Recently, I stopped to realize that my husband and I hadn’t spoken more than a meaningful few words to each other in several days. Sure, we organized kids activities, relayed work information, and communicated needed appointments. But when did we say hello? Relay how our day went? Or speak about anything important in our lives?
I know we aren’t alone. Many of the parents around us complain that they are like “ships in the night” when it comes to their spouses. Activities, obligations, and technology pull us in a thousand different directions. Is there a way to get back to the good stuff? The real connection we all crave? I believe so!
Here are 5 ways to help get yourself back there. These have helped us, and many others too!
Set Up a Date Night
First and foremost, I’m not sure we’d still be married with three kids if we didn’t have a dedicated night once a week to ourselves. This isn’t always out and about either. Often, it’s hanging out downstairs while the kids are upstairs. And regardless of what we do, we know it’s OUR time to be present for each other.
*We also like to do a Sunday morning coffee date before the kids wake up to get in a little extra time together.
Get the Conversation Flowing
Questions are such a great way to get talking. When you’ve been together for a long time, sometimes the conversation gets a bit stale. But try out these fun would you rather questions for couples, and you’ll quickly realize that perhaps you don’t know your partner as well as you thought. How intriguing!
Set Boundaries With Your Kids
Often, a disconnect can come down to the fact that parents sacrifice much of their lives for the sake of their kids’ activities. Extracurriculars for kids ARE important. But if it’s leading to a poor partner and/or family environment, perhaps it’s time to evaluate which sets of activities are important and which can be eliminated. Remember, in order to focus on the important things in life, we must wade through the distractions to get to the essentials.
Set a Check-in Time
The detachment I felt with my husband stemmed largely from forgetting to do our nightly check-in. For years, this check-in has been a fantastic way to close the day. We run on VERY different schedules (I’m a crazy morning person and he’s a crazy night owl), but for 30 minutes after the kids are down, we cuddle in bed and catch up on whatever we feel like talking about. It’s generally not an adventure-packed time, but it gives us the quiet moment we need from the family life that requires a lot from us.
Set a Vacation
Finally, now that we all can travel, perhaps an evening in a hotel, a long weekend camping, or a full out vacation with your partner is the perfect way to mix it up and give your relationship a shot of adventure. Sometimes, we all need an escape from the mundane to bring us together. Plus, experiences are proven ways to make us happier in general. So, share this with the person you want to be with!
Once we focused on these five things, we immediately noticed better feelings of love and connection. Often, it’s the little things in a relationship that make the biggest difference! (Especially when you have kids and it’s difficult to do the big, romantic gestures). I hope these tips help you too! What have you been doing to keep your relationship strong and your communication open?
“In a relationship, when communication starts to fade, everything else follows.”unknown