Keeping Marriage Strong

How do you keep your marriage strong with kids in the house?

Our Daddy MD Guide’s reply: In my younger years, I used to reply that I am the most charming man around, and that’s the reason why our marriage has lasted, but I said it as a joke. As I get older, I’m starting to realize that my wife puts up with a lot of stuff from me. It’s easier to stay married a long time when you meet at a younger age, when you are not set in your ways, and the husband and wife are still adaptable. Marriage is a roller-coaster ride, and there are ups and downs. Hang in there during the down years, and it will be worth it.

Having children is a huge stressor in a marriage. I have seen a lot of marriages fall apart with young children because no one has ever imagined how hard it is physically and psychologically on both the mother and father. Sleep deprivation, financial stresses, and facing the unknown are huge stressors. I have been trained in surgery, and I know what to expect in the operating room, the potential pitfalls, and ways to get out of trouble. No one has shown young parents how to make a family work. We have never had a role model, or we don’t remember our childhood when we were toddlers. The first two to three years of parenthood is tough, but it gets better as the kids get older.

Carson D. Liu, MD, a dad of nine- and five-year-old daughters and the founder of SkyLex Advanced Surgical, Incorporated, a bariatric surgery clinic in California

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Our Daddy MD Guide’s reply: With marriage, my life is only enriched. We do make a strong effort to ensure quality time together. To do that, we try to have a date night once a week where we get a baby sitter and go out together. We also have a date night with the kids (dinner/ ice cream with the kids). Lastly, we always keep a day on the weekend that is dedicated just to family and not chores, such as shopping etc. We can’t stay the same, but we can evolve and still have a great time.

David N. Maine, MD, a father of a five-year-old son and a two-year-old daughter and the director for the Center for Interventional Pain Medicine at Mercy Medical Center, in Baltimore, MD

Q&A by Wyatt Myers