Now that sounds kind of funny, doesn’t it —”Spending time together now that you’re married?” It seems like it should come natural as far as how to spend time together. After-all, you spent time together before you married; so why is there such a problem now?
Part of it is because you both MADE A POINT to spend time together. It had to do with intentionality. It was a priority so you made the time happen.
But after you got married, and things settled into some type of “normalcy” and routine, you allowed life and activities to smoosh the both of you away from each other. But that’s not healthy for the relationship you promised to each other on your wedding day.
“As we juggle our busy lives, it’s too easy to let our marriages fall into the background. We would never say our marriages were not important to us; yet we often act as though they’re not. Make your marriage your number one priority after God.” (E. Sanna)
Competition for Spending Time Together
The tyranny of the urgent often times grabs our attention away from each other, despite our best intentions, unfortunately:
“A couple can hardly imagine having a sense of being glued together if they don’t spend time together. Yet sadly, many couples put distance between themselves through busyness at work or being over-extended with the children. Solomon calls these disturbances ‘little foxes’ that interrupt and destroy a couple’s garden of love. Great caution is needed for couples to avoid the tyranny of the urgent and instead ensure that they are spending as much time as possible together. Time apart weakens this glue; time together strengthens it. Shared experiences and adventures often can be a catalyst in deepening relationships. But you’ll never have adventures with your spouse unless you make the effort to plan and prioritize time spent together.” (Laird Crump – Focus on the Family, Canada)
With intentionality, it’s important to take time, MAKE time to connect with our spouse.
“All the ‘little things’ of life can get in the way. You know what they are; I don’t need to list them. Don’t allow that, which is less important shove you away from spending quality time with your marriage partner. You will never ‘find’ time for anything. If you want time, you will make it.” (Charles Buxton)
Making the Time So You’re Spending Time Connecting
The Bible tells us that “There is a time for everything under heaven.” Ask God to help you to see how you can take the time to connect with each other in meaningful ways.
“Couples need to make the most of little opportunities, even if it’s only 10 to 20 minutes here or there. If couples wait for the semiannual vacation trip to connect, they will drift apart. Two weeks a year is not enough together time. To keep their marriage healthy, couples need to connect every day (even if it’s just finding ‘pockets of time where we can’ together).” (Kirk Cameron)
How do you do that? First, determine to make it a mission to do so. After deciding to find a way to spend more time together, Tim A. Gardner, from his article, “How to Spend Time Together” offers some suggestions. (You can look on your search engine with the title and author to read the article in its entirety.) Here are some of them:
• “Mark your calendar with a specific time. You must set this up just like a business or dentist appointment. If you just say, ‘Let’s spend some time together tonight,’ those great time-thwarters such as the stacks of mail, laundry, and dishes will rob you.
• “Plan different types of time. There needs to be time simply talking about our days, time for conflict resolution, and fun only times (dates, cuddles, walks) that we protect from any type of conflict.
• “Turn off cell phones, pagers, and TVs. If your kids are old enough, talk to them about what Mom and Dad are going to do. It will teach them much for their own future marriages as well as give them security in yours.
• “Find a specific place. In the winter, my wife and I like sitting in front of the fireplace. In the summer, it’s on the deck (both times while the kids clean the kitchen). Bedrooms can be a good place to talk; but I encourage you to not let the bedroom become a place of conflict resolution. It should be a place of intimate connecting. The symbolism is important.
• “Protect, protect, protect. Too many clients leave my office vowing to spend time (at least three thirty-minute couple times over the next week) only to return seven days later without having done it once. They let other things invade. Instead of training to run, they ate Twinkies.
• “Drop defensiveness. Research has shown that couples in conflict are more prone to interpret their mate’s comments and actions in a negative way, even when their mate meant them as neutral or even positive. Believe the best about your partner. Remember, you both want the same thing—a good marriage.
• “Don’t give up. Keep working to make it happen.”
Taking and Spending Pockets of Time
Even taking “pockets of time” together can help. Even a cup of coffee here, a walk together there, or going out for a quick ice cream cone or a soda —where you intentionally make the time to connect together is important.
“Have you noticed how you drift away from your spouse when you don’t make time to talk and interact on purpose, not just out of necessity? Have you noticed how you drift away from God when you forget to pray and are so busy you don’t make time to meet with Him? Just as we need to be intentional in our relationship with God to mature spiritually, we have to do the same in our marriages to grow closer to our spouse.” (Dineen)
We have additional suggestions in the “Romantic Ideas” topic of this web site that you also can glean through and use.
— PLUS —
This is a link to an article we encourage you to read for more ideas:
And if time is your issue, consider investing the time together for:
Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this article.
If you have tips you can share to help others, “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.
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Filed under: Communication and Conflict