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    7 Ways to Put Your Marriage First

    The child-centered life is hard on a couple and not so great for the kids. Learn how focusing on your relationship can not only yield a healthier marriage but also happier children.

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    I'm happy to report that these ideas are doable. I've put a bunch of them into practice. When Dave and I are working, we e-mail each other little notes to say "I (heart) you" or to share funny stuff (pictures from awkwardfamilyphotos.com always make us laugh). We've been cooking Sunday brunch together while the kids play on the computer, and every night, we talk about the day's highs and lows. When we go out to dinner, we discuss the kids during the car ride there, and that's it. Oh, and said kids now sleep in their own rooms, on blow-up beds (Dave's genius idea; they think they're camping out). And we make it a point to turn in a little earlier.

    Since we've been increasingly focusing on each other, the kids have been doing more things on their own; removing the spotlight has made them less clingy. As for Dave, I feel closer to him than I have in years. The anniversary of the day we met is coming up — and I'll remember it.

    Ellen Seidman writes the award-winning blog Love That Max.

    Originally published May 20, 2010

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