Getting mired down in details
Couscous or quinoa for dinner? House of Cards or True Detective? Relationships are all about negotiation, but hashing out every tiny decision can leave little room in your lives for conversations that count, warns Gilda Carle, Ph.D., a relationship expert and author of Don’t Bet On the Prince. An idea: Use a couples app like Avocado, which lets you keep running lists, chats, and calendars that each of you can check during downtime, so you don’t feel like you have to make a million decisions the second you finally reconnect in person.
Putting the kids first
Every so often, a public figure sparks a major outcry when she admits to prioritizing her spouse above her kids, but that’s usually because people are confused as to what exactly doing so entails. “It doesn’t mean that your kids are second-class citizens,” says Marcia Naomi Berger, a marriage and family therapist in San Rafael, CA, and author of Marriage Meetings For Lasting Love. “It’s about recognizing a separate, vital connection between you and your spouse that is different than the one you have with the kids.” Date nights (and sex dates) can keep your bond strong, but it’s equally important to present a united front about everyday parenting decisions. “When your kids know you’re a unit, they won’t play you off of each other, which can create friction.”