3 Reasons to Show Affection in Marriage
The truth is, we live in a very troubled world! Kids see negative and skewed examples of love, daily. The Dating Divas feel that it is so important to show our kids what a healthy marriage looks like and what it truly means to love someone. Parents can make a positive impact on their children as they show good examples of love and affection in marriage. When kids see their parents happy and in love, they naturally feel more secure and loved themselves.
When we have a healthy marriage and love life, it helps children view love and yes, even sex, as natural. But, they’ll also hopefully develop a sense of respect for these things and not view them as TOTALLY gross or inappropriate.
Studies have shown that showing love to your spouse in front of your kids has 3 obvious benefits!
- Children in general are happier when they are raised in homes where affection is shown appropriately.
- Being affectionate toward your spouse is a positive example that shows children what healthy relationships look like.
- Parents are happier, too! Having a loving marriage shows kids that marriage is fun and exciting, and that having a happy marriage is something to strive for.
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When I think about raising my kids, I want them to have a strong foundation and know that they are loved! We live in a world where the media often presents love in a very sexual way. We want our kids to know what love really is. One expert (K Michelle Tapia) says, “Kids need good role models, because it is through modeling that we learn how to think and how to behave.” As parents, we would much rather they learn good habits from the home.
I also want them to know, without a doubt, that I love their daddy! I’ve made it a goal for myself to be a role model for my kids and show what a healthy marriage looks like. When kids see their parents together and happy, they will be happy, too! “Expressing affection to your partner can help your child feel secure and stable,” says psychologist Susan Orenstein. “They can see their parents taking care of themselves so that frees them up to enjoy being a child. They don’t have to worry about Mommy and Daddy because they take care of each other.”
Kids respond emotionally to what is going on around them. “When a child grows up in a home that is loving in many ways – through physical touch, kind words and deeds, thoughtful acts of service for one another – they will naturally be drawn to a life partner who holds these qualities,” says Cara Day. When children see positive interactions, it gives them the confidence to know that loving relationships are real and that they can find someone who treats them well!
We wanted to share a few experiences that the Divas had growing up! All of these examples show the positive impact that their parents had on them:
- From Diva Gabby – Growing up, my dad always said things like “Kids, isn’t your mom such a hottie?” or “Dang, your mom is an AWESOME cook, I hope you know how lucky you are to eat in a gourmet kitchen!” We thought it was annoying and weird (especially as teenagers!) but when I got to college and started seriously dating, I always remembered that I wanted some one who would treat me that way. And I want my kids to feel the same, so I want to try to “talk up” my husband in front of them!
- From Diva Becca – My parents were SUPER good about this one. Funny story… when I was 17, my date was walking me home to our back door (it was a glass sliding door) and we saw my parents making out on the couch. Ha ha ha. We came back a little early and they weren’t expecting us. I was SO embarrassed. But you know what, I remember thinking “I hope some day when my kids are old enough to date, that I’m still crazy in love like that.” I’ve always known that my parents were crazy about each other and I have never questioned their relationship or love for each other. It was just a given in my mind that they would always be together. To me, affection has always been normal and what happy husbands and wives do.
- From Diva Niki – I SO remember one thing specifically when I was little – that my parents would always hold hands in the car. I always thought that it was so cute!! I remember thinking to myself that I wanted to be married to someone that would always hold my hand! I think that the world throws so many bad examples of love onto our kids that it is important to show them a strong example!!
- From Diva Shanelle – We have ALWAYS said “I love you” to every member of our family. This verbal affection has kept us close. We say “love you” on the phone, or when we say goodnight and goodbye. We might say “I love you” to each member of the family 5 times a day! It doesn’t cheapen it – it keeps us close and has led us to be very open about love in our personal marriages.
I love these experiences! They make me want to strengthen my marriage and be a good example to my kids so that they have similar feelings when they grow up!
My husband, Scott, does such a good job at showing my kids that he loves me! Just the other day, he came home from work and wrote an invitation on a little sticky note and put it on a bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. He told the kids that he was asking me on a date tonight and he was hoping one of them would help him by delivering the treat and note to me! Of course, my daughter volunteered and brought it upstairs. When I read the note, she was smiling and asked with wide eyes… “So, are you going on a date with daddy!?”
Of course I told her yes!! I opened the bag and pulled out one of the Reese’s cups and wrote a big YES on it with permanent marker and asked her to take my answer back to Dad! She watched me get ready for date night and then told me that she would go right to sleep so that we could enjoy our date night. I love that we’re showing our kids that we’re still excited to spend time with each other and that our marriage is a priority!
Now when you’re being all lovey-dovey in front of the kids, remember to keep it appropriate. We’re talking G-rated here!! Show your kids that your spouse is important to you and your marriage is a priority. There are so many little things that you can do daily to show good examples of love to your sweetheart!
Here are some great examples of things that parents can do to show affection in front of the kids:
- Greet your partner each day with a kiss.
- Make eye contact with your partner when he or she is talking to you.
- Hold hands.
- Take care of them when they are sick.
- Be playful – laugh together and be silly.
- Say “I love you!”.
- Surprise your spouse in front of the kids.
- Take the time to leave love notes – sometimes where the kids can see.
- Compliment your spouse.
- Cuddle while watching a movie as a family.
- Talk up your spouse.
- Have a regular date night – make a big deal out of getting ready for date night.
- Slow dance together in the living room.
- Ask for a hug when you’re sad.
- Give your spouse a back or shoulder rub.
- Play with their hair.
- Ask the kids to help you with a surprise for your spouse.
- Tell your kids “I sure love your Mom!” or “I sure love your Dad!” .
- Give piggy-back rides.
- Have tickle fights.
- Go out of your way to serve each other.
- Prepare their favorite meal.
Aren’t most of these things so simple? Just think how doing some of these things on a regular basis would help your love grow for your spouse, as well as show your kids that you are absolutely in love and cherish your relationship! I’m sure there are even more things that you can add to this list.
It is so important to be real, true, and honest in your relationship. Your kids may see you argue sometimes. But disagreements are a healthy part of marriage, too. Just make sure you let them see you work through it and show love and kindness as you move forward. Show your kids that happy marriages can last forever!
Here are a few more articles that I absolutely love about showing affection in marriage and to your kids. If you liked this article, you will definitely enjoy these: 10 Things to Teach Your Children about Marriage, Keeping the Romance Alive After Kids and 10 Reasons Why You Should Spoil Your Spouse – Not Your Kids.