‘We tried the 3×3 rule in our marriage and we’ve never been happier’
Becoming a parent changes your relationship.
The time that you used to spend as a couple gets replaced with potty training and household chores – and thanks to those sleepless nights, you might end up more irritable than ever.
So a shattered mum shared a rule that gave her and her partner a much-needed break.
The anonymous woman told Kidspot that the rule was first introduced to the marriage after her husband took an unscheduled nap while their kids were awake.
Hours after a heat-of-the-moment argument, when the kids had gone to bed, her husband suggested they try the ‘3×3 rule’, which was mentioned to him by a friend who’d been to see a marriage councillor.
It’s a technique whereby each parent got three hours each throughout the week that was just for them.
She explained that those hours can be broken up or taken all at once – but each parent should spend this time completely alone, doing whatever they want.
On top of that, they should set aside an additional three hours for time to spend as a couple.
That could be a date night, or it could be half an hour each night when the kids go to sleep.
She told the publication: “For about a month now, we’ve been implementing the new rule in our relationship, and I’m shocked at how much has shifted for us already.”
Whilst she’s acknowledged that this extra time hasn’t magically made her or her husband better parents, she said: “Something even more profound happened – all the resentment, that silent cancer that eats away at marriages, has genuinely slipped away.”
Just knowing that ‘me time’ was scheduled into her family’s schedule meant she wasn’t so snappy when someone interrupted her 15 minutes of precious scrolling.
And instead of taking the long route home from the shops so she could listen to her podcast in peace, she knows she’s got time to do that throughout the week.
She added: “Am I more understanding about my husband’s newborn-level love of midday naps? Absolutely.
“Does it still make me want to turn the vacuum on at full force and ram it into the bedroom door? Also yes. But hey – I’m only human.”