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???


  • Amy Simcox

    August 2, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    I completely agree – it's hard to stay in tune with your spouse with a busy schedule! Great suggestions, and the swing dancing sounds like a blast! The hubs and I schedule our weeks w/ iCal and then share our calendars with each other so that when planning outings w/ friends, etc., we can keep up with what the other person is doing. If I'm scheduling a girls' night, I will check the calendar and schedule it for a night when he already has plans too. That way, we maximize days "off" from social functions together.

  • Jen

    August 2, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    It's so hard sometimes for us the Army is a HUGE factor, we try to make the most out of the time we have together.

  • Mrs. M ~ a.k.a. ~ April

    August 2, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Great! So good! Scheduled sex! (ha ha ha) But in seriousness that does need to happen sometimes. And saying "no" is HUGE! I am realizing that again. And as much as I want to spend time with my friends, they are also learning to say "no" in a sense. They are taking care of their families. What a growing process but a good one!

  • Veronica Lee Burns

    August 2, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    These are great! I wrote today about how Kevin and I keep up even when he does overnights.

  • Becky Dougherty

    August 2, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    These are some amazing tips for how you can stay connected even when your busy. I especially like that on your date night, you leave your cell phones at home. My love language is quality time, and even though Scott and I are together a lot, we aren't always connecting. I would love if we just left our phones at home every now and then so that we can be with ea h other without ay interference!

  • Stephanie @ Life, Unexpectedly

    August 2, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    I definitely see you there! It's hard to just focus on each other, especially if kids are involved as well! That is one reason why I'm lookin forward so much to this week of leaving computers and everything behind to just enjoy being a family and spending time with each other.

  • Z

    August 2, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    Wow those are some good ways.
    its been forevee since we actually…you know..did it.
    With kids things can change. A lot.
    We both really need to get away really…i feel i miss him.
    love to u

  • mj rdn

    August 2, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    good tips..they're like golden rules of A marriage.

  • Katie

    August 2, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    saying no is a hard one but definitely necessary. it's so important to have alone time and its easy for other things to get in the way of that!

  • Ginny

    August 2, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    Definitely important tips, great pst today!

  • Jenna

    August 3, 2013 at 12:52 am

    Such a great list of ideas. I think finding a hobby to do together is such a great idea. It keeps things interesting. This might be weird but Mike and I love finding interesting topics and debating them. It's fun to see what the other one thinks on the subject. Today we listened to a podcast on economics and talked about what we though. It's pretty fun.

  • Jayda

    August 3, 2013 at 4:12 am

    Love this list, girl! Date nights are definitely a big thing for us; it's just so good to get out together and focus on talking and having fun. We're technology free on dates too (with the exception of taking pictures if it's a really fun/memorable one.) Eating dinner together is something that we make a point of doing as often as we can. It gives us a chance to talk about our days, and whatever else might come up 🙂

  • Katrin

    August 3, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    David and I try to text as much as we can during the day. That way we are connected even when we don't see each other the whole day.

  • Charity

    August 3, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    My hubby and I share devotional time together, we also love to travel, see movies, and within the last year we love doing diy projects together. We are learning to build intimacy in different ways each year. This year we have had a lot more time to just be with each other since moving away from our family. In our new state we really only have each other – its been a season of great transformation.

    The Word of A Nerd

  • Ellie Spindler

    August 3, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    Great tips! My favorite is "Center your lives around the Lord." He is the sustainer of marriage.


  • Sarah Pete

    August 3, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    Thanks for your comment on my blog! If I still had cookies, I'd totally mail you some ;]
    Love these simple tips for marriage. We basically do the same. We recently added the date night only because it wasn't until two months ago that we realized we hadn't had one in ages–we were too busy working, moving, or being sick (ugh). Now, we've made a goal to spend a special evening out–dinner and movie or whatever–once a month. We're also attempting to go on hikes/long walks together weekly or so. Forcing yourselves out of the norm is great for reconnecting!
    Have a fabulous weekend!

  • Kim T.

    August 4, 2013 at 12:35 am

    My sweetie and I aren't married yet, but I do see the value in your list. Most mornings he will send me a sweet message when I wake up and at the end of the day he sends me a text that he is in bed. He is not very good at saying no to people, that that is because the people that demand so much of him is his family. Once a year we make time to have a date no matter what. And that is our 'anniversery' of our first date. I look forward to it every year.

  • Midnight Cowgirl

    August 4, 2013 at 12:46 am

    Love the idea of finding a hobby to do together!

  • Hayley!

    August 4, 2013 at 12:51 am

    These are great tips! My husband have just started texting more because we both missed hearing from each other consistently throughout the day. 🙂

  • Rachael SparkFire

    August 4, 2013 at 12:51 am

    I love the sweet texting idea! I like to do that with post-its and leave little post its around where Anthony is even though we do not live together!

  • kristyn

    August 4, 2013 at 1:15 am

    It's true, it's so hard to stay intentional and invested when our lives are so busy! We are already finding that out this summer. I think you have some awesome tips here–it's definitely important to know when to say no. And the last one is definitely something to work on–probably the most important one 🙂 I think I shared this before on my blog but we have a Love Journal, where we write each other love notes every week and hide it around the house for the other to find. It's kind of romantic and fun, and reminds us to cherish/focus on the little sweet things!

  • Rachel

    August 4, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Usually having random date afternoons or evenings are so important to us. These few weeks are an especially crazy time since he's back in America and working as much overtime as they'll give him…we're just working on successfully scheduling Skype calls right now!

  • Sally

    August 4, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    Good tips! We've found it challenging to have time to just have normal conversations with each other since having a baby. We'll sit out on the deck and have a glass (or two….ish :))) of wine once the baby is asleep.

  • Brooke

    August 4, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    I think that regular date nights are so important. Especially when kids come along and you really don't have time for just each other.

  • Elsha

    August 4, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    #6 is the most important I think 🙂 And we need to do better about dates. Our budget tightened significantly a little while ago so not we need to find cheap dates and we are sucking so far!

  • Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird

    August 5, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Because we work two different schedules, Izzy and I try to plan out our weeks so that we know when we're going to have time together. It definitely helps us connect as a couple.

    P.S. I'm giving away a $100 gift card to Boxie this week and I would love for you to come and enter!

  • Purposely at Home

    August 5, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    these are great tips. i'll tuck these away for future use. 😉

    hope you're having a happy week.


  • Summer Nicole

    August 8, 2013 at 3:26 am

    So many great points Susannah…I especially love that you guys have a "talking date" and leave technology out of it. So important to have that time of reconnection. And just because you have to plan intimacy sometimes doesn't mean it's not still great. I think planning intimacy has a bad wrap but some seasons of life it needs to be done, and can still be sizzling! 😉 Thanks for a great post!

  • Cleo Rogers

    February 15, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Date night is a must for me. Not too much time out of the house, 2-3 hours is enough a week. We just need some time to be husband and wife, then go back to reality of being papa and mama to our daughter.
    Check out my latest blog: Best Janitorial Service in Seattle WA

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