I often think of the times that I saw my Mom and Dad being affectionate and as a kid it grossed me out. As an adult I am thankful for that example they showed in front of me and my sister. These days when showing my wife some type of affection, I will hear my kids say “ewwwww stop it!!” or some other comment along those lines. I don’t let it stop me nor does my wife. We both agree not only is it important to show affection in front of our kids, but it is important to know that as we get older affection is still part of our marriage.
So I did some research. I will not bore you with all kinds of stats and quotes like I did on the porn addiction blog entry I did. The research simply states some facts about happy marriages with kids. I think every married couple with kids should remember some of these. So I am going to list a two or three that I think are important.
Kids from divorced parents do not fare well in long term relationships with the opposite sex as they get older. The trend is in out of relationships because these kids have never seen a great example of how to be married. Divorce has a very profound effect on children. It really disgusts me when I hear people say that kids are resilient. This is so not true no matter their age. Kids remember things. They remember the fights; they remember everything about their mom and dad not getting along. This alone has a lasting negative affect that could quite possibly destroy every relationship that they are in. Divorce not only affects the relationship and all aspects associated with, but it also affects kids in so many other areas that I could write a blog about these areas alone. But use google like I did and you can see for yourself. Simple type “How does divorce affect kids” or something like that. A wealth of information will come up.
Secondly it is ever so important to be affectionate with your spouse in front of your kids. I am not saying have a make out session. In my house it is very common for me to approach my wife from behind and hug her. It is also very common for me to kiss my wife here and there. If you were in my house you might even hear plenty of I love you’s said not only by me, but by my kids too. It is just something we do. When sitting on the couch watching TV, my wife is usually right next to me, unless the kids are watching a movie with us, in which case they are cuddled next to us on the couch. I like to hold my wife’s hand when walking if at all possible. Kids want to feel secure about their family life. Affection one of many good ways to show make them feel secure.
Third… I believe that it is important to help your spouse with chores around the house. Cleaning the house, keeping it picked up, or doing some type of house work sets the example that it is important to help your spouse. Unless I am sick, I am usually helping my wife with the big and small stuff. This shows your kids that it is important to do these things as a unit.
Fourth let us not forget our manners. Showing good manners towards your spouse in front of the kids is important. I think it is important to show good manners towards your spouse. I like to be gentlemen as much as I can. There is always room for improvement for me in this area. I don’t let my wife mow the yard. I don’t let her do things that are my responsibilities as the husband to do.
I think it is important to always be thoughtful in everything you do and say towards your spouse. This is a good rule whether in front of your kids or not. But when your kids see it, they will notice how it makes a person happy. They will do this in future relationships and towards others as well. I try to do something at least once a week to let my wife know how much I appreciate her with some type of thoughtful gesture. My kids have asked me when they notice why I do these things. I simply tell them that your mom is my wife, my girlfriend, and my best friend and I want to always make sure she is happy.
As with parenting, being married is not for the weak of heart. Marriage constantly takes work whether in front of your kids or behind the scenes. But remember if you have kids, everything you do and say has a lasting profound effect on them. If you want your kids to have a happy lasting marriage someday, then start showing them how to do it now. If you want your kids to feel secure in their family, start doing it now. Remember when you got married you promised each other that you would make sure they were always happy. When you have kids, that promise extends to them as well.