Lately, I have encountered lots of married couples whose relationship is going through stress and strain. The common denominator between these couples is that they are currently raising teenagers.
”We’ve never argued this much in our entire marriage,” one spouse told me. “I’m not sure if we’re going to make it through.”
There is no doubt in my mind that the period between when your child turns 13 (sometimes a year or two earlier) and early to mid-twenties is the hardest time in your marriage.
And why is that? Because your children are creating a major distraction, which by the way, they are supposed to create. They are going through a rebirthing period in their lives and their job is to consistently and doggedly push the limits. You want them to do that – it’s normal.
What isn’t normal is for you and your spouse to get hooked into their ups and downs in life to the point that you lose yourself and your marriage. What your children want from you is for you to stand on the sidelines and be vigilent with the limits you set. The key is to set them with the least amount of emotion possible, which allows you to keep and protect the energy you need to nurture your marriage.
Although your teenager needs your attention and limits, keep your eye on the ball – your marriage – at all times.