Keeping family life running smoothly (and paying for it all) takes so much energy that many couples have nothing left over for their friendship. During those stress-filled seasons, boredom and apathy can easily infect a marriage. Have you been there? Are you there now? What are you doing to inject fresh vitality into your relationship?Having been very happily married for more than 26 years my advice is to make your friendship with your husband your second priority. (Your first priority should, of course, be your relationship with God.) Our lives are very busy. There are always demands on our time and attention. Lyle usually works 50-60 hours per week, sometimes more. However, we still find time to talk and share with each other every day.
- If he has to work late, I'll go to the print shop to hang out with him. Even if he's so engrossed in a job that he can barely acknowledge I'm there, I still like being there. I take along projects to work on quietly, or if he's working on something I can help with, I jump in to help him.
- At least once a week we take 20 minutes for a quick "date" in the middle of the day. It just consists of me riding with him to buy a Coke or coffee to go. Then he drops me off at home and he heads back to work.
- At the end of the day we relax together in the family room. Sometimes we watch TV or a movie, but conversation always has priority. If either of us has something on our mind we take time to talk about it.
- We like to go out for breakfast on Saturday mornings. Most Saturdays he has to work, and I usually go with him. In the summer, we get a to-go breakfast and go garage-saling if we have time.
- We text or email each other during the day. Electronic communication is so much more efficient than phone calls when you just have something quick to say.
- We run errands together in the evenings. He goes with me to the grocery store. I go with him to Home Depot. When we have time we like to go to Barnes and Noble just for fun.
We are enjoying this season of life now that our children are old enough to stay home alone. When they were younger we would still do a lot of things on this list, but we took them with us. It was harder to fit in the "just us" time, but we have always had the end-of-the-day conversation time after the kids went to bed.