3 things married couples shouldn't stop doing
MANILA – There are many changes involved in getting married, but there are at least three things that should not change even a couple already has kids, a relationship and parenting expert said.
In an interview on ANC’s “Headstart” on Thursday, Maribel Sison-Dionisio said the romance tends to “get lost” in a marriage when these three things are overlooked: weekly dates, sex and chat sessions.
According to Sison-Dionisio, married couples should always make it a point to spend some quality time together – without the kids or anyone else.
“Many couples stop going out as a couple, they go out as a family. They don’t date, so the romance is already lost,” she said.
Sison-Dionisio stressed the importance of having a date at least once a week (TV and movie dates not included) and a thrice-weekly chat about anything under the sun, saying that these will help the couple “remain the best of friends.”
“When you are good friends to each other, you know each other and it’s easier to adjust [when there are issues],” she said.
Sex is just as crucial, stressed Sison-Dionisio. “Sex kasi has a wide spectrum. It can be holding hands, embracing, kissing. So we don’t want the children in the room at least three times a week… so you can cuddle up with each other.”
“It’s important to have that kind of desire for each other and admiration, which you get if you are friends to each other,” she added.
During special occasions such as anniversaries, Sison-Dionisio advised couples to spend at least a weekend off without the kids.
“Please leave your kids with lolo or lola. Take care of your spouse,” said the relationship expert, who has been married for 20 years.
Meanwhile, Sison-Dionisio shared some of the warning signs that there is a problem in the marriage.
One of them, she said, is when a person no longer wants to be alone with his or her partner.
“You don’t want to go out with this person alone, even if it’s just for coffee. You always want to bring your kid or your friend. You don’t want to hang out with your spouse,” she said.
“Are you holding hands every day? Do you even kiss on the lips?”
Another sign, she added, is “when you don’t know what to talk about.”
Sison-Dionisio also noted how having “too much trust” may be dangerous for a married couple.
“Some say, ‘I trust my spouse.’ Yes, it’s good you trust your spouse, but if you don’t even know his officemates, you haven’t even been to his office or you haven’t been to her office, then you should ask yourself, ‘how come we’re living separate lives?’ It’s like a termite has entered your marriage and you don’t realize it has eaten up a huge part of your marriage,” she said.
Still, Sison-Dionisio assured that problematic marriages may still be fixed, but it requires maturity from both partners.
“They can [save the marriage] if they’re both mature… I’ve seen marriages that are really on the way out but both have to decide to want it,” she said.
She said, however, that there are cases when it is better for both parties to end the marriage.
“There are some cases when I’m the first one to say, ‘tama na, you’re destroying each other.’ And they’re destroying the kids along the way. That’s why I’m avoiding repairing marriages. I’m always on the preventive. I go for maintenance,” she said.
Asked about her “preventive measures,” Sison-Dionisio stressed the importance of being educated about relationships as early as possible.