Remember when you and your spouse were newlyweds? You probably spent hours talking, dreaming together, sharing hobbies, and just hanging out.
But slowly life creeps in. Maybe it's a busy career (or two!), school, or small children who require constant love and attention. When life gets busy, connecting with the one you love suddenly doesn't come so easily anymore.
I know that's where I am right now. I have little baby night owls who just don't get sleepy until after 9pm, a never ending to-do list, and a chronic lack of good quality sleep. All this makes maintaining a close relationship with my husband a little tougher than it used to be.
If you're in a similar season, here are some things to keep in mind that might help you connect more deeply with your spouse.
Don't be afraid to utilize technology. The old-fashioned girl in me finds this unromantic, at first glance. However, with a clever toddler who understands everything we say, it's often hard to have adult conversation with my husband in person or even over the phone. So we text. Updates about our day, inside jokes, and constant flirting keeps a smile on my face all day long and helps us to feel close, even when we're apart or busy. By the time we see each other in the evening, we already feel like we've shared something that day. Texting (or using email, social media, or whatever) isn't difficult and has great rewards.
It takes effort. Just because spending time together isn't as easy as it used to be doesn't mean it can't happen. Romance and connection don't have to be spontaneous. Making an effort to be together can be as simple as waking up fifteen minutes early to share a cup of coffee, or a short visit during someone's lunch break. It's easy to get in a relational rut, but with a little effort and creativity, you can find a dozen ways to squeeze in time together.
This also means being intentional about the time you do have. Rather than vegging out in front of Netflix when the kids finally go to bed, try making yourselves a late dinner (frozen pizza?) by candlelight. Talk about your goals for the year. Ask how the other person is doing, and really listen. Learn how to play poker. Laugh together.
Make date night happen.
Again, this might be cliche relationship advice, but for good reason. Dating often gets forgotten in marriage; after all, why do you need to go on dates when you live together? Besides, when money and time are tight, how can you make it work?
Dates don't have to cost money. Pack a picnic and go to the park. Find a local nature trail you've never walked before. Get a classic movie from the library. Even if it means staying up really late to fit it in after the kids go to bed or long shift at work, the relational payoff makes it totally worth it.
Your life will go through many changes throughout your marriage, but keeping your relationship strong is a worthwhile investment. What are some other ideas for squeezing in time together when life gets hectic?