For this next installment in our Ask a Dad series, we presented the question:
What can dads do to improve their relationship with their spouse/partner?
Overwhelmingly, the answer we received was this: You have to make the effort to spend quality time together. But there were many other great responses as well.
1. “Make time for one another. Remember that you had a life together, in most cases, before the kids started hogging the middle of the bed and spilling Cheerios on the floor.” -Colin Work
2. “Help with the diapers, cooking, chores. Share as much of the work as you can.” -Andrew
3. “I’m a new dad, so to help out I make sure things are cleaned up, I make dinner, and any other side projects that need doing. I also make sure to make time for play.”
4. “I learned that it isn’t the diaper changing, nor the bottle feeding… it’s the lil’ things. On her days off, let her sleep in, take her and the kids out to breakfast etc. Spending family time, for us, has been the key factor of a strong relationship.” – Joey
5. “Everyone talks about how it’s so expensive to get a babysitter these days so you can go out and have a night alone together, but you should invest that time and money if you can. Your relationship is worth it, and a divorce is much more expensive later on.” -Nathan
6. “I don’t think date night is enough. I think “date night” is meant to produce sex. What partners are really trying to find is shared goals. Take up dancing and try to compete for example; it does not have to be a big deal. Something that belongs to just the two of you. Looking down the road, working toward the same goal is productive.” -Hardt
7. “Talk to each other. Talk about politics, talk about the weather, talk about work, just keep active conversation (that doesn’t involve your kids) part of your day.”
8. “Communication is key. Learn her love language.” -Keith
9. “Communication… AND take her on vacation. A lot.” -Richard
10. “Listen to your partner when she speaks to you, hold her opinion in the highest regard. Remember, you’re equals, nobody is better than anybody else. Keep in mind that at the end of the day we all make mistakes, but learning from them will make your relationship better if you apply what you’ve learned.” -Don
11. “Learn to listen to understand, not to respond.” -Matt T
12. “Support her. In everything she does and works for, be her rock. Show her that you care about what she has going on in her life and acknowledge her accomplishments and how hard she’s working.” -Chris
13. “Personally, being random is key for my relationship. One day we might take a family trip to the aquarium and then another day we might just lay on the couch and rent a few good movies and share some laughs. It’s never about the money, but sometimes she deserves a mini shopping spree or just some free time to herself. Often dads are the ones that get to leave the house to go to work, and moms don’t always get to enjoy time away from the baby.” -Rob
14. “First: Devote time to her; show her that she is the one you’ve always dreamed of and show her that she’s wanted. And never stop dating her. Second: Instead of arguing, sit down and talk – you are a team and need to do things together. Lastly, don’t place friends or other objects/activities before her. Otherwise, she could feel abandoned and you could lose it all in the blink of an eye.” -Dustin Kast
15. “Remind your spouse that you are there for her and with her; she’ll be more understanding of your shortcomings, and more patient with you as a father, if you don’t forget to show her that you are also her husband.” -Dana
16. “Admit it when you’re wrong, and even if you don’t think you are, be empathetic of your spouse’s feelings. Irrational or not, they’re genuine and should never be mocked or minimized.” -Nick
17. “There will be good days and bad days, but try to enjoy the company of your family every day. You also have to find time for yourself.”
18. “Go above and beyond to make your spouse feel appreciated. And this includes making the extra effort to listen in all conversations, even the heated ones. It really does make the difference. Showing appreciation is reciprocal too! Watch as you get the same in return.” -Jared G.