.
Down the road comes your marriage and if you choose, children. Distractions, the business of life, careers and social events. We are no longer focused on taking care of ourselves or our marriage. Marital satisfaction can diminish if we let go of simple things that we once did for ourselves and our partner. People will often then even say they aren't happy or are counting the days until they are out, forgetting that their happiness is their responsibility. As that is the case, when someone leaves a marriage they take with them the same behaviors, belief systems and thought processes and act them out in their next relationship. Don't misunderstand me here, this is not to say that there are times where divorce is justified or necessary.
The point is that we can create our own happiness and behave in ways that bring back that boyfriend. Making small efforts. If your children and your pets are more excited to see your husband than you are after a long day begin choosing small ways to behave in a way that lets them know you still care, love them and want them there. It may even mean that there is quiet time for 15 minutes while mommy and daddy check in (alone) at the end of the day before the business of wrapping up the night gets underway. Shaping your behavior creates happiness for you and in turn brings happiness back to you (true for men too, only that's not what the article was talking about) .
I'd love to hear your suggestions on one or two things that you will choose to do differently beginning today!