This past weekend it was my fourth anniversary. Steve and I had two weddings and we celebrate them both because both occasions were so meaningful to our lives and it's another excuse to eat a beautiful meal (I even managed to make a chai cake while he was out with the kids for a little while). I also think it is important, at least for us, to have these moments to reflect on our lives in one another's orbit especially after having children because there are some days when we get to spend about five minutes together total all day and we use it to figure out the logistics of the next day. The Problem Sometimes I feel like I won the lottery when I married Steve. He is a kind, fun, intelligent and supportive partner and an engaged loving parent too. If you don't know much about him, check this out and you will get a sense of him. Our relationship works but not just because Steve is amazing. I think the reason that some relationships flourish when children are added to the mix and others seems to shrivel has a lot to do with the learned parameters we have of what a relationship "should" look like and the checklist of expectations we hold over our partners. From "Love Langauge's" to Couples Retreat's, the search for connection with your partner in the midst of nurturing your career and raising children can be a challenging one (often made more challenging if you feel embarrassed about your relationship trouble). If this resonates, it might be because you were taught directly or indirectly that what your partner does has an impact on you. You probably believe, like many do, that your spouse should do things they know you will make you happy and never do anything that might upset you. The Manual In Life Coaching, we call this The Manual.