How to make time for your marriage

How much time do you spend with your husband? Today I want to share with you how to make time for your marriage.

I know that for me, it never seems to be enough and I am always looking for ways to spend more time with my husband. 

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My younger years

When I was a teenager, I was attending a bible study with older married women. Some of the things they said, at the time, made no sense to me.

They said things about their marriage like:

  • We never spend any time together.
  • We never see each Other

It confused me because, at this point, I was dating and thought: How can two people who live in the same house never see each other?

I have now been married for ten years and completely understand.

Life is busy! Just being in the same living space does not make you close to one another.

It’s easy to let kids work, or even The Lord’s service gets you so busy you don’t have time or energy for your spouse.

If you neglect time with each other, soon enough you will become like roommates or just people who help each other raise the children.

According to W. Bradford Wilcox and Jeffrey Dew “People who spent quality time with their partner at least once a week were 3.5 times more likely to report being ‘very happy’ in their relationship compared to those who didn’t. Quality time can strengthen your relationship in several ways.”

The Right Type of Time

In over ten years of marriage I have discovered that it’s not the amount of time you spend together that matters, it’s the quality of the time you spend together that counts.

Quality time does not need to be some elaborate date or a rare experience. It can be at your kitchen table, or in the living room doing something you love.

During our busiest times in life, my husband and I will just sit at the kitchen table and drink tea together. This would maybe take 10-15 min, We just sit together at the table and talk about our days.

We discuss things that are coming up in our lives. Lately, we have taken more time to pray for each other, our children and the people we know.

Those times together have been the most special because we are having real and deep conversations. They sometimes don’t last long, but just spending those minutes together connects us in a meaningful way.

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4 ways to make time for your marriage  

1. Schedule a regular date

Once a year, my husband and I will sit down and think about the next year. We will talk about our commitments and everything we need to do.

We both understand that we each need family time, alone time, service time and guy/girl time and together time.

All these commitments are hard to juggle, but we make it work. We know that we won’t have time each week for all of those things. So, we schedule our days so that we can balance all these things.

One thing that we find important is having a regular date night. For us, that means that once a week we have no other commitments and it’s a  time for just the 2 of us. We often just stay in but it’s a night we can both count on having together.

2. Set a time

Maybe your schedule is insane or you have a hard time dedicating one night to date night. If that is the case, then consider having a set time each day when you can connect with each other.

For my husband and I, no matter what is going on in our days, we always try to call each other at lunch. Sometimes it doesn’t work out and we can’t talk so we will leave a message. I always look forward to a lunchtime call. It’s a great way to break up the day,  but to catch up on our day.

I am not a morning person, so my husband often leaves the house with only a kiss goodbye. Most days, our lunchtime phone call is the first time we have talked all day.

3. First things First

When my daughter was one my husband went back to school full-time. He was a dedicated student and was top of his class that year. That accomplishment took time.

But, no matter how much time he spent doing homework, he always spent time with us first.

He would spend all day at school, then come home and have dinner with us. After dinner, he would play with our daughter and put her to bed. After her bedtime, we would spend 10-15 min just chatting and then he would get to work.

I knew his schoolwork was important, but by spending time with me first, he showed me that I was more important and that he always had time for me.

Even now, my husband often will do work at home at night, but only after he has spent time with me first.

4. Say no

Your marriage should be at the top of your priority list. If your life is too busy with other things to have some regular quality time together, it may be time to reconsider everything you’re involved in.

My husband and I say no to many things to be able to have time with each other and with our kids. For us, our time together is more important so we regularly say no to many good things.  

Since our children are still small and we have to drive them we have decided to only do one extracurricular activity a week.

There are many good things that we could be doing or could be a part of. But for now, we have said no to many things so that we can focus on hanging a balanced life. One where we don’t hectic or overrun with responsibilities.

Each marriage is different so what may work for my husband and I may not work for you.

Some couples thrive on busy social lives. The most important thing to do is to make sure that what you are doing is strengthening your marriage.

In the comments below, share your tips on what you do to make time for your marriage. Please share this blog post with others. Thank you.

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Master the Art of Communication to Build a Strong Marriage

Are difficult conversations causing tension in your relationship? Do you want to strengthen your communication skills and build a deeper connection with your spouse? Continue to read as I share with you the Art of Communication to Build a Strong Marriage.

Listen in as I have a captivating conversation with communication expert, Ann Visser, who shares her personal story of communication challenges in her own marriage. Her insights will leave you craving more and eager to transform your own relationship through effective communication.

Communication is the foundation of any successful relationship, and this is particularly true in marriage. However, many couples struggle with effective communication, leading to misunderstandings, conflicts, and emotional distance.

**This blog post contains affiliate links, please see my disclosure policy**

Listen to the episode:

Timestamps:

[00:01:57] Meet Ann Visser
[00:05:36] Neglected communication and conflict led to distance.
[00:11:58] Create healthy conflict, and communicate to build trust.
[00:19:38] Three C’s: Check emotions, communicate, and curiosity.
[00:23:51] Patience and communication are key to relationship success.
[00:41:13] Daily and yearly habits maintain a marriage.
[00:44:48] Avoid relationship mind games
[00:49:02] Marital system changes are needed for child discipline

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Master the Art of Communication to Build a Strong Marriage

Meet Ann

Ann Visser is a certified John Maxwell coach, speaker, and trainer with over 20 years of experience in equipping individuals and organizations to communicate effectively. She is also the co-founder of For Better Forever, which focuses on communication and leadership skills for couples. Ann has worked with young people, teaching them how to avoid falling for a jerk and find good people to be with for a lifetime. She has also travelled to Paraguay to teach values-based leadership skills to students and supported inmates in a local jail and a recovery home for addicts to change from the inside out.

In this podcast episode, we focus on Ann’s insights on communication in marriage, particularly the challenges that couples face and how to overcome them.

Common Communication Challenges in Marriage

One of the most common challenges that couples face in communication is avoiding conflict. Many couples believe that avoiding conflict is the key to a happy marriage, but this is a misconception. Avoiding conflict creates emotional distance and can lead to resentment and frustration. Ann shares her personal experience of how avoiding conflict created a distance in her marriage:

“We also avoided conflict. And this, these two things, not communicating and avoiding conflict, created an emotional space at a distance in our marriage. It kind of snuck up on us. It didn’t happen right away. It kind of snuck up on us. And so all of a sudden we kind of like, it was like, I woke up one day and was like, wait a minute, I don’t know who you are anymore.”

Another challenge that couples face in communication is not knowing how to communicate effectively about their feelings and needs. Many couples assume that their partner should know what they want or need without having to say it explicitly. However, this assumption often leads to misunderstandings and unmet expectations. Ann shares her experience of feeling alone and like a single mom raising her kids when her husband was busy with farming:

“I often felt alone, like I was a single mom raising these kids when he had his very busy seasons.”

This feeling of loneliness and unmet needs can create emotional distance and resentment in a marriage.

Additionally, couples often struggle with vulnerability and trust. They may fear being judged or rejected by their partner, leading them to withhold information or feelings. Ann explains that trust can fluctuate, and it’s essential to create a safe space for vulnerability:

“Trust is something that kind of moves. It’s a bit on, it’s on a slider. And so you hurt me a little bit today, and my trust kind of falls, or I’m reminded of something way back when, and my trust plummets. Because I’m not sure I can trust you. So I’m not going to be vulnerable with you.”

2 simple Tips for Overcoming Communication Challenges in Marriage

To overcome communication challenges in marriage, couples need to learn how to communicate effectively and openly about their feelings and needs.

This requires vulnerability and honesty, which can be difficult for some couples. However, getting help is the bravest and best thing a couple can do for their marriage:

“We’re going to get the help that we need in order to get well. And I tell my people, it’s the bravest and best thing you can do in the world is to get help. And I think we all need it at some point.”

Getting help can come in many forms, such as counselling, coaching, or attending workshops or retreats. The important thing is to recognize that communication is a skill that can be learned and improved with practice and guidance.

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1. Be an Active & Empathetic Listener

One effective way to improve communication in marriage is to learn how to listen actively and empathetically.

Active listening means paying attention to what your partner is saying without interrupting or judging them.

Empathetic listening means trying to understand your partner’s perspective and feelings without necessarily agreeing with them.

The importance of listening in communication:

“Listening is the most important thing in communication. And we need to listen with our hearts and our ears. We need to be present and focused on what our partner is saying, rather than thinking about our response or what we want to say next.”

2. Learn to express your feelings

Another way to improve communication in marriage is to learn how to express your feelings and needs in a clear and respectful way. This means using “I” statements instead of “you” statements and avoiding blame or criticism. Ann emphasizes the importance of expressing yourself honestly:

“It’s important to express your feelings and needs in a clear and respectful way. This means using “I” statements instead of “you” statements and avoiding blame or criticism. For example, instead of saying ‘You never listen to me,’ say ‘I feel unheard when we talk.'”

It’s so important to be self-aware and have emotional regulation in communication. When emotions run high, it can be challenging to communicate effectively. Ann shares her personal experience of learning how to regulate her emotions:

“I have learned how to regulate my emotions. So when I’m feeling upset or angry, I can take a step back, take a deep breath, and respond in a calm and respectful way. This has been a game-changer for our marriage.”

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How to Create a Healthy Communication Environment

In addition to learning communication skills, couples need to create a healthy communication environment in their marriage.

1. Establish Routines that promote good communication

This means establishing routines and habits that promote open and honest communication. Ann and her husband have developed daily, weekly, and yearly habits that help them stay connected:

“We have rhythms and routines that help us stay connected. For example, we have a daily prayer time and coffee together in the morning, and we have a weekly date night where we go out and do something fun together. We also take an annual marriage retreat to reflect on our relationship and set goals for the future.”

2. Set Boundaries in your communication

Creating a healthy communication environment also involves setting boundaries and respecting each other’s needs and preferences. Ann emphasizes the importance of boundaries in communication:

“Boundaries are important in communication. It’s important to know your limits and to communicate them to your partner. For example, if you need some alone time to recharge, it’s okay to say that and to ask your partner to respect that.”

Strengthen Your Connection Through Effective Communication

Effective communication is essential for a healthy and fulfilling marriage. When couples learn how to communicate openly and honestly, they can build trust and intimacy, resolve conflicts, and strengthen their connection.

However, when communication breaks down, it can lead to emotional distance, resentment, and even divorce.

By learning how to listen actively, express themselves clearly, regulate their emotions, and create a healthy communication environment, couples can overcome the common challenges of communication in marriage and build a strong and lasting relationship.

Conclusion

Communication is the foundation of any successful marriage. However, many couples struggle with effective communication, leading to misunderstandings, conflicts, and emotional distance.

By learning how to communicate openly and honestly, couples can build trust and intimacy, resolve conflicts, and strengthen their connection.

By creating a healthy communication environment, couples can establish routines and habits that promote open and honest communication, set boundaries, and respect each other’s needs and preferences.

The future outlook for communication in marriage is promising, as more couples recognize the importance of effective communication and seek help to improve their skills.

In the comments below, share your tips on communicating with your spouse.

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