Keeping your marriage alive
The question of "how" always seems to follow. How do you go on a date if your on a very tight budget? How do you get away if you have no family living near you? How did you do it?
My husband and I were fortunate to have his parents living next door so they would often watch our children. When the time came that they no longer could watch our children we realized that there were other parents that didn't have family to watch their children. So we began to take turns with friends, once or twice a year so that each couple would be able to spend time alone for a whole weekend. When we could afford it, we would go away somewhere. When we couldn't we would just plan time at home, with the phone unplugged.
We also tried to establish a date night at least twice a month. Often this would simply mean putting the kids to bed early and having a late night dinner alone. Once the kids were in school, my husband would go to work late so we could have breakfast together. You sometimes need to be creative, but it's so important to make sure you have time alone as a couple.
The other thing that my husband and I have tried to do is develop common interest and then "play" together. We both love the beach so we try to go for the day. We love to take walks through the mountain so we make a point to try and do it. We love to play chess, scrabble and mancala. He loves NASCAR, I don't, but I love to read, so when he watches a race I sit next to him a read a book. Or sometimes I just sit next to him and cuddle then fall asleep. The point is we are together and he loves the fact that I want to be with him. In turn he goes to the grocery store with me. :-)
We sit on a swing in our yard and talk.
You know it's the little everyday things that's important also. Making your husband's favorite meal once in awhile instead of making what he kids want all the time. Saying goodbye and greeting him with a kiss everyday. Being excited to see him when he comes home. (yes, this can be a hard one if it's been a tough day with the kids)I found that if I begin to prepare myself and the kids about a half hour before he came home it often helped.
Bottom line, as my husband's help mate I have tried to treat him with love and respect. Making him feel wanted and like he was the most important person in my life. (well because he is). In the end what I have found is that my husband then treats me like his queen. :-)