If your marriage is stuck in a rut, it’s easy to focus on all the negative. Easier yet is to wallow in the idea that it’s not worth it anymore or that there’s someone better out there. Couple that with the holidays and what you’ve got is the perfect storm of getting together for Friendsgiving and griping about your husbands while cleaning up dinner or about your wives while watching the game.
The greatness about coaching is that it focuses on the how more than the why. How do we better our marriage before the holiday get-togethers? Here’s 5 ways you can implement now.
1. Make a habit to implement 20 minutes of alone time together each day.
The average American couple only spends 4 minutes alone together each day. That is NOT enough time to make a marriage work, connect or do anything other than make a request, throw a passive-aggressive comment and go to sleep. EEK.
I am going to challenge you to carve out 20 minutes of your day, every day, to connect with your spouse. Ask a connecting question, talk about things other than the kids, the house or your job. That’s 1.4% of your day.
2. Indulge in Hobbies and Happiness for YOURSELF!
If I had a dollar for every client that has come to me complaining that they are resentful of their spouse for getting time to themselves, but they don’t, I’d have an entire college fund built for my oldest solely off this topic alone.
“I don’t have anyone to watch the kids.”
“My husband is always working.”
“I don’t have time.”
People. I say this with all the love and kindness in my heart but the only thing standing in your way is your excuses. As a single mom, I found time to paint, read, workout and lose 60 lbs. As a mom who homeschools, coaches 6 couples and 2 individuals (a full roster for me), is raising the most destructive toddler known to man-kind and a content creator with a husband who flies 23 days a month- I still find time to paint, read, workout, etc. I don’t have family near me and I have very few friends in our circle down here in Houston.
I don’t say this to tell you I’m better than you, I’m not. You may be thinking “Well you don’t know my situation.” You’re right. I don’t. I don’t need to. I’ve lived a lot of different situations and coached many, many people through even more uniqueness. I am still telling you it’s possible, even if you have no money, even if you’re short on time, even if (fill in the blank) but you have to make it happen.
Happiness is an inside job. We are responsible TO our spouses but not FOR our spouses. What that means is that it’s not your partner’s job to make you happy. It’s yours. If you indulge, even just a little bit, in a hobby that gives you energy, you’re going to be a better mom, wife, friend, and person. It’s not only worth it, it’s vital to your mental health! Again, make it happen. If you’re not sure what you like or what you’re passionate about, think back to when you were younger. What did you like? What have you been interested in before but didn’t ever dig into or learn? Learn it now. What have you always wanted to try but never did? Do it now.
3. Re-establish expectations.
This is another big one that can create resentment if not implemented.
Every time you have a kid, move, change jobs, lose a job, lose a parent, lose your sh*t, the kids have a break from school, expectations change. If you don’t establish those expectations and keep re-establishing those expectations, you’re basically having a conversation inside your head that nobody else is a part of. It doesn’t work very well.
Define what your expectations are. What do they look like specifically? Think about your own expectations of yourself, of your partner, of your children, of the circumstances, for your house, around your job, around your family budget, all of it. Talk about what the expectations look like specifically so there isn’t room for miscommunication or someone saying “I didn’t know.” Make sure the expectations work for you and your partner. If they don’t work for one, they don’t work at all. Revamp them until they do work for both parties. Of course, you can book a session if you’re not able to come to terms around these.
This leads me to number 4.
4. A weekly marriage meeting.
Think of your marriage like a business. To a certain extent, it is. You have to budget, check in with each other, make sure the business is running smoothly so it’s successful and doesn’t fail. How does a successful business run? The owners, admins, etc. have meetings surrounding the important topics. If you’re not doing that in your marriage, I can tell you first hand that it doesn’t work so well. Moe and I drove the struggle bus and totaled that sucker so many times before we finally got on the right path and started doing these marriage meetings. I’ve developed a marriage meeting agenda you can find in the monthly membership that we and all my clients use. It walks you through all the important things for the week- budget, your sex life, appointments, etc. and addresses some of the core resentment starters before they become huge issues. It takes about 30-45 minutes at the beginning of your week and sets you up for so much more connection and success throughout the week!
5. HAVE FUN!
I bet when you were dating you had a lot of fun! When you got married, you probably still had fun but you were also trying to make money to live on your own and buy groceries. Then you added a kid or two to the mix and life took precedence. You stopped scheduling date nights and fun so the fun stopped happening. That’s a thing you know. If you don’t put it on the calendar, it doesn’t happen.
So this week, I am challenging you (again) to sit down with your spouse and schedule some FUN into your lives. A weekend getaway, a big vacation, date nights at least twice a month, put it all on your calendar! Get back to remembering why you fell in love and start enjoying each other again! You might even find that you like each other! 😘