Making The Case For Time Alone Together –
Having time alone with your spouse is not always an easy thing to do. As a matter of fact, it can be darn hard, especially once you have kids in the house. But, there is no way around this topic. This is something that you simply cannot do without or the relationship is bound to perish.
You have things to attend to on a day-to-day basis. From the family to the job, everything needs your attention. When children come along, you have to work harder to pay the bills. This new demand comes at a time when your job may be more demanding, as well.
Of course, we welcome both the children and the promising career, but at what expense? Some days it feels like a pressure cooker and the lid’s about to blow! So, how do you get some relief from this constant demand? Something has got to give, and it’s typically the thing that you think you can attend to later – like each other.
We often put off doing those things that are the most forgiving. The car can wait until next week for that oil change. The dress shoes can last another year. The refrigerator is working alright for now. Most likely these things have been ignored before and didn’t cause a disruption in your life, so they can be ignored again.
But, when we start ignoring the needs of our spouse, those little things start to add up to big things. Yes, we ignore the people we feel the safest with – the people who we think can be ignored without too much trouble. Because we love our spouse we don’t cause a lot of trouble when we’re ignored – not like our boss, or our children – at least not right away.
Frankly, this whole ‘making time for each other’ can be downright exhausting!
The thing that is important to keep in mind is that you got together and got married because of what you shared as a couple… not with the children, the job, or the rest of the family or friends.
That means your relationship should be based on what you share together, just the two of you. If you are only sharing the day-to-day activities of the children or what you boss needs or what the house needs, then you will find less and less in common as the years go by. And, once those things change (children grow up, jobs change, you move) you will find yourselves growing apart further and further.
Simply finding time alone is problematic especially when you have children at home. Even when you make the effort to set aside a few minutes so you can talk quietly like you used to, you’ll find yourself interrupted by a toddler demanding attention, or a teenager trying to sway your mind. When that happens, even small bits of time that could have been special are often laid to waste. When the children are gone, spending time alone should be simple, but it isn’t. The habit of NOT spending any time alone can become so ingrained that we forget how to be a couple.
That’s why it’s important to find the time for each other, to THAT a habit. You don’t have to plan an event that costs a lot of money, but it needs to be time alone, with just you and your spouse, and done often. These times together may not be spontaneous for a while, but don’t let that stop you. The spontaneity will come when your children are fully launched and on their own. But, you have to maintain a good marriage for that to happen, so work on the scheduled time together now so you can enjoy the spontaneous times later.
Many parents of young children use the excuse that they can’t find a babysitter, or they can’t afford one. Regardless of your circumstances, it’s important to spend some quality time with the person you love. If that requires taking money out of the grocery fund and living on noodles for a week, it’s an investment that’s well worth it for the sake of your marriage. Don’t forget; other parents, your friends, are having the same trouble finding time alone. Swap babysitting time and you’ve solved both problems!
Keep in mind it doesn’t have to be a long period of time on every occasion, but it does have to be time spent alone, without any interruptions. It needs to be quality time, which will allow you to experience each other without any outside stimulus. It needs to allow for intimate moments and the freedom to express how much you love and appreciate the person you married.
Regardless of how you spend your time alone with your spouse, make it memorable and enjoyable. It may be as simple as curling up on the couch, watching a movie and sharing a bowl of popcorn, or going for a long walk. The time you spend together is not about what you did specifically, it’s about the fact that just the two of you were able to share it, alone.