Posted in Activity Rocket‘s blog
Here are Some Great ways to Bond with Your Partner by Our Friend Jen Kogan
Many of us who have kids remember the early years as a sleep-deprived time accompanied by unavoidable squabbles with our mate. This is confirmed in research which reveals that 67% of couples become unhappy with their relationship during the first three years of their child’s life. Often, it takes couples at least six years before they look for help in finding their way back to each other.
John Gottman, PhD found that couples can start to lose their bond once a baby arrives due to the amount of work which increases tremendously along with lack of sleep. Gottman offers practical solutions to help couples communicate and handle conflict more effectively. Chief among his suggestions are avoiding criticism, upping your appreciation of each other, and trying not to get caught in needing to be right.
Whether it has been weeks, months or years since you felt truly understood or connected to your mate, there is much to hope for. Once a couple names the problem and takes steps to work on their relationship they can move from primarily dissatisfied to feeling mostly content. Sometimes this takes a commitment to couples counseling but sometimes all it takes is a shift in perception.
Often men and women literally miss each other because they have such different operating systems. Generally, women feel closer in relationship through words and conversation. Men connect through the course of action or activities.
In order to set you both up for success, why not try something different from your typical date night out at a restaurant which can feel too intense or prescribed to some. Sharing special moments doing something together creates new memories to draw upon.
Because DC is such a busy town, you may need to get creative with when you go (afternoon coffee can be just as fun as drinks out on the town) and who watches the kids if sitters are hard to come by (enlist a friend, neighbor or fellow parent you can help out next week-end).
Check out Gottman’s Sound Relationship House to learn more about staying connected as you raise a family. See below for some fun, local activities you can try together to strengthen your bond:
Check out a Comedy Show
Create some art together
Head out to an independent bookstore to browse and have coffee
Pack a picnic and go to: National Cathedral Bishop’s Garden
Watch airplanes take off and land at Gravelly Point Park
Bike, Hike, kayak at the C & O Canal
Explore Rock Creek park
Head out to the theater together
Go to a concert
Take a cooking class together
Go to the movies and toast each other at the same time.
Brought to you by Jen Kogan, LICSW—a psychotherapist who works with individuals and couples who are parents in her NW DC private practice.