When your family grows up

Penny Mansfield, director of One Plus One, explains how to reinforce your connection as a couple


When your family grows up

When your children become older and need you less, it’s not uncommon to feel a vacuum has been created that is difficult to fill, and that as partners you are losing the glue that has bound you together. Often a couple find they have become a parenting alliance, rather than a partnership where there is intimacy.

Here are three top tips to restore intimacy to your relationship:

1. Share with each other

The qualities that make you good parents – working together, not undermining each other, a strong sense of sharing – also make you good partners. It’s vital to rediscover your emotional and physical connection. Acknowledge something has been lost and that you may need to work to get it back.

2. Focus on yourselves

One way of rediscovering intimacy is by focusing on and remembering how you got together. What attracted you to each other? What qualities did you love about each other when you first met?

3. Re-prioritise

Raising children often means putting your needs behind those of others, and it can take time to prioritise your needs as a couple again. Try to reframe your relationship and put energy into treating it as a new courtship. Recognise, respect and celebrate the people you’ve become.

More inspiration:

See 'Your Relationship Upgrade' on LifeLabs

Read Ten lessons from ten years of marriage by Sarah Abell on LifeLabs

Read Letting go of grown-up kids by Diane Priestley on LifeLabs