Marriage Ain’t Easy
No matter how hard you try to sustain the spark in your relationship, life seems to get in the way. There’s the responsibility of running the household, work, and of course your children, who gobble up almost every ounce of your energy each and every day.
For me, days can pass with my husband being no more than a fleeting gust of wind in and out of the front door. I reach for him in the middle of the night, just to make sure that he made it home safely.
Date nights aren’t always attainable and they’re a lot easier to talk about than to actually do. Still, there are lots of other ways to get closer to your spouse. So, I came up with five ways that you can connect with your spouse and turn those precious date nights into something even more exciting.
Hurray for a post that isn’t about the kids! (What!? there is such a thing?)
A Little Goes A Long Way
Not that the days of grand romantic gestures, like whisking away for a weekend, are totally gone, but they are undoubtedly few and far between. And certainly less spontaneous. The good news is, you don’t need a grand romantic gesture to make your spouse feel loved. There is something to be said about feeling cared for, feeling that your spouse does the little things that you like. Brew his coffee, make her dinner, the little things go a long way.
For me, it’s the general chores. I go crazy in an even remotely untidy house, when my husband does the dishes or vacuums before I get to it, (because I am crazy and on top of these things like white on rice) it is so awesome. I know there are things that he would rather be doing, I know there are things he needs to do for himself, instead he jumped on something silly and small before I could, and it makes all the difference.
When he does something just for me, just because, it is sexy as hell.
On those glorious days that you get to have a date night, do something different! Research shows that doing something different and engaging in a new experience together helps couples feel more connected.
I tend to be a creature of habit; I go to the same places and do the same things, but that level of complacency can get so boring. We need to break out of the routine! Everything we do is routine with children. So, on your time with your spouse, expand and do something you haven’t done before. Connect through a new and exciting experience.
Put The Phone Down
Seriously. Do it.
There is nothing like looking each other in the eye and having an uninterrupted conversation. We are all busy, we are all doing a million things, and we are all guilty of it. But there is nothing more important than the person you love, standing in front of you, trying to reach you. Emotional connection is just as much about talking face to face as it is about intimacy.
Not only will this help you feel more connected, but you are modeling great behavior for your children (I know, I know, we aren’t supposed to be talking about them right now, but really, we are parents, can we help it!?). In this crazy age of technology, I know it is so important to me, to teach my children that real intimate connection doesn’t happen over Facebook or email.
Be A Giver
Stop worrying about what you are getting out of the relationship and start thinking about what you can give. No happy relationship was ever focused around selfishness. Instead of concentrating on what your spouse isn’t doing, give attention to what you can do. I know this sounds silly to some, especially those struggling in their relationship. It is easy to say, well I feel unsupported, I feel I do everything and I get nothing, but think beyond the house, the chores. You have to remember that you are on the same team and that if one of you loses, you both lose. Instead think, what can I do to make my relationship better?
I struggle with this. I tend to think of all of the things that I do and expect the same kind of resolve from all members of my household. But, that isn’t fair. I cannot expect everyone to hit my standard, who made me the bar setter? I did, and that was the problem. Not that the standards are unattainable, they aren’t, but they are unreasonable in that they do not allow for the people that I love to just be. Becoming a giver has changed my relationship with everyone. It has also changed my relationship with myself. I feel good about the things I do for other people, whether I feel they are appreciated or not, because I know they came from a place of pure virtue. It feels so good to be that unselfish. Feeling good about yourself is the first and biggest step to feeling good in your relationship.
I am married to a great man, so being a giver, made him a giver as well. It has made my children givers and there is just so much love in this house.
Don’t Give Up
Marriage is not a past promise. Marriage is a choice that you make everyday. Everyday, you decide to forgive, to learn and grow together. Marriage is the hardest thing that we will ever face in our lives, but it is also, by far, the most rewarding. There is nothing in this world that is more worthy of your every effort. Love diminishes when we stop giving it. So never stop giving love.
Go now, connect, be in love. Love is the most important thing in our lives. Your chores, your work, it all can wait. Your love cannot and should not wait for a better time. We need to make ourselves and our relationships (with everyone) a priority. At the end of the day, when the house is a mess and the work isn’t done, it won’t matter, because no one has ever found happiness in an empty sink. But they sure as hell can find it with the person navigating life beside them.
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