Do you ever feel like you are being stretched too thin and as a result you don’t have time to focus on your marriage? If so, it can cause your relationship to slowly dissipate and can lead to a lot of marital problems. Devoting time and energy to your relationship is necessary to grow together as a couple, but sometimes the demands of life can make this difficult.
Evaluate How Much Time You Devote to Your Marriage
How much time do you devote to your spouse and the health of your marriage? Consider how many hours you spend each week devoted to helping and talking to your spouse. How much time do you spend going on a date, communicating about important issues, and being physically affectionate with one another? If you are like most people, there are likely weeks that you don’t have much time and energy left to devote to your marriage.
Where Else Does Your Time Go
It’s easy for many things to interfere with having enough quality time together. Work, kids, household responsibilities, extended family obligations, and friends can easily take up almost all of a person’s time. Even healthy activities, such as managing the PTA or attending a weekly Bible study can get the way of devoting time to your marriage. Add in a hobby or two and the schedule is packed.
And many people don’t even have the luxury of enjoying hobby. Instead, their time is spent caring for an ill family member or perhaps taking care of themselves with various doctor appointments. All of these types of activities can consume a person’s time easily.
Technology can easily interfere with a couple’s quality time as well. Sometimes when couples are together they are frequently checking email, texting or catching up on social media. These sorts of distractions take away from spending time quality time with one another.
How to Make Time
When you are not making enough time for your spouse it is important to evaluate your schedule. See what things you may be able to give up to free up some time in your schedule. For example, can you give up one committee, organization, or club? Is it possible to come home earlier one night per week?
I recently worked with a couple who started a small business on the side. Both of them had full-time jobs but since the kids were grown, they thought they would have plenty of time to turn a hobby into a small business. However, after about a year they took a step back and realized what the small business had meant to their relationship.
They found that much of their spare time was spent keeping the books, marketing their business, and doing a lot of hard work. Their evenings and weekends were spent focusing more on the business on than on their relationship. The business didn’t make enough money to turn it into a full-time job for either of them.
They eventually decided the extra money they were making wasn’t worth it because it was straining their marriage. They decided to give up their business and begin devoting their time and energy back into one another.
Focus on Quality Over Quantity
For some couples there aren’t enough hours in the day to really spend a lot of time together. For people trying to dig their family out of debt or for couples who care for an ill relative, it may not be plausible to spend a lot of time together.
However, it can be helpful to focus on quality over quantity. If your time is limited, decide how you can make the best of it. Use the time you do have as wisely as possible.
Schedule a date night and spend it focusing one another. Leave each other notes even when you can’t see one another in person. Send email messages to stay connected. Talk on the phone if you can’t be under the same roof. Get creative and find ways to communicate as often as possible.
There may be times in your marriage where you feel like you have to be ships passing in the night. If you find yourself in this situation, try to find light at the end of the tunnel. For example, if you know it’s only for a few months while you finish up your last two college classes, remind yourself of how you will nurture your relationship as soon as you have more time. When possible, plan ahead for how you will manage your time and still squeeze in time for your spouse.
Marriage is like a garden. It needs to be cared for. If you neglect the weeds are going to grow. Neglect it after the weeds have grown it and it will be difficult to make your garden grow. However, if you spend a little time each day caring for and weeding your garden, you’ll get better results.