You Have to Make Time for Each Other
To grow as a couple, you have to spend time together – that’s a no brainer. Most married couples, especially those who have had any kind of counseling, are well aware of the importance of getting that quality time in.
Unfortunately, reality can be quite different from intention, or even the promises made before stepping out of a counselor’s office. Most of us lead fast paced lives, and simply can’t find the time we need to connect with our spouses.
What Gets in Your Way?
Whether it’s the kids, different work schedules, work around the house, or the duties of some voluntary position, it just isn’t easy to both be in the same place at the same time – without something that has to be done. When you’re exhausted, the thought of piling another scheduled block of time seems like too much, but it doesn’t have to be! There is hope!
This is going to sound crazy, but trust me: it is okay to let some of the other stuff slide to spend some time with your husband or wife. The dishes can wait.
We attach value to all of these activities – mowing the lawn, doing the laundry, staying late at work, meeting the guys/girls for a social activity, anything we dedicate the precious hours of our day to, but for some reason, spending quality time with our spouses doesn’t make the cut.
Ways to Stretch Your Time
As married couples, we have to realize the importance of spending time together, and treat it as an essential component of our busy lives. The truth of the matter is that you CAN make time for your spouse; it just might have to be at the expense of another activity. It is okay to turn down extra work or a new community responsibility.
Chances are, you’re already struggling to find time for your spouse. Think about what you could cut from your daily or weekly schedule. What’s something you do every day, but could get away with doing every other day?
Another way to stretch your time is with technology! Do some searching around the internet to see if there are tools available to help you increase your productivity, and with it, your disposable free time.
This could be a device that helps around the house, better systems for managing your email or work documents, automating bill payments, or even a system of reminders for your phone that keep you on track and on time throughout the day.
An even better solution is finding things (that have to be done) that you and your spouse can do together! With this option, though, you have to make sure you are actually spending time communicating in close proximity, not working on the same project on opposite sides of the house.
As you try to fit more “couple time” into your daily routine, remember that it’s also perfectly fine to take a lazy day from time to time, and use it to snuggle up to your spouse! It’s important to maintain your responsibilities, but when the time is right, there’s nothing wrong with turning off the cell phones, sending the kids outside to play, and spending some time relaxing with the one you love most!
All of these are merely suggestions, but no matter how you pull it off, you HAVE to spend time with your spouse (preferably just the two of you) to maintain a healthy relationship. Every couple is different, so it may take some figuring out, but you owe it to each other to make the extra effort.
Some couples schedule “date nights,” others pick up hobbies that they both enjoy. You can even establish “rituals” that will keep you in touch, like a morning walk or family breakfast on the weekends.
The bottom line is making time, not just waiting until it falls in your lap. You have to be proactive and keep “couple time” in your list of priorities, otherwise the time you have will be taken up by something else… it always is.
It is up to you to make time for your spouse, and up to your spouse to make time for you. Together, you can squeeze a few extra hours out of the week, and spend them solidifying and strengthening your marriage. I know you can do it!
About the Author:
Dr. Dana Fillmore is the co-founder and Expert Clinical Psychologist at www.StrongMarriageNow.com. She is also the co-author of Happily Ever After: How to Be Happily Married to the One You Already Married. The goal of StrongMarriageNow.com is to enrich and inspire one million couples and families to have strong, happy healthy lives together. Visit the site today and check out our most popular program, StrongMarriageNow.com