Has life been speeding up lately?
Has your relationship been buried beneath a pile of responsibilities?
Does it seem you and your spouse only connect when coordinating your children’s soccer schedules?
It is normal to go through seasons that require more time and energy from you, as individuals and as a couple. However, you CAN make sure your marriage stays a priority by putting rhythms and routines in place today.
Create life rhythms that encourage communication and closeness.
As life picks up and your schedule fills up, be sure to set reminders on your phones and family calendars to catch up with one another. In seasons with children running around the house, sporting events pulling you in different directions, or aging parents needing assistance, it can seem as if you become two ships passing in the night.
- Set aside pockets of time weekly that will allow you both to decompress and touch base with one another so that your relationship can continue to thrive and grow even through the busyness.
- Set regular date nights on the calendar. Whether you plan to get out on the first Saturday of the month or every Monday night, treat this routine with the same importance you would a medical appointment. Schedule babysitters in advance, make sure work and school responsibilities are covered, and set your phone to silent for a few hours as you focus all your attention on your spouse.
Waiting for life to slow down to invest in your relationship is a recipe for disaster. You wouldn’t push off an oil change until the engine stopped running! Intentionally pursuing one another, throughout the peaceful times as well as the chaotic ones, will safeguard the health and happiness of your marriage.
Establish a routine together.
While every day might not be a date day, creating a basic routine can promote joy and simple intimacy in your relationship. In moments that your paths cross, make the most of it! Make eye contact, turn off any distractions, ask questions, and listen with purpose. Stay connected with a few regular habits:
1. Turn out the lights together.
If possible, try to follow similar sleep schedules so that you can rise together and crash together. By doing so, your natural rhythms will make space for connecting before the day begins and processing life together as the day closes. Consider sharing what you are excited about as you sip coffee together in the morning or listing your gratitude from the day every night before turning in.
2. Don’t take things too seriously.
Practice facing conflict together in the moment without harboring a grudge or allowing a singular problem to overpower and cause division in your relationship. Accept your partner for all his/her differences or flaws and avoid petty problems.
3. Speak out your love for one another.
Don’t take your partner for granted or assume (s)he knows how you feel. Express your affection throughout the day. Make eye contact when saying, “I love you,” and clearly communicate thankfulness for your partnership.
4. Find your funny bone.
Search for reasons to smile, even on the hard days. Laughing together can be a stress reliever and a relationship builder.
5. Share frequent affirmations.
Acknowledge the things that you appreciate about your partner. It could be as simple as being thankful for him finishing the laundry or recognizing how lovely she looks in that shade of blue. Make it a point to encourage and uplift your spouse regularly.
You may not live in a fairytale, but marriage can be beautiful. Living each day purposefully by investing in rhythms and routines that infuse intimacy and closeness can keep your relationship fresh throughout the peaks, valleys, and rollercoasters of life. What habit(s) will you add to your routine to keep your spouse close this week?