Life is busy. We understand that. My wife and I both work and we are actively involved in the lives of our children. Each year, our ‘busyness’ increases exponentially. None of this, though, is an excuse for not spending time with one another.
My wife and I have identified three important ingredients to care for our relationship. They are, 1.Make time for each other. 2.Know each other. 3.Talk with each other.
How do we make time for each other? Here are three ways that my wife and I do.
First, we make it a point to date one another. Hey, who said after you get married you have to stop dating your spouse? That thinking is crazy! If that person is married, they are probably a crazy and lonely person. You know what? Romance is more fun after you are married than it is before! My wife and I, we enjoy romance and dating each other.
With four kids in the house, the odds of a romantic candle-lit dinner are low. Abysmally low. And now that we have teenagers who often go to bed later than us, ‘couple-time’ (okay, that means sex) in the evenings after the kids are asleep is no longer possible. So we find ways to be creative with romance.
Before we were married, my wife and I enjoyed dating. We looked forward to being with one another. Kids have changed ‘how we date’, but not ‘why we date’. Dating sends a powerful message of respect and love to one another and those around us. Dating says we value one another. That we want to be with one another. That we still believe our partner is worth ‘pursuing’.
We also play with one another. (The second point.) Life isn’t always about ‘work and kids.’ Wendi and I find ways to have fun together. Maybe it is watching a movie together, taking a few minutes to pop into a bookstore while shopping, or taking a walk together in the evening. We make plans to do things together. Simple stuff. Fun activities that bring us together.
When was the last time you played with your spouse? Did something just for fun? Remember, “Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.” I think many adults feel that to be an adult means to not have fun. Too many think that they have somehow matured beyond the need for fun. Hogwash!
Don’t let others limit your idea of play. Do not be boxed in! Have fun doing what you like doing. Find the adult equivalent of splashing in puddles after the rain. Hey, for that matter, go splash in some puddles!
We enjoy each other. We are more then the parents of our children and workers for a company. We are a couple. Long after the children have left the house and we have retired, we will still be a couple! We take pleasure in being a couple. We are not ashamed to let people know it, and we especially want our children to know it. If we say we enjoy one another, yet never make time for each other, perhaps we are not being truthful.
Failing to make time for each other, is like forgetting to water the garden. Skip a day or two and your garden can recover. Skip watering for weeks on end and you surely will have a diminished harvest. Did you catch that? It doesn’t take very much time for a garden to be severely affected through neglect. Likewise, constantly putting off your marriage because of work, children or community commitments will soon cause damage. Don’t wait, make time for each other now!
This weeks assignment: Can you think of two ideas for how you can make time for your partner this week? Keep the ideas easy and fun! Then do it. (Extra credit for not talking about kids or work when you are together. Extra extra credit for holding hands! Triple credit if you end your time making love!)
Next week: Know each other