Author Mira Kirshenbaum writes in her book, "The Weekend Marriage", that the American state of matrimony is all too often the victim of what she calls "Murphy's law" of marriage: "The less time you have together, the more things go wrong in your relationship."
Does This Describe Your Marriage?
- Your life centers around your children and your jobs.
- You are both pretty exhausted during the week.
- Your home and life seems to move from one small crisis to another.
- Time for romance or interacting with one another is saved for weekends along with catching up on chores around the house.
Here are some warning signs of a time-starved marriage and what you can do about it.
Here are the warning signs of running on empty in your marriage.
- You think you have to choose between your spouse and your kids. If you do, you are comparing two different types of love. Living a balanced life doesn't require choosing.
- Your lives are very fragmented. You spend more time running here and there and doing this and that than you spend together.
- When together you both tend to be in your own little world.
- You both find yourself easily irritated over small annoyances.
- Disagreements and misunderstandings between the two of you increase.
- Several months pass before you realize the two of you haven't had a date or planned alone time together.
Here are some solutions for a time-starved marriage.
- Be honest with each other about the time issues in your lives. Track a week of how you all spend your time. Evaluate time you spend with your children, with one another, on your jobs, doing chores, as a family, having fun, etc. As you examine your schedules, look for ways to trim it that will give you both a sense of hope for your future.
- Focus more on your husband-wife relationship. Ask yourselves if you think your kids are seeing the love you two have for one another.
- Make sure the two of you are connecting with each other each day. This can be accomplished by a long kiss or hug, a back rub or a quick head massage with a tingler, daily dialogue time, a morning snuggle, playing a game together, having some cuddle time, or taking a walk around your yard.
- Don't put yourselves on hold, either personally or as a couple. Take care of yourself both emotionally and physically. Make time to take a walk, read a book, relax in a hot tub, laugh, listen to music you enjoy, get a good night's sleep. You will be setting a good example for your children on how to live a balanced life.
- Say no more often to errands, chores, social activities with others, overtime, volunteer work, meetings, etc.
- Don't watch the news every night, or read the full newspaper every day. Don't read Twitter or your RSS feed every day. They steal time from you.
- Have at least one date night each month. Sometimes reserving the same date each month helps in not scheduling something else on your date night.
- Send emails to each other and leave love notes around the house.
- Find ways to make the most of every precious moment you have with each other.
Here are some suggested books to read concerning time-starved marriages.
"The Weekend Marriage: Abundant Love In A Time-Starved World" by Mira Kirshenbaum
"The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country's Foremost Relationship Expert" by John M. Gottman and Nan Silver
"Lovetalk Starters: 275 Questions to Get Your Conversations Going" by Leslie L. Parrott