Recently a client (going through a divorce) shared that her husband worked so hard in order to take her on a cruise holiday while all she wanted was a hug and his arms around her shoulder when she needed it.
It's the small things that actually matter in long run and not the big ones; this old age adage seems so true in an intimate relationship like marriage.
Here are few things that certainly can make a marriage strong after kids:
Little expressions of affection:
Things as small as waking your partner with a good morning hug / a cup of tea with a bright smile, a good night kiss, holding hands, texting them a romantic message in your lunch break, coming home with a flower or your partner's favourite chocolate or coffee, sending them a I miss you card when one's travelling, leaving an 'I love you' note at your partner's bedside if leaving early...these all are small gestures and expressions of your affection, which shows your partner that you really think about them and do care of little things that makes them happy.
Appreciation and admiration:
Appreciation is a basic human need and the biggest human motivator to withstand any challenges in life. The partners who know the art of appreciating little things their partner do for them, can win their heart forever.
Simple phrases like thank you so much for taking care of my food, thank you for getting my car fixed, you look so sexy, you are such a sweetheart; are all little perks which can brighten your partner's day and strengthen your relationship.
Date nights / evening:
Once you've kids you become parents and stop being lovers. To keep the passion and fire in your relation alive, one thing is must. DATE NIGHT. You must go out with your partner for a nice dinner or movie every week or at least twice a month, without kids of course.
If you need to arrange for babysitter or relatives to take care of kids, do that. In long run, it is only for your children's good. A child thrives in a loving and happy environment only.
Go without each other too:
Also you should know that your partner will never be able to fulfil all your emotional needs, so make sure to go out with your friends, each of you, so you know how to have fun without your partner too.
1:1 time (without distracting attention to kids):
On a daily basis, you must take out few minutes for yourself when you don't need to pay attention to the kids or any other household chores. Make sure you talk about things other than kids and adult responsibilities.
The best way is to put kids in bed and then have sometime to talk to each other (over a nice drink may be :).
Snuggle in your couch or bed and listen to how the other's day was and if you want to share any heart to heart talks. Or just have fun playing or laughing together over a comedy video.
Cultivating a hobby together:
Music, art, dance or any sport or exercise class together even once or twice a week, will help you connect with your partner in an amazing way. You'll naturally have common things to talk about and enjoy and have fun together.
All these little things you do, make huge deposits in your partner's emotional bank and make them feel great about themselves and their relationship with you.
Like any other thing in life, relationships need nurturing, else they become stale and stagnant. Working on your relationship together is a sign of wisdom and maturity, nothing else.