With the pressure to be “on the go” 24/7, it can become easy to put your marriage on the back burner. Between taking care of kids, work responsibilities, attending social events, and up-keeping your home, falling into bed together at night, completely exhausted from the day’s events, may be one of the only times you and your partner do anything together anymore. As Alice Boyes, Ph.D, points out in a recent article for Psychology Today, there are a variety of negative consequences from too much busyness that can eventually succumb even the strongest marriage.
If you find yourself in this situation now, you’ve already taken an important first step! You are aware your busyness is a stressor on your relationship. Let’s look at a few different ways you and your partner can make time for each other and keep the busyness from breaking you down.
Ask for Time
As simple as it may seem, sometimes simply asking your partner to share some time with you can begin to alleviate the tension caused by busyness. To do this however, may very well require you to change your approach. Avoid complaining or using blame phrases such as
“You never have time for me,” or “We never spend any time together anymore.”
and instead, focus on your wish. I often remind couples that every complaint is a wish in disguise. When you can move from complaining to expressing your wishes, defenses go down and there is space to connect.
“Would you take a walk with me after dinner?”
Or, suggest an activity you’d like to do together:
“I’d love it if we could sit down and have coffee together.”
A ‘mini-date’ of only fifteen or twenty minutes can have lasting positive effects for your marriage.
Schedule Your Time Together
One way to make sure you and your partner are making time for your marriage, is to actually mark the time off on your calendar. When you make it official, you are less likely to delay, postpone, or allow something else to take priority. Even if it’s just a quick bite to eat or a cup of coffee and a comfy couch, a regular time together can kindle your connection and give you time to communicate on what is important to you both. Avoid stressful topics. Save those for another time. Keep these conversations light and playful, with an emphasis on reconnecting with one another. Check out our conversation starters if you need some ideas on what to discuss with your significant other.
Don’t Get Stuck in the Busy Trap!
Not making time for one another and getting stuck in the busy trap can quickly breakdown communication and leave you and your significant other feeling like strangers. If you find your schedule dictating your relationship, don’t wait any longer. Take time to make time for your relationship and get it on the calendar!
For more on how you can strengthen your marriage and keep it safe from relationship killers, like busyness, contact The Marriage Place today.