I met my husband when we were in college. We spent every moment together, giving one another our full, undivided attention. That’s how it is when you’re young and in love. Once you’re married, time together often diminishes; real life continues with advanced education, new jobs, adult responsibilities, and babies. As this happens, some think that their love is fading, feeling as though that spark they once felt is gone. However, just like in motherhood, marriages take work. We must make constant efforts to keep our relationships strong, even when life gets busy and the demands pile up.

With my husband in a very intensive PA program and with two young kids, our relationship has often been on the back burner. In the first half of his program, I was working very late hours every night, while my husband was overwhelmed with long school hours and endless studying. On top of that, we had to keep up with the demands of parenthood. Both my husband and I struggled a lot, trying to figure out how to juggle this busy life. It was especially difficult for my husband to devote the time required in his program while also showing love and attention to his family. While he balanced it incredibly well, it took us a long time to figure out. 

Whether you or your spouse is busy with an intense school program or working long hours with your job, your relationship does not need to suffer. In fact, your relationship should always be the most important. Here are some ways to keep a strong and solid foundation through the busy moments:

1. Communicate

Communication is always key in any relationship, but it’s even more important if you are both swamped with the demands of life. One thing I noticed I had to do when I was feeling distant from my husband was to directly tell him that I needed to spend some time with him. During the busy moments of our day, I’d reach out to him and say, “Hey, can I just have 20 minutes to spend with you sometime today.” Asking for a specific time allowed him to accomplish what he needed to and rearrange his studying in order to give me those few minutes to sit and talk, snuggle up on the couch, or even watch a quick episode of our favorite show together.

2. Schedule Time Together

Look at the monthly