Gary and I have had seasons where we have been stretched to our max. He would ask me to do a small errand and I would snap. I would ask him to help me with a computer problem and he would balk. I remember hoping he wouldn’t need much from me at those times, as there wasn’t much left in the tank.
Every marriage has an emotional tank. When there is little shared time with your mate that tank becomes depleted. No matter what life throws at you, leaning in can keep you feeling close and your tank satisfied. Leaning in can involve small, incremental gestures or larger planned events. As a matter of fact, small increments of daily behavior are more important to a couple’s marital satisfaction than bigger efforts like a vacation. Each couple determines what types of connection are meaningful for them.
Here’s an exercise that can help you and your spouse connect more meaningfully during the week. Sit down together and each of you take a sheet of paper.
- Each list 5 small behaviors you enjoy receiving from your mate on a daily basis.
bring me coffee in the morning
kiss me goodbye when you are leaving
ask me how my day went when you get home
hug me for no reason
tell me you love me
cuddle before we fall asleep
bring me water at night
thank me for something
set aside 10 minutes to check in on how our day went
Number your preferences 1-5 in the order of their importance to you.
Share your lists. Tell your spouse which one or two on their list you will commit to this week. Keep their list handy for future weeks and be sure to do one or two daily.
- Now list one thing you would like to do each week that would help you meaningfully connect:
spend one evening watching a movie together
get a babysitter and go on a date
take a long walk
plan a fun meal and prepare it together
star gaze using a cool app
play a board game
research fun things to do in the area and plan one for the weekend
enjoy sexual intimacy
read a chapter from a book on enhancing your sexual relationship
Number your preferences 1-5 in order of importance to you. Place an ‘x’ on any that are not doable for you at this time. See if there is any overlap in your first 5 preferences and commit to doing that this week. If there is any preparation involved, agree together who will be doing the preparation. It is best if both of you can share in the prep!
Leaning in can restore vitality to your relationship and keep you remembering why you said “I do”. Don’t let busyness rob you of these important moments!
Please feel free to comment and share fun or meaningful ways you connect with your spouse on a daily or weekly basis!
“I will make you my wife forever, showing you … unfailing love and compassion.” (Hosea 2:19)