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Sexuality Education Resource Centre

Make time for your marriage

Hello Ate Anna;

Our family has grown fast! My wife and I have three kids, ages three to eight. We love having a large family but my wife and I are so busy it feels we never get to talk to each other. What can we do?

A Reader

Dear Reader:

Kids bring a lot of joy but also a lot of challenges to families. It is always a struggle to balance parenting, jobs, personal time, the larger family and our marital relationship. Many families with children struggle with this.

Families are complex, especially large ones. It is important to recognize there are a number of different relationships within families, each of which need care and attention. Parent-child relationships are very important to develop – children’s relationships with their siblings are, as well. Parent relationships are just as essential to develop, unfortunately this relationship is often given less priority, as children’s needs often feel more urgent.

I encourage you to put as much time and energy into developing your marital relationship as you do into parenting. This is not easy, but it is essential. The stronger the marital relationship is, the stronger the family will be. Your children will see how important it is to prioritize all the family relationships. And, perhaps more important, adults have needs also. The family will be stronger if marital partners feel supported and connected to each other.

Try to schedule adult-only time with you and your partner. Your kids are young so this can be a struggle, but there are things you can do. If you have access to someone who is available to babysit, use that resource while you and your wife leave the house together, doing things you both enjoy. Take time to communicate about each of your feelings and personal lives, and not about the family or family problems.

If a babysitter is not available, or will not work for your family, try to schedule time together in the house while the children are sleeping. Early bedtimes can be healthy for your children’s sleep schedule, as well as for your marital relationship. After bedtime can be a good opportunity for you and your wife to connect with each other and talk.

Physical intimacy can also be an important part of a relationship. Intimacy can be expressed in ways like massages or cuddling, and touch like this can be very helpful to connecting with your partner. Kissing and other types of touch often bring couples together in meaningful ways. Birth control supplies are available if you want to avoid pregnancy. You can find more information on this on our website at

I wish much happiness for your family.

Ate Anna

Ate Anna welcomes your questions and comments. Please write to: Ate Anna, Suite 200-226 Osborne St. N., Winnipeg, MB R3C 1V4 or e-mail, Visit us at for reliable information and links on the subject of sexuality.

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