It was 11.30 in the night when my mother interrupted me saying it was too late and cold to sit outside our house and talk on the phone. I was talking to my fiancée, Priscilla. Hardly few weeks after our engagement, we were making every effort to make time to meet and talk. In fact, we had mastered the art of utilizing every opportunity that came our way to see each other.
Did this happen to you as well? I’m sure many of us experienced this at some point before our wedding. It was indeed the time when we had no difficulty being available for each other. Unfortunately, the honeymoon period passes away very swiftly. After this initial blissful period, the trouble begins when we concentrate on building our career, home, finances and kids. The marriage relationship takes a backseat and many of us fail to recognize the need to reignite the romance in our marriage. In this phase, the time spent with each other is more about the administrational aspect of running a home (though necessary) rather than investing quality time with each other where the marriage is enriched and strengthened. Not spending enough time with each other is one of the primary reasons why many marriages fail.
Good marriages don’t automatically happen, they are intentionally built. We realized that if we waited for time and opportunity to come our way, we ended up hurting each other by not meeting each other’s needs. We needed to organize our time and make every effort to intentionally create quality time together, consistently.
Remember the days/weeks before your wedding? You took time from your busy schedule to be with your fiancé. You diligently planned your day, managed your work, changed your schedule at the last minute, got the best ‘unlimited talk-time’ plan. Remember? I’m sure, you would have cherished those moments! Today, many marriages are stuck with routine household chores. There is tremendous pressure on working couples, which in turn puts an immense strain on their relationship. The need of the hour for all urban couples is to consciously dedicate their time in investing in the lives of their spouse.
Quality Comes from Quantity
This may sound bizarre for many business products but true when it comes to spending time together. We have learnt that spending 30 minutes with each other will give us quality time of 15 minutes. This may vary for others; however, we cannot have a ‘2 minute noodle’ romance pack. Spending quality time together will enhance our love for each other and our relationship grows deeper and stronger. Our emphasis during this time has to be in meeting each other’s emotional needs, giving our undivided attention while talking about sensitive matters, understanding and appreciating what they mean to us. Remember, your spouse is a priceless gift that God has given you. Cherish every moment of your life with your partner.
Our Journey Thus Far
Both of us are employed and with three young daughters it all puts a tremendous strain on our marriage. We have seen many days and months just go by without having spent quality time with each other. We slowly began to learn to be very ruthless in managing and organizing our time. Over the years, we have been trying different ways to spend time together. The more we think about spending time together, the more creative ideas we get. While some of the practices mentioned below are driven purely by love, I must honestly admit that sometimes we have pushed ourselves very hard genuinely to work out our differences and it has worked wonders for us. Some of our love practices are:
- We ensure at least once or twice a month we go out on a Saturday to have breakfast in one of our favorite restaurants.
- Occasionally we meet up for lunch during week days. Believe me, it’s worth the travel to have lunch together during week days. It’s fabulous!
- Once in two months we apply for leave and go out for a movie, some shopping, ice-cream and just enjoy each other’s company. We call this ‘bunking home’. This has given us a lot of quality time to discuss many important things in our life.
- Over the last two years, we have been having ‘coffee in bed’ after putting the kids to bed. We spend around 30 minutes sipping coffee and having a ‘no agenda’ talk. This has been one of the most romantic times we have ever spent together.
- We go for evening walks together.
- Praying together has immensely blessed us. We hold each other’s hands while praying and seeking God’s guidance in our marriage. It’s a great joy to know that God is holding our hands as well when we are praying together.
- As much as possible, we love to do our household chores together. By doing this, we have experienced greater love for each other.
While we continue to learn from our marriage, we are also greatly blessed by the friendship with other couples in our community. We have learnt so much from others who have had similar experiences in their marriage and have applied some of their principles; a practice that has blessed our relationship.
Published in the August 2013 issue of the Forward Press magazine