“Marriage is not a noun, it’s a verb. It isn’t something you get, it’s something you do. It’s the way you love your partner every day”. ~Barbara De Angelis
Keep the couple juicy!
The next time you are in a restaurant look around at the tables and see what is going on with families and couples. Some tables are non-stop talking and some tables are totally silent. Where do you and your partner fit in on that spectrum? If you both are happy not saying a word read no further. No need to upset the applecart. If you want a lively table/marriage let’s put a little attention to the conversation domain. Let’s look at 5 domains of concern that you can start addressing.
1. Lifeline of the couple
Where are you in the life of your couple and what is going on? Are the children out of the house, under the age of 5, starting high school, starting college, no children and several years into your marriage? It doesn’t matter where you are in the timeline, what does matter is what is the task of the couple at this particular time in your lives. It is your job not to drift into these major challenges, but to design how you want to address the next stage. Take one night a week and talk about how you are doing, where you need help, do you still feel connected to each other, are you getting enough sleep, exercise and good food, do you have resentment, are you just treading water, and anything else that occupies free real estate in your brain.
Community is always important and it really becomes noticeable when your children begin to have their own lives. Are you connected to other parents so you can assist each other? Do you have adult communities through either learning, spiritual beliefs, common interest, sports etc. This can be as simple as Mom having a yoga/tennis/prayer etc. group where she focuses on herself with adults and Dad having his biking/tennis/golf/meditation buddies where he does the same. Coffee before or after can also facilitate connection to other people who have similar concerns. Is this missing or is this in place?
People have different practices in the domain of finances and I believe as the world gets bigger and more complicated it is important for people to couple in this domain. “We never talk about it”,” I don’t know anything about our finances,” “we have separate accounts”,” he/she handles all of that,” I do not believe is going to work. One person may “pay the bills” but both people need to have input and know what is going on. Pick a time to discuss finances and both of you keep up to date on how you are doing financially.
As we all grow older with the stress of the world increasing, health needs to be discussed. How do we as a couple want to be in the world in the domain of eating, exercising, meditating/prayer, laughing, sleeping, chilling, balancing work and play is an important conversation. Don’t assume here. How are we doing Honey is a great way to begin all these conversations and I recommend you keep it alive. If you are resenting his golf because you don’t know how to carve your time, this is not a good thing. Individual and family time with your children can also be talked about here. Remember children watch what you do so think about what you want to teach them.
When the logistic conversations wipe-out the juicy/intimate conversations, “Houston we have a problem.” This takes the observation “we are not connected, I miss you, I miss us.” I am too busy is not the correct answer! An intimate touch, kind sensual words, love notes, hugs, an after dinner walk, early morning coffee in bed before everyone wakes up, a shower/bath together, a knew you have been wanting this thoughtful gift, a I miss you text out of the blue, cleared your car of the snow, bought your favorite dinner, made your favorite cookies, etc. are all free and just require thinking about the person in your heart and taking steps to acknowledge this person. A sexy night away is always a good thing, but until that can be arranged keep the romance alive. Everyone likes to feel they are special in someone’s eyes and when you put big deposits in the love bank everyone benefits!
“Don’t ever stop dating your wife. Don’t ever stop flirting with your husband.”
© Anne Brown 2015. Permission needed for any form of reproduction.