The “Myth of Quality Time” – wow, did I like this when I read this. Because somehow there is this perception out there that you have to have those deep, heart-to-heart talks every day, you have to do date night at least once a week, and you have to do all these things before your marriage becomes meaningful. And I am all for that if that is what works for you. But, what if it doesn’t – what if your meaning comes by simply living your lives together?
And don’t be fooled by the myth of “quality time” either. Let’s be real I’d rather spend two hours talking about nothing with my husband than 10 minutes of “quality” conversation. Quantity time is quality time, period. Reference here.
This post may just get me kicked out of the blogosphere, but in all honesty, I think the importance of regular date nights is over-emphasized and not really a true indicator of a healthy marriage at all. Reference here
But, that doesn’t mean that you can use just living your life as an excuse to not be involved in your spouses – or them in yours. You need to be living your life together – not parallel to each other.
What I think is really important is being intentional about prioritizing your marriage and relationship. Reference here.
In today’s post at the 31 Days to a Better Marriage Series, KM Logan gives some great ideas on how to not let the busyness of life get in the way of your marriage:
So how exactly do you make more time for your spouse, when you’re busy? It takes work. It takes planning, and it is so worth it. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
1. Cut out the nonessential activities, in favor of spending time with your spouse. Yes girls night out’s and man cave time are important but if it’s a busy week (or month) it’s not the right time for these activities.
2. Turn off the T.V. Yes it’s tempting at the end of long days to turn on the T.V. but finding other activities that are relaxing (a massage maybe?) and that facilitate communicating rather than merely proximity are so much better for your marriage in seasons of busyness.
3. Plan a date night or family day before the dreaded busy week(s) get started and one after it ends. Seriously plan it. Don’t just say you’re going to do it, schedule the sitters write it on the calender and plan what you’re going to do ahead of time. Knowing that at the end of a crazy week or month I get to have a great family day then a date with my husband is a life line.
4. Make time for prayer. If you have a busy week/month then you don’t have time not to pray with your spouse. Yes it can be hard, but it’s so worth it.
In the post, Honoring the Man They Call Daddy: The Date Night Myth, Mandi also has some great ideas on how to prioritize your marriage – especially when a date night isn’t always feasible:
1. Flirt. You and your husband probably flirted regularly when you were dating, but oftentimes we get too busy and distracted by obligations, frustrations and busyness and forget to flirt with one another once we’re married. The problem is that it can become a cycle where the less we flirt, the more frustrated and irritable we get with one another, and so we flirt even less. Teasing, flirting and innuendo are all really good things in a marriage, and they help keep the spark alive on a daily basis!
2. Keep ‘em company. Sometimes I forget the value in going and sitting and keeping him company while he builds the walkway out back, works on one of his RC planes or paints the upstairs hallway. But I never, ever regret that time spent together when I do make time for it.
3. Just sit and talk. We’re a TV family, and we almost always watch a show or two together after the girls are in bed each night, which doesn’t leave a lot of time for talking. However, we’ve always made it a habit to lay in bed and talk several times a week before we go to sleep. Sometimes we’re goofy and just laugh. Sometimes we make plans and talk about the future. Sometimes we talk through parenting issues. But going to bed together most nights is important to us because it gives us that time to just focus on one another.
4. Dream together. Along those same lines, I think dreaming about the future together is one of the most important things you can do for your marriage. From realistic dreams to “what if we won a million dollars” dreams, thinking about your lifetime together and sharing your hopes and your wishes is so, so important.
5. Hold hands & touch. It’s so easy to let days go by without really touching. It happens to us, and we’re home together all day every day. However, non-sexual touch in a marriage is as important — if not more so — than a healthy sex life. It creates affection, builds trust and helps you to feel connected to one another. Holding hands, hugs, touching one another when you talk, etc. all increase the intimacy in your relationship.
6. Have fun together! Have you ever noticed that when you share a laugh with a complete stranger, you instantly feel a connection? You may never know their name or see them again, but in that moment, you are connected.
The same is true in marriage, and laughing together regularly is an important way to stay connected to your husband even in the midst of family obligations and busy schedules. Whether you’re watching a funny show or movie, roughhousing or teasing one another, laughter is a great way to strengthen the foundation of your marriage.
And here, from a couple who never did the “date night” requirements, but always made their marriage a priority:
However did that happen without date nights? (Of course there were SOME along the way….when it worked out, when it wasn’t a stress on the young children.) Well….we had this joint project that we were both involved in and committed to: we raised our children together. We leaned on each other in the hard times. We had fun together. We took trips as a family together…but we were on those trips too, sharing a wink over the heads of the kids, talking late into the night as we drove where we were going, sharing hopes and dreams. We discussed everything all the time and conferred together about the kids. We sat together through kids’ recitals and concerts and baseball and basketball practices and games. We brainstormed and prayed together over issues we were worried about. And now we have the bonds of all those memories–far more of a foundation to move forward into the next season of life than we did when we were first together. It’s a wonderful time. Reference here.
And here I think is the lesson – no matter what works for you, always prioritize your marriage and your relationship.