“You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.”
Between thriving careers and active families, it’s common to feel that you’re too busy for weekly outings with your spouse. However, if we are honest with ourselves, we know that the level of personal importance (not a lack of time) is the only true differentiating factor between the tasks we pursue and the activities we skip. Once you come to the realization that you do have the time needed to focus on your spouse, you’ll no longer find “business” as a valid reason to neglect the quality time that marriages need to survive. If you’d like to know how to stay connected, even when you’re busy, check out these three steps.
Discuss the Meaning of “Connection”
The most important aspect of maintaining a strong connection with your spouse is communication. By initiating a discussion that covers the specific details of what it means to be “connected,” you can build from a shared understanding of each other’s needs. For some, remaining connected means feeling romantically involved with their partner. For others, a healthy connection only requires a few minutes of daily conversation. There is no right or wrong when it comes to your personal definition of connection, but you do need to know what your spouse desires from you. Many couples agree that holding on to a steady connection requires quality time spent together, but that too can be defined in various ways depending on each person’s perspective. Can time spent together doing household chores be defined as quality time? Or is it only quality time if it is planned, memorable and filled with undivided attention from your partner? Take your spouse’s answers to these questions, compare them with your own and work together to meet halfway.
Once you’ve determined what staying connected looks like in your marriage, you can create a plan to work quality time into your busy schedule. Both of you should gather any work calendars, appointment schedules or agendas and start by finding an available time that you both consistently have open. Choose that day or time to focus on rekindling the fire. Refer back to the initial conversation you had with your spouse and schedule some time to talk, date or relax together. Remember, there is no incorrect way to go about investing quality time as long as your plan meets the needs of your spouse. Once you’ve chosen a day and time, put it in on your schedule as a long-standing appointment. After writing it in stone, stick to it! Treat your connection time with the same respect you’d give a work meeting. Prioritize your time together. Don’t shirk your responsibility just because your spouse is understanding and canceling doesn’t seem to hold much consequence. Be intentional about devoting time to your relationship and proving to your spouse that in spite of a full schedule, they matter most.
Take Advantage of Spontaneous Opportunities
Lastly, don’t pass on spontaneous fun. Every now and again you and your partner will have a break in your schedule that wasn’t planned but is available. Don’t let the opportunity slip away by filling the time with work or chores – use it to surprise your spouse with a last minute date. You’ve already covered your bases by keeping your scheduled marriage dates, but spontaneity is a vital part of any long term relationship, too. After some time, the expected can become monotonous and the novelty can wear off. Remedy that by using spontaneous opportunities to keep your spouse on their toes.
Investing time into your relationship is always worth the effort. Your spouse is one of the most important people in your life and should be treated as such. When things are well on the home front that positivity can influence other areas of your life. Take these three steps and make the choice to never be too busy to prioritize the success of your marriage.