Nick: Call it a “sixth sense,” but I can tell when my kids’ eyes are on Jen and me. I can practically hear their eyes rolling whenever we touch each other.
When I come home and take a moment to find Jen and embrace her, and I meet one of our kids’ eyes, I’m treated to a facial expression that says “get a room.” Though I should know better than to let it bother me, I have to admit, it’s still a challenge for me. I didn’t grow up in a very touchy-feely home, so my knee-jerk reaction to getting the stare from one of our children is to want to jump back from Jen like we’re two kids dancing too close together in junior high when the grown-ups walk by.
Seriously though, what is the alternative? Everywhere I go, I see couples with kids between them. Sitting in movie theaters and on their couches at home, mom – kids – dad, sending the message: kids first and spouse second. If we let that become the norm, we’re asking for trouble. We worry about our affection being too uncomfortable, but I’d honestly rather our kids tell us to “get a room” than wonder if we are still in love with each other at all.
Jen: I grew up in a home where my parent’s intimacy faded and eventually was gone. Home became an uncomfortable place that was thick with tension. Physical intimacy is important in every intimate relationship. We read an article about how important intimate contact is OUTSIDE of the bedroom entitled, “How Often You Kiss Your Man Reveals How Long Your Relationship Will Last.” One of the points made is that if we are not in touch with each other throughout the day, the resulting distance between us can be difficult to bridge.
So for me, getting the stare from our kids means we are doing something right. When we take the time to share a kiss or touch, we are fueling our relationship and teaching our kids that it is OK to show affection to each other. Our kids are being reassured that we are on solid ground. It becomes a game, like when one of them makes fake loud smooching noises at us as we kiss, or when another tells us, “I’m immune to romance” when he catches us in an embrace. Our obvious romance becomes a part of the fun of our home. We are not embarrassing them or ourselves with our PDAs. We are simply solidifying their trust in the stability of our home.
|No children were harmed in the posing of this photo|