So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. Romans 14:19 (ESV)
In the busy-ness of life with kids, it’s so easy to let your marriage take a back seat. Communication centers around the kids, the kids, the kids, and unless couples are very intentional about working on this, their life together becomes more about the kids than it does about them as a couple.
Some great role models and six weeks of great pre-marital counseling made us very aware of the danger of watching our kids leave home and finding ourselves strangers. We didn’t want to look at each other when they’d left and say, “who are you?”
I will share with you one little tip that our pre-marital counselor shared with my husband Ted and I over 35 years ago. He said, “Sit down for 5-10 minutes when you first both come home and re-connect.”
Not a very profound bit of advice, you might be thinking. But I truly believe that this little nugget has made a huge difference in our ability to maintain good communication and understand each other.
Of course,this was easy to do when we didn’t have kids! Having little ones who demanded our attention, then having older ones who kept us running here and there with activities definitely made this habit of daily communication a challenge.
But someone how we still managed. And, 35 years later, we are still doing it. Of course, it’s easier now that our kids are grown, but it feels like our day is not complete until we have done this. The foundation of communication we’ve build has made the continual communication we have possible.
Here’s what it looked like over the years:
When the kids were tiny, we may have done it while one or two of us was holding a little one.
When the kids were old enough to be alone in the other room, we’d say, “Mom and Dad are going to talk for a few minutes, we’ll be right back.”
When the kids’ sports schedules made it impossible to sit down at home right after work and before dinner, we’d do it in the car on the way to a game if we were driving together, or even sneak it in later in the night.
The reason for this re-connection is to get on the same page. Once I know what kind of day my husband has had and he knows what kind of day I have had, then we will understand why we are tired or discouraged or extra energetic. Getting on the same page is just a matter of simple, clear, to the point communication.
For instance, when my husband comes home and tells me he had a super hard day dealing with his elderly father at work in the family business, it helps me understand why he’s on edge or extra tired.
This simple habit has been one of the keys of 35 years of being happily married!
I’d like to challenge you to start doing this with your spouse. Keep working at it until it becomes a habit that you know is necessary.
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