We aren’t going to be those people. That’s what we said. We looked at the other married couples around us and saw them struggling to make sure there marriages were strong. Some days they succeeded and other days they didn’t. We knew what we needed to do. We would keep up on it. We wouldn’t struggle like that.
Fast forward to 4 years later, we had a baby daughter, who would not go to sleep at night. We found that she was really needy. She took lots of our time.
Fast forward to 6 years after that, we had 3 daughters and even less time. We didn’t always know how to communicate well or balance our time between all of our responsibilities.
Fast forward to 4 years after that, our kids take a lot of time. Work takes a lot of time. Church takes a lot of time. Nurturing a coaching business takes a lot of time. We have our own interests that take a lot of time.
It cracks me up to think of it now…So we were wrong. Marriage takes work and amidst all of the other great stuff we are doing, it takes intentionality to make your marriage sparkle. It doesn’t come automatically. Through different seasons and responsibilities some ways of putting your marriage first work better then others. Through each phase it’s important to regroup and decide how to make your marriage sparkle.
This is one of the areas of working with women that I am so passionate about. Having a thriving marriage takes intentional work and it’s easy to put our spouses on the back burner when life and other voices take so much of our time. I see many that struggle to make it a healthy and fun relationship.
However, there are many great ways that don’t take a lot of time to make your marriage sparkle. I asked my husband, Andy, to sit down with me and brainstorm this post. We both have very different personalities and I wanted his perspective for time hacks to make your marriage a priority.
Time Hacks for Making Your Marriage a Priority:
Know Your Spouse’s Love Language:
You may have heard of Gary Chapman’s book, The 5 Love Languages. Take the time to read it and take the test. Or you can go to his website and just take the test. When we were first married I did a lot of work making my house look beautiful. I also spent a lot of time in the kitchen cooking and baking for Andy. But he didn’t really seem to appreciate it, like I anticipated. It turns out that while I thought this was the best way to show my love. There was a better way to spend my time and efforts to show him my love. We both took the test and read the book to see what our love languages were. His is physical touch and mine is quality time. Because we know this it makes the time we devote to each other more powerful, by doing exactly what will make the other one feel loved. Touching my husband’s back in passing, grabbing his hand to hold it, and sitting close to him on the couch. Those things take no time at all.
Schedule Time Together:
Andy and I started scheduling Thursday nights to be our night together. In the evening, before the kids go to bed is family night. After the kids are in bed, it’s our night together. And we are protective of that time and do our best not to schedule other things on that night. We spend time together. Depending on how tired we are we relax together, watch a movie, or play a game.
Build in Systems that Take Advantage of Pockets of Time:
Eat breakfast together or have a lunch date when the rest of your family is occupied. Always take your showers together. Run your errands together. Find times each week where you can consistently be together, even if it’s just doing yard work. Sit together a couple minutes at night, after the kids have left the table, to chat together. These little moments can be a powerful way of connecting together.
Have A Date Night Together:
Schedule a date night. It doesn’t have to be longer than an hour. But time alone together will refuel you. Babysitters can be hard to find or pay for. So exchange care with another family. Another option is having a date night at home. My husband and I have not always been able to find or pay for a babysitter, so we have had a date at home after the kids are in bed. We ate a special dinner together and planned a special activity. And it was wonderful. It sounds simple, but it can really help you reconnect and enjoy each other.
Be Each Other’s #1 Cheerleader:
Make it a goal to tell your spouse things that you love and appreciate about them. Let them know that you have their back. Ask them what kinds of encouragement they need to hear from you. Tell others around you what you appreciate about your spouse, while they are in hearing range.
Be intentional. Make your marriage sparkle. It will not happen automatically. Unfortunately, we tend to push it aside first when things get busy and other things in our lives seem more needy. Decide what you will do today to make your marriage sparkle and ask someone to hold you accountable to do that.