How to keep the marriage strong after becoming parents

As tomorrow is St Valentine’s, I wanted to talk about the marriage after having children. It is not a secret that couple’s relationship changes after a child is born. What can we do to keep the marriage strong?

 I spoke to Rivka Mennesson ( MBacp, MA, PGDip), an experienced psycho-dynamic psychotherapist with 10 years experience both in private and public sectors. You can listen to her top 5 tips on how to keep relationship between husband and wife healthy after the child is born in the video below.

For those of us with older children, Rivka has also suggested a wonderful book by John Gottman, The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work. John Gottman is a founder of Gottman Institute ( that provides a research-based approach to relationship.

The book is a very practical guide (based on over 45 yrs of research) on what works to keep the marriage healthy. John Gottman shares seven principles, which I summarised below.

Principle 1. Enhance your love map: emotionally intelligent couples are intimately familiar which each others’ world (likes/dislikes, fears/dream, etc).

Principle 2. Nature your fondness and admiration: make an effort to notice the things you love about your partner and mention it to him/her.

Principle 3. Turn towards each other instead of away: make an effort to listen and respond to what your spouse says and find joy in talking to each other.

Principle 4. Let your partner influence you: share power and decision making.

Principle 5. Solve your solvable problems: compromise and process any grievances so they don’t linger.

Principle 6. Overcome gridlocks: all couples have some irreconcilable differences, learn how to manage those.

Principle 7: Create shared values and goals

7 principles of happy marriage.jpg

The book has exercises you can do together with your partner during you next date night for fun. You will see how you are doing as a couple as well as get some ideas on how to improve your marriage.

Happy St. Valentine’s Day!

PS Rivka Mennesson will be coming to 3HC for a free talk on March 28 to teach anger management techniques any parent will find useful! RSVP

anya abdulakh