During this season of uncertainty in our world, many couples have unexpectedly found themselves with a lot of time to be at home together. This period of self-quarantine and social distancing we’re experiencing right now will likely stand in stark contrast to the craziness of our status quo.
It’s no secret that most of the time, many married couples struggle to make enough time for each other. When you’re dating and first falling in love, you spend as much time together as you possibly can. But once you’re married and settled, life takes over, and before you know it, you’re barely spending any time together.
Right now, we have the rare and unique opportunity to reset how we approach the time we spend together. This is a chance to hit the pause button and consider the time-sucking activities and circumstances that pull us apart in our daily lives.
So why do couples have so much trouble making time for each other? Let’s look at a few common reasons.
1. Hectic Careers
In many marriages, both spouses build and maintain busy careers. With the time demands on each of you, plus your children’s needs, it can be tough to carve out one-on-one time.
If your careers get in the way of your shared time, there are a few things you can do to reconnect:
- Have breakfast together every morning
- Check-in with each other during your lunch breaks
- Commute together, if you work in the same area and it’s feasible
- Sit down to dinner together in the evenings
It’s possible your work schedules are out of sync with one another, especially if you work separate shifts. In that case, we suggest you sit down together, take an inventory of each of your schedules, and find times that work for both of you to just be together and reconnect.
Scheduling too many activities for yourselves and your children can quickly eat away at quality time with your spouse. If this sounds familiar, it might be time to trim back some of the activities you’re all involved in so that you and your partner can get the time you need together. It’s also possible to combine activities or try something new–so if you and your spouse want to dive into a new activity together, this could be a great opportunity to do so.
3. Screen Time
Technology is amazing, but it has its pitfalls. One of those is reduced face-time. There’s an endless supply of content and entertainment to sift through at any given moment, and you can both quickly find yourselves losing time to the screen. If this is what your afternoons and evenings look like, you’ll want to consider how you might both cut back on screen time and pour more time into each other.
4. Prioritizing the Kids Over Your Marriage
Kids are so important, and we love them so much! However, sometimes kids take precedence over our marriage relationships. The downside to this scenario is that, while your kids may be getting nurtured and taken care of, the couple’s intimacy can suffer.
You need to maintain intimacy in your marriage in order to remain healthy and happy together. Reevaluate how you might be able to tweak your kids’ schedules–or help your spouse find a solution, whether that’s getting a babysitter once a week or taking turns kid-sitting with family friends.
5. No Shared Leisure Time
If you’re not spending shared leisure time together, you’re missing out on valuable time as a couple. Find some shared activities you both enjoy and that you’re both interested in, and start spending more time at play together.
While you’re spending time at home…
Take some time to consider the above time-bandits and evaluate how you can reset your life’s rhythm. While this is a challenging time for many, it’s also a golden opportunity to consider your priorities and rebuild your life around them.
If you need a little help making more time for one another…
The all-new, revised edition of Your Time-Starved Marriage: How to Stay Connected at the Speed of Life is available now, along with his and hers accompanying workbooks.
If you and your spouse are struggling with feeling overscheduled and underconnected, this book is a road map to guide you back into spending more quality time together. You can order your copy here!
What activities and circumstances affect the time you’re able to spend with your spouse? How will you make adjustments in the coming months? Let us know in the comments!