The Most Important Ways to Be Partners in Marriage and Parenting

Relationships are hard. Really hard. They take a lot of work. One way to make them easier, is to be partners in marriage and parenting. You and your significant other need to work together in order to make your relationship work. Here are some of the most important things I have learned about being partners in marriage and parenting.

Teamwork, Teamwork, Teamwork

You and your significant other need to work as a team on everything. Whether its chores, parenting, shopping, or whatever else. That doesn’t necessarily mean you must do everything together. However, you should always be prepared to help each other out where needed.

I know a lot of couples who get hung up on the idea of “my chores” versus “their chores” and honestly it never ends well. As a couple, you have one ultimate goal: Get everything done. So if you normally clean the house, they should be willing to pitch in and help if you fall behind. If your partner’s normal job is to care for the lawn and garden, you should be willing to lend a hand when needed.

Pick You Battles

For the love of everything, learn to pick your battles. Seriously. Your spouse will drive you nuts with little things pretty much daily. Its inevitable. My husband is great, but I still want to smother him with a pillow when I find a wet towel laying on my bed.

Whenever you find yourself frustrated, ask yourself the following questions:

Is this worth an argument?

Will this matter a year from now?

Will I even remember this a week from now?

If the answer to any of these questions is “No”, its probably not worth the fight.

Communicate

Communication is key in all relationships, romantic or platonic. When you have promised your future to someone, you need to be willing to communicate. Talk. Talk about everything. Talk about work, or your day. Talk about the latest celebrity scandal. Discuss politics, religion, and science. Chat about your families. Absolutely have conversations about how you feel, and any issues that arise.

Communication isn’t just about talking through problems. Communication should be a daily activity. If the only time you are really talking to your partner is when something is wrong, they aren’t going to be very receptive. Make sure your communications are positive as well as negative.

Enjoy Time Together

Make time for each other. You are partners in marriage and parenting, but you are still people. Find time to spend together. If you can manage, have regular date nights together. Start an activity that you both enjoy.

Sometimes as parents, life gets too hectic to get out without the kids much. You can still find ways to enjoy each other. For example, maybe find a show you both enjoy, and once a week, sit down together after bedtime and watch it. Or have weekly movie nights after the little monsters go to bed.

Whatever it is that you do, find a way to remember who you are as people. Remind yourselves why you are great as a couple. Remind each other why you fell in love in the first place.

Recognize Each Other’s Strengths

Always make sure to recognize each other’s strengths. A huge problem in relationships is that people don’t feel appreciated. Make sure you acknowledge what your partner does well, and do it in a way that they appreciate.

Some people want flowers or gifts to recognize their hard work in the relationship. Some are just happy with a passing compliment on dinner or a chore they completed. Find what works for you, and make a point to do it often.

Admit When You’re Wrong

We are all human. Nobody is right all the time (except me…kidding!) As much as it sucks to be wrong, to lose the argument, to forfeit the fight, it is an evil necessity when you are partners in marriage and parenting.

If you are wrong, suck it up and admit it. Swallow your pride. Its one of the hardest things I have had to learn in my own life and marriage. Honestly though, doing this has made a huge difference. It has also made my husband more open to admitting when he is wrong. We rarely even bicker, but when we do, it now ends quickly.

Partner on Big Decisions

Another issue I see in a lot of relationships is that one person makes decisions without consulting the other. I am not talking about what to make for dinner. I am talking buying a car, booking a vacation, making a large purchase, etc.

When you are partners in marriage and parenting, you need to work together to make big decisions. It cant be one sided. One person cant make all the choices while the other just rolls with it. You both need to be on the same page. Especially with parenting and financial decisions.

Work Together Financially

When you are partners in marriage and parenting, you must work together financially. It seems like so many people have a large amount of debt. I see so many women or men seeking help with getting out of debt, learning to budget, and even save money. However, the biggest obstacle is when both people in the relationship aren’t on the same page.

Often, one person in the marriage overspends. Sometimes it’s the wife, and sometimes it’s the husband. Its crucial that you are both aware of your financial situation. You both need to be familiar with your income, your debt, your expenses, and your spending. Come up with a plan together, and hold each other accountable.

Have Each Other’s Backs

Being partners in marriage and parenting requires you and your significant other to support each other. Find a way to be there for your partner. Whether it has to do with career decisions, family issues, or parenting your children, you need to have each other’s back.

With parenting, if one parent puts their foot down on an issue, the other parent must be on board and back them up. Both must follow through with consequences or rules. This will not only make you stronger as husband and wife, but as parents as well.

Agree to Disagree

You do not have to agree with your significant other on every single thing.

You need to have similar values, and that will lead to agreeing on most of the important issues. But seriously, if you have different taste in music, or movies, that’s perfectly okay. You don’t need to have identical taste in everything.

Make Room for Yourself

Some couples spend every second together, and if that works for you, great! However, I find that most people need to have time for themselves. Whether it is an occasional hour to shop or even take a shower uninterrupted, or a rare night out, it is necessary for their sanity.

Learn to make time for yourself, and for your partner to have time to themselves. You are partners in marriage and parenting, and that is a lot of responsibility. Everyone needs some “me” time.

Appreciate What You Have

Take a step back to really enjoy what you have. This is so important. The grass is always greener, right? Especially in this world full of social media, it is easy to look at others and covet what they have. That is detrimental to relationships. Don’t do it, or if you do, make sure to take a good, hard look at what you have.

I do this when I feel overwhelmed. Sometimes, life gets hectic or just monotonous. I find it helps to take a moment to really look at my life. I have an awesome husband. He truly is my partner in marriage and parenting. We have the smartest, happiest, most adorable son. We have a roof over our heads. We are surrounded by loving family and friends. This is what I have always wished for. My life may not be perfect, but its pretty close. For that, I am thankful.

Conclusion

To be partners in marriage and parenting, you need to work together, support each other, and communicate. You need to learn to give credit where its due, and appreciate what you have. Pair on decisions, and financial planning. Learn to let things go, and agree to disagree sometimes. If both you and your significant other can focus on these things, I can almost guarantee your relationship will be stronger in the long run.

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About Lisa Wingerter

I'm a 32 year old, married, stay-at-home-mom from the Metro Detroit area

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36 Comments on “The Most Important Ways to Be Partners in Marriage and Parenting”

  1. This is a great post and you give really good advice. Relationships are hard sometimes. I’m going to save this and get my other half to read it later

  2. This is great advice. I know a lot of these trip me an my husband up, especially the financial one. Also I’ve learned to partner with my husband on big decisions. I am used to taking the lead and working independently and that was one that took me a long time to bend on. Ik still working on it but I’m way better than I was when we first got married.

  3. Great advice! I have been married for 7 years and been together 11 and we definitely went through rough patches but now we are at a point where we appreciate each other and have learned to communicate. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I’m not going to lie when I say my poor husband ends up picking up my slack more often than I’d like to admit. However, we have been renovating our whole house and I have been right there with him installing bathtubs and hanging drywall. We both help where we can.

  4. I love every word of this post. Thanks for reminding me the ONE goal is to “get everything done”, not his vs hers chores. I think everyone wants more help and it’s easy to find a dividing line but that’s not what it’s all about!

    1. I used to be this way. I had my chores, and my significant other had theirs. It wasn’t until I met my husband that I realized it works so much better when you work as a team toward the same goal.

  5. The reminder to take a good look at what you have when you are feeling jealous of what you see on social media is a great one! People tend to only post the positive aspects of their life, so our own can look pretty real in comparison. Thanks for sharing!!

  6. I am not married but I feel like this blog is so helpful to single moms dating as well so we will know how to work toward a successful marriage.

  7. What a wonderful post with so many important things to remember. Communication is key. Sometimes life gets so busy we don’t get the time to just sit down and talk. That’s why planning time for the two of you is important too.

    1. Absolutely! My husband and I always find the time. Even if its just dropping our son off at Grandma’s house so we can run some quick errands together. We always make it a fun adventure.

  8. This is a wonderful post! Your points are excellent and well thought out. My husband and I have had to deal with financial differences and it was a hard road, but we’re finally coming to terms with each other. I think so many newlyweds go into marriage with exaggerated expectations and these points would really help get things off to a good and realistic beginning!

    1. Thank you so much for those kind words! I truly appreciate them. I agree that so many young couples enter marriage with unrealistic expectations. For us, the honeymoon was over way before we were ever married. We had only been dating a handful of months when my then-boyfriend got custody of his 8 yr old nephew. So I ended up moving in to help give the boy some stability and help my husband handle him. It really made us kind of get our priorities in check quickly and we had to get on the same page pretty quickly as well

  9. This is an amazing list! I have been married for almost 18 years. It is a balancing act for sure. We are still learning to agree to disagree after all this time.

  10. These are all great tips. After 5 years of marriage I’m happy to say my husband and I still practice all these tips and put God first in our marriage. Celebrating an anniversary end of the month too. Time flies when you are having fun. 🙂

  11. All of these are great tips, especially choosing your battles! My husband and I do so many little things that annoy each other… I can’t keep the inside of my vehicle clean for anything and he doesn’t seem to know where the laundry basket is… 😉 But they are such small things to get worked up over. It’s not worth a fight.

    1. I see so many of my friends who lose their mind over every single little thing and then can’t understand why they’re always fighting and miserable. I used to be that person. And I feel you on the laundry basket thing! Haha

  12. I think one of the toughest ones is admitting when you’re wrong! That is hard for anyone to do anytime, but SO important in a marriage. Thanks for sharing, marriage is one of the most important relationships and it’s imperative to keep it healthy!

  13. Wwwwwoooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwww, Lisa! You’ve mentioned it all. One question, though, do you have some training in psychology? It sounds like you do….you nailed the points down, with the utmost clarity. Thanks and a big hi 5 to that.

    1. I don’t have a degree in psychology but I studied it quite a bit in school. I also have a lot of bad failed relationships and one really awesome one. This is based pretty much on my experience and learning the hard way about most of these points. Thanks for the support!

  14. These are such great and practical tips!! Marriage is so hard and it’s even more difficult after having kids. I agree it’s so important to be a team!

  15. I can’t even pick which topic is my favorite because they are all so important. My husband just wrote a post on our blog about teamwork and why it is so important to us too. His grandma always told us that you can’t just love each other but you have to like each other too. Best advice.

  16. Yes! Such a great list of ways to strengthen your marriage instead of always fighting against each other. Working together towards a common goal helps so much more than keeping track of who has to do what. And if you have kids, get them involved too. Everyone can work together to keep the house decent or gather the firewood, or whatever else the goal is at the time. This attitude of being on the same team has helped my husband and I enjoy 15 years of marriage!

    And the reminder to be on the same page financially- that’s huge because money problems are really a big deal.

    All around wonderful list, thank you for sharing!

  17. I love how you have addressed all the keys factors of a happy marriage after kids. It does get hard when you start the parenting stage. It definitely brings out the good and bad of you sometimes and tests your strengths and weaknesses. But like you’e mentioned, its important to work as a team and encourage each other. This truly does make a difference. A lovely post here, Lisa !

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