Once you have kids, they become top priority. It’s just the nature of parenting – or so we’re led to believe.
However, Married at First Sight expert John Aiken believes this shouldn’t necessarily be the case.
Instead, the psychologist recommends couples prioritise their partner ahead of their kids.
In an interview with lifestyle blogger Jules Sebastian on her YouTube series Tea With Jules, Aiken explained why taking this approach is better for everyone in the family.
"Kids catch stress. So if a couple is really good, strong and chilled, their kids are chilled," he told Jules in the latest episode.
"Whereas when we are not connecting, when we are resenting each other... then the kids are going to pick up on that and they’re going to play up."
Aiken uses this approach himself, and it admits it might be a little controversial.
"I always think, 'I’m going to prioritise my wife over my kids'. Some people may not like that, doesn't worry me, that's what I do," he said.
"I think if you get the relationship right, the kids will fall into line."
Listen: Jules' husband Guy Sebastian talks about their road to marriage. (Post continues after audio.)
The clinical psychologist shared several other tips with the mum-of-two, including how many times he recommends having sex a week.
"It’s important to prioritise having sex. Once a week... that’s the sweet spot," he said.
"Sex is another way of connecting with your partner, and you're saying that what you have together is something special above and beyond what's out there."
Aiken separated "desire-driven sex" and "decision-driven sex", saying it didn't matter which one couples had.
He also suggested people who weren't in the mood while their partner was could apply the "why not? rule".
"That then basically means you're constantly staying in that stage where, 'Yeah okay, it's probably gonna feel pretty good, let's go with it'."
Channel Nine's reality TV dating expert also gave out personal advice to Jules and called out husband Guy for being a "fixer".
"At the end of every day, do a debrief and ask your partner how their day was. It builds that sense of a real team," he suggested.
"It’s absolutely vital that the listener emphasises with their partner and sides with them, but never tries to fix. So Guy, don't fix it."
Aiken also emphasised that the little things were important to a relationship, such as saying "hellos and goodbyes" with a kiss, paying compliments and expressing gratitude.
What's the best relationship tip you've ever been given?