Demonstrating a loving relationship with your partner is one of the best things you can do for your children.

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Caring for children can be both physically and emotionally draining. If they're not depriving you of sleep or privacy, children definitely deprive you of uninterrupted conversations, romantic dinners, weekends away and unhurried, unscheduled sex. Now for the positive side: Many relationship counselors believe that you can have children and a love life, too.

Dr. Ellen Kreidman, best-selling author of Is There Sex After Kids?, says "one of the best ways to show your children love is by having a loving relationship with your spouse." In fact, Dr. Ellen helps couples become better parents by becoming better partners and lovers.

Three Reasons the Flame Dies After Kids:
  1. It's difficult to shift gears. Dr. Ellen says it can be tough switching from the role of parent to lover. Making that transition begins with changing how you refer to your mate. She tells couples to call each other by their pet names. Do not refer to your spouse as "mommy" or "daddy." That's a sure way to prevent your partner from feeling sexy.
  2. You take each other for granted. Do you stop what you're doing and greet your spouse with a smile when he or she comes home from work, or do you continue talking on the phone while you assist your child with homework and make the family dinner? Dr. Ellen encourages couples to remember what it was like when they first fell in love and were separated for an entire day. Greet your partner in a way that makes him or her feel like the most important person in your life. Embrace, kiss and ask your mate about his or her day.

3.  You're bogged down in routine. Instead of being lovers, people often become working partners. When that happens, couples often end up having routine sex. While you may need to schedule time to be alone when you have children, Dr. Ellen says you can still make your sex life more exciting. Be creative. For example, make love in a room other than your bedroom (and preferably when the kids aren't around). Surprise your mate with sexy lingerie, or call him or her at work and flirt like you did before kids entered the scene.

On the next page, learn how to have a love affair with your mate.