Submitted by ub on Sat, 02/18/2012 - 12:38

We're not suggesting you send your partner a Valentine’s Day cards, or bring candy or flowers each and every day. We're suggesting that it’s easy for couples to develop some habits which may undermine their relationship, especially when children enter the picture. Facts and figures indicate that around two-thirds of couples see the quality of their relationship lower within a few years after a child arrives. Here are some key suggestions to help improve that sought after ambiance.

Never Allow Children To Divide A Couple- You are a team of two – not a triangle. Children are brilliant at dividing parents. They will ask the DaD after MoM has said no way no how. Another dangerous pattern develops when parents treat a child as a confidant, as in, "MoM or DaD doesn’t need to know the following.....”

Playing the Blame Game- Something goes wrong with the child and one half points the finger at the other half Never say she wouldn’t have fallen off that swing, or he wouldn’t have bad grades, if you only ...

Abiding by a Contract No One Signed-Once a child arrives, even the most progressive couples tend to slip into roles. You are the mother, so you are the one who organizes the play dates and health care appointments. You are the father, so you work full time and take out the trash. Resentment increases because one spouse is taking on jobs he or she never agreed to in the first place. A couple can share responsibilities. The key is to have a conversation and agree on how duties are delegated so that no one ends up seething and keeping score on who does more.

Letting Kids Sleep in Your Bed- As tempting as it may be to cuddle with the kids, the bed belongs ONLY to the parents... Period - No ifs, and or buts... End of discussion.

Avoiding Conflict-Too many couples believe that they are not supposed to fight, so they suppress frustration, disappointment, and resentment builds. Communication is key, regardless of the language. Always be respectful, be calm and never ever scream, but let it be known if you’re not happy that one keeps leaving dirty dishes in the sink or another is spending too much time doing...

Becoming Partners- Jobs, kids’ homework, making dinner, coordinating soccer practice drop-offs and dentist appointments, and calling the plumber to fix a leaking faucet … all of this can turn couples into co-managers of a household instead of two people in a romantic relationship. It’s easy to occasionally feel like you’re two ships passing in the night, especially if work schedules are staggered.

Calling Family Trips a Vacation- If the kids come along, they are family trips, not vacations. Many couples forget to ask: What are we doing to nurture the romantic connection that originally brought us together? A married couple should first and foremost be lovers, then best friends, and then co-parenting partners.

Show and tell your partner you appreciate them by making time for special dates and alone time. Also. remember that if your partner is happy, you will also be happy.