Besides my relationship with God, one of the most important relationships in my life is the one with my husband. If that relationship isn’t going well, neither is my day.
A better than average marriage is something I’m striving for in life. A perfect one would be nice, but since my husband and I are both human, I don’t see that happening in this lifetime. Average marriages are easy. All I have to do is go about my daily life and pretend like he’s not there. The less interactions with Todd, the less to fight and argue about. Right? Not really.
Speaking of arguments, I find them healthy. They’re not fun, but they can lead to change. Good change. If I never voice my opinion, how is he going to know what ruffles my feathers. It doesn’t mean I’m right, but at least I can get my voice heard.
Todd and I like to use the word “connection” in our marriage. This word describes how close we’re feeling towards each other at that moment. Sometimes we have a great connection and we feel the love. Other times it feels more like a friendship. That friendship phase would be when we’re having an average marriage. We’re not fighting, but we’re not “connecting” either. So what do we do to have a better than average marriage?
To make sure that Todd and I are experiencing a better than average marriage, there are a few ways we like to connect in our relationship:
1. Make time to connect verbally. Almost every night we try to get together once the kids go to bed. We’re not always great at this, but it helps a lot. We always have a book on marriage that we’re reading to help us get different perspectives on how to improve our relationship. After we read, we talk about our day and anything we have on our mind. Then we pray for each other. This was awkward for me at first because I’m so shy, but it got easier the more we prayed together. It’s awesome to see God work in our lives individually and as a couple.
2. Go out together – without the kids. I know some parents have different views on this. Some parents like to take their kids everywhere with them. Todd and I need the break and time to connect, otherwise life gets in the way. Right now we have date night every Wednesday when the kids are at church. We’re very lucky to have that time when the kids are busy without us. When we don’t have that option, we try and have a date night about twice a month. We either go out together just the two of us or with another couple. My mom will watch Ryan for us on these nights.
3. Get intimate. Todd and I have two different perspectives on this one. He wants to connect intimately WAY MORE THAN I DO. Before having Ryan we were on the same page, but not so much these days. After Ryan came along, I became tired. Even though I don’t have a job where I leave the house at 7 in the morning and return at 6 in the evening, there’s still lots going on with a 3 year old, a teenager, and a dog in the house. Sometimes we get intimate just because he wants to, but that’s not always the most fun for him. We need to somehow find a compromise. Basically, we need the most work with this connection.
These three areas are always a work in progress for us. We can never have them down 100%, but it’s all about how much effort both parties are willing to put in to help our marriage thrive.