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Creating Romance: A Shared Vision

QUESTION: I'd like to share our solutions for finding couples' time. When our family was young, as well as once our children became teenagers, my husband and I had many responsibilities and little privacy. Yet, these years were when we managed having the most exciting and fun relationship! My husband and I soon realized that we had to make or steal time together and enjoy every minute of it or we would drift apart. Once we had our minds around that concept, we discussed it and acted upon it. We grabbed a quick hug while the kids were busy playing, held hands when we went to movies, and took an extra five or ten minutes to stroll along the water before we took the baby-sitter home. These were all ways we managed to keep the romance alive during those very busy years. Now our little ones are finishing high school and we are looking forward to having endless time together and enjoying it even more!

ANSWER: Although many creative and ordinary solutions abound, we often do not act on our own power as parents to initiate simple, but elegant change in our daily family relationships. Opportunities permeate our lives, but we all too often fail to take advantage of what is right in front of us. Your modest, but authentic solution to maintaining romance in your couples' relationship, while raising children, inspired me to share your experience with other readers.

We truly are the leaders of our families. We are capable of experiencing misery and joy, angst and transformation. We are also capable of initiating these same positive and negative qualities of life experience. Your response to life's difficulties elucidates two very important elements of healthy family relationships -- vision and teamwork!

A shared discussion of the problem provided you and your husband with a context to successfully reformulate romance in a disarmingly pure and straightforward manner! The experience of sharing both a vision for romance and working as a team to implement it in ordinary life yielded the intimacy and closeness so many of us yearn for, but fail to create together.

I am certain that others will benefit from the simplicity and depth of your approach to this very common problem of maintaining and nurturing the couples' relationship. I want to share your story with others, not only for the "techniques" utilized, but for the spirit by which you live and love.


Gayle Peterson, MSSW, LCSW, PhD is a family therapist specializing in prenatal and family development. She trains professionals in her prenatal counseling model and is the author of An Easier Childbirth, Birthing Normally and her latest book, Making Healthy Families. Her articles on family relationships appear in professional journals and she is an oft-quoted expert in popular magazines such as Woman's Day, Mothering and Parenting. . She also serves on the advisory board for Fit Pregnancy Magazine.

Dr. Gayle Peterson has written family columns for ParentsPlace.com, igrandparents.com, the Bay Area's Parents Press newspaper and the Sierra Foothill's Family Post. She has also hosted a live radio show, "Ask Dr. Gayle" on www.ivillage.com, answering questions on family relationships and parenting. Dr. Peterson has appeared on numerous radio and television interviews including Canadian broadcast as a family and communications expert in the twelve part documentary "Baby's Best Chance". She is former clinical director of the Holistic Health Program at John F. Kennedy University in Northern California and adjunct faculty at the California Institute for Integral Studies in San Francisco. A national public speaker on women's issues and family development, Gayle Peterson practices psychotherapy in Oakland, California and Nevada City, California. She also offers an online certification training program in Prenatal Counseling and Birth Hypnosis. Gayle and is a wife, mother of two adult children and a proud grandmother of three lively boys and one sparkling granddaughter.

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