For many couples and families, preparing and eating dinner is an experience that is rushed through every day. You have so many other things on your schedule and chores to complete that it just becomes about making sure everyone gets fed. But your marriage and your family can benefit if you make a point to slow down a bit every day and have dinner together.

Houston Marriage Counselor: Cook and Eat Together as a Family

Preparing the meal together can help build teamwork. You can either work together in the kitchen or switch off who’s the cook for the day. And do the same thing for the clean-up. If one person cooks, the other cleans. And if you both cook together, you can both clean together.

As you work together, you’ll be practicing your communication skills, something I work with many couples on as the Houston marriage counselor. These skills will transfer over into other areas in your life, helping you to prevent relationship issues. When it comes time to eat, that’s another important opportunity to connect. Be sure to turn off your cell phone and TV. The idea is to talk about how your day went, what you have planned for the next day, and to stay in tune with each other’s interests and needs. If you have kids, this is also a great time to keep in touch with what’s going on in their lives, as well as an opportunity to model good table manners and social skills.

Preparing and enjoying food together can also be a sensual experience that can put you in the mood to be intimate. Every now and then, make dinner a romantic occasion. Send the kids away, light some candles, and put on some relaxing music.

As the Houston relationship counselor, I also stress the importance of developing friendship together. Sharing friends is a great way to stay connected, so invite other couples over to join you for a meal.

Making dinner time a priority rather than another item to check off of your list can help you to stay connected to one another. If you feel you are beginning to drift apart, the best thing you can do for the continued health of your relationship is to address it early. Contact the Houston marriage counselor for help.