Problems in the marriage relationship after the birth of twins or multiples often arise because of a lack of time and energy. There is just so much to do and too few people to do it. After a long day with multiple babies, you may not have energy left to devote to your marriage. The only thing you can think about is how much you want to sleep. This lack of energy can have an effect on your emotional as well as your sexual relationship. One of the best ways to deal with this stressful time in your marriage is to work together as a team and to communicate regularly. The following suggestions will help you to strengthen your relationship as you juggle the many responsibilities that twins or multiples bring into your life.
1. Go on family walks
This is a great activity with twins or multiples. It keeps the children occupied while you and your spouse enjoy each other’s company. Additionally, most babies love to be pushed in their stroller and will often fall asleep during these walks. It is a great way to get a tired child to take a nap!
2. Ask what your spouse wants done most and do just that one thing
If your husband really appreciates clean clothes in his drawers, focus on the laundry and don’t worry about other housework. If your wife appreciates it when you keep the driveway clear of snow in the winter or mow the lawn in the summer, make sure you do that for her. It will let your spouse know that taking care of his or her needs is important to you, too.
3. Go on short dates during nap time
Go on a quick date at a nearby restaurant for lunch while the babies are napping. Even an hour away from the children alone with your spouse can help you feel refreshed and rejuvenated. Consider hiring two sitters so that you can feel relaxed and secure while you are gone.
4. Let your spouse know how overwhelmed you are
Dealing with several babies can be overwhelming and intimidating. Regardless of whether you are home all day or are the one who has to provide for the family, there will be times when you feel overworked and discouraged. If you both understand the challenges that you each face it will be easier to be patient and supportive.
5. Realize that sexual relations will improve as your babies get older
Be patient. Caring for infants taxes your energy reserves and can quickly kill any desire for intimacy. If you both understand that things will eventually improve, it will be much easier to be patient until they do.
While this may seem impossible, there are ways to be together when you are feeling rested and can get the most out of your time together. Find a skilled and experienced babysitter (or two) that you trust to care for your children and utilize them on a regular basis. Make an effort to get the babies on a sleep schedule as soon as possible so that you will have some time in the evenings that is consistently “baby free.” Instead of using this time to get more work done, spend it relaxing with your spouse. It will be worth it.
A. Lynn Scoresby, founder and president of My Family Track , First Answers , and Achievement Synchrony , and has been a marriage and family psychologist for more than 35 years. He has published more than 20 books and training programs.