The First 4 Minutes
When you are both home from a long day, set a timer for 4 minutes. Kindly greet one another. Greet your children. Ask your partner how their day was. 4 minutes should be just enough time before the kids start demanding attention. If you don’t make it all the way to 4, that’s okay. Give it your best shot! Couples who practice this tell me they feel much closer and confident in their relationship. They also tell me that they’ve noticed how the first 4 minutes really does determine how enjoyable of an evening they will have.
Give up Media for 30 minutes
Remember how easy it was to make friends in high school and college? Part of the reason why it was easy is that there was so much time. Time to spend together and to build strong friendships. Carefree timelessness is so freeing and relaxing. No agenda. No obligations. Disconnect from your world of pressures and just be. Give yourselves the gift of time amidst an increasingly busy life and watch that bond grow. Added bonus: These 30 minutes can be easily applied to time with children as well!
Schedule Them In!
G.K. Chesterton said, “To hurry through one’s leisure is the most unbusiness-like of actions.” Meaning you can’t successfully take care of business or accomplish tasks well without first taking care of yourself. This can be applied to relationships as well. Treat your couple time as if it were as important as a business meeting. It cannot be re-arranged for any reason (except for a dire emergency of course). In fact, this is more important than any business meeting you’ll ever have. Strengthening your marriage is crucial and failure to do so will impact all other areas of your life, starting with your personal level of satisfaction. Having something to look forward to can also bring much peace to a relationship. Rather than fighting about not spending enough time together, you will notice that, both in and out of your scheduled time, your conversations are much more peaceful.
Like any good thing, you only get out of your marriage what you put into it, and that usually takes effort. Start with just one of these steps and see if you notice a difference in your relationship. Comment below and share which one you’d like to try!