Keeping Marriage Alive

August 2, 2013

Keeping Marriage Alive We all have such busy lives.  Rushing here, running there.  Grocery shopping, jobs, kids.  How do we make sure we’re making time for our spouses with everything else going on in life? This past week, Nate and I have spent a total of four hours of uninterrupted time focused on one another (yep, that includes the weekend)!  Sure, there were times we’d both be in the living room with me reading a book while Nate works on schoolwork.  Yes, we went to church together on Sunday and had dinner at friends’ house Saturday night.  During these times, we were with each other but not truly WITH each other. It’s hard but that’s just the season of life we’re in right now.  Nate is in school {that has to be a huge priority so he doesn’t fail his classes), we both have full time jobs that we can’t just not show up for, and we’ve both got ministries, friendships, and other activities (that often include one another) that don’t lend themselves to quality time together.  To be fair, this week was a little rougher than others and we typically have 8ish hours a week to spend together. One thing that I’ve hoped you’ve picked up on by now on this blog is that marriage is a huge priority in Nate’s and my life.  Even in our busiest season, we make sure we’re connecting. Want to know some of our secrets???  I’d love to share them with you and, hopefully, they will inspire you to create wonderful ways of connecting with your spouse even during the busyness of life. 1.  Text Nate and I love to text one another throughout the day.  It always brings a smile to my face to get a text while at work just letting me know how beautiful Nate thinks I am.  We’ll text each other encouragement, little love notes, inside jokes, how we need prayer, or flirty-teasy texts.  Maybe your marriage needs texts that are a little spicier (you know what I mean).  Keep the conversation going throughout the day – even when you’re apart. 2.  Find a Hobby There aren’t a ton of hobbies Nate and I both enjoy.  We love encouraging one another in our personal hobbies but we don’t share many.  The past few months, one night a week for an hour we’ve been taking West Coast Swing lessons.  It’s been so fun learning something new together and having a hobby we both really are enjoying.  Even with all our prior obligations, we can find one hour a week to devote to a hobby together. 3.  Go On Dates Sunday night are Nate’s and my date nights.  We leave our cell phones at home, step away from our computers, and get out of the house.  We intentionally pick a place to go where we can sit and talk without distractions.  This is not a date night to be active together or try new things.  This is a date night that totally focuses on talking.  We discuss our upcoming week, what’s going on in our lives, and so much more.  Most of these nights we head out to the Applebee’s just minutes away from our house to hit up their happy hour.  Who can say no to $3.50 long island iced teas and talks with your love? 4.  Know When to Say “No” I’m not talking about saying “No” to one another.  I’m talking about knowing when to say “No” to other obligations.  Nate recently was asked to go on a work trip to Boston for a week during his three week “summer break.”  He would have been going with coworkers he enjoys, doing an install that he enjoys, and exploring a new city.  As much as it would have been wonderful in all those regards, he knew he had to say “No.”  That three weeks of summer break is a respite for the two of us – a chance to reconnect and spend more extended time together.  During those three weeks I’ll be saying “No” to things I would otherwise happily take part in because we need the time together. 5.  Make Time for Intimacy I’m going to be honest with you, when we only have a few hours together a week, often times I’d rather talk than have sex.  The thing is, though, as important as it is to share emotional and spiritual intimacy, it’s also so very important to share physical intimacy.  Unfortunately, there are times when we have to “schedule” sex.  It sounds so dumb saying that but in our busy lives there are times that, if we don’t schedule it, it won’t happen.  It doesn’t matter if we want it to happen, it just won’t.  When it is scheduled there are times that, sure, Nate’s homework’s not getting done but that’s not as important.  There are times that I may not get some blogging in that I wanted to do but that’s not as important.  (PS.  Don’t worry, friends, it’s definitely not always scheduled…  If you know what I mean…) 6.  Center Your Lives Around the Lord Above all other things, God needs to be the center and the glue in a marriage.  Nate and I are sure to pray with and for one another.  We share with one another what God is doing in our lives.  We talk about what we’re learning in our devotional time.  We encourage one another to draw closer to the Lord.  This focus on the Lord always draws us tightly towards one another.  When our lives are centered in His will, we will not stray from one another. What are ways you connect with your spouse???

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