Saturday, February 20, 2010

Marriage Challenge Day 6: Play

I bet you are thinking that todays challenge looks pretty easy, huh? Well dont jump to conclusions, because, in all seriousness, finding time to play can be hard.

After all, life is busy; life is chaotic; and life is stressful.... and as a result, couples dont put their relationships at the top of their priority lists because everything else that screams for their attention seems more important or urgent. But eventually that lack of closeness and time together, results in awkwardness, tension, distance, and waning feelings of love. Over time, the lack of time for each other, takes its toll on the marriage.

All work and no play can make a marriage feel like a job instead of a joy.

So many of us get caught up doing life, that we forget to stay caught up in our marriage, in fact, a lack of spending time together is probably a huge factor that leads to the astronomical divorce rate that exists today. Even for couples who deeply love each other, if there is a lack of focus on togetherness, the friendship part of the relationship may begin to fade. If it fades long enough, it might disappear altogether.

I began thinking of some close friends I had from high school, college, former jobs and years past. Friends that I loved and adored and had everything in common with. Friends who had been through thick and thin with me. Friends who were precious and important. But due to living in different cities or states, changing jobs, having kids, and living increasingly busy lives, we grew apart. The phone calls became less and less. The emails got shorter, until they stopped altogether. And eventually, communication ended. Relationship over.

There were no problems in these friendships, I treasured each person and was thankful for their presence in my life. But the lack of focus on both ends, and the pull to more important things in life, resulted in some wonderful friendships simply fading away.

In my opinion, "play" is not something to take for granted at all, especially in marriage.

I tend to think that women care more about spending time together than men, or at least that is my unofficial opinion. It just seems that women, with the nurturing spirits God placed in us, do seem to be more inclined to think about quality time with the ones we love, than men do. However, regardless of who thinks it is more important, or whose fault it is that we may have not been making each other a priority, it is never too late to push time together back up to the top of our priority lists.

If you were to ask my husband to name one thing that I consistently "whine" about, it would be that we dont seem to have any alone time together; or comments such as " I have hardly seen you all week", followed by sniff, sniff, and head hung low.

Michael is a wonderful man who is very involved in my life and our kids lives. He does so much for me and for our family - but, as a result of work, and having three social, busy, and very active children - we are always busy, which makes time alone as a couple a rare thing around here.....and for a girl whose love language is time, I cant help myself but to whimper and whine a little when I am feeling neglected and in need of some of attention!

I just believe that time is the most priceless commodity that we have, and once it is spent, we can never get it back. How we spend that commodity, can impact our lives, and our marriage, in big and life changing ways.

Your challenge for today is to think of some ways that you and your husband can find some dedicated alone time to spend together. Make a list of things you used to do together, and check out opportunities to do some of those again.

If your husband has been unreceptive to your attempts for 'date-nights' or suggested activities or romantic getaways, my suggestion is to pray for God to soften his heart, and for God to help your husband see how important his time and attention is to you. Just as we take respect for our husbands for granted sometimes, husbands take for granted that we need to feel their physical touch, and spend time with them, so praying for our husbands hearts about this subject is always worthwhile.

If you have a great idea for couples to do together, from the most basic of activities to some suggestions, maybe you could share them with the rest of us. Or maybe you have a sweet tactic for how you got your husband to begin seeing the importance of spending time together, and how he came around to understand your point of view and your need for his time attention. If so, we are all ears!

Happy Saturday!

Marriage Challenge Day 6: PlaySocialTwist Tell-a-Friend


Anonymous said...

Hi Tracie and Everyone,

Moranda Clark...Have you in my prayers. Thanks for sharing this here with us. I enjoyed it:"Speak without offending and Listen without Defending!!!"...Moranda here is a hug for you today. Embrace it. Hold on.

Tracie the idea for us that our busy a basic suggestion. I enjoy walking. Our dates on the weekend is a nice 4 mile walk together. (It is for only a hr). But is an hr. well spent. So much gets discussed while on our walk. Our understanding for each other needs gets talked about. Yes there are times, when I wish we could do more...But alot of things have to be put into prespective.

My husband eats at restraunts all the time with driving truck. When he is home he enjoys a home cooked meals...(I have to say He alot of times will prepare it for Me...In his heart this is Him taking me out for dinner.) He is on the road alot he enjoys just to be Home. God made me a home-body. His plan for me for my husband I think was meant to be. He has blessed us with much we like to live simple lives. I enjoy looking out my window when he takes the boys out watching them play a game of hockey on the pond. Or seeing him showing the boys how to change the oil in the vechicles. I view God so much in the simplest things being done.

Make it a great Saturday Girls. My date will be Home soon. Have to get dressed for it. Will be making him a great dinner today he was driving most of the night.

Life is hard, but God is Good!

Kelly said...

I also agree that women care more about spending time together. I have found that if I find something to do and ask him if he wants to do it, he will agree. I did have to get over the fact that he doesn't just take it upon himself to plan it but the end result is the same and I get to spend time with him. I did have to look to God to help me stop feeling sorry for myself though that he doesn't plan it all.

Rachel B said...

Two things:

1. A good way to "play" together is to work together. Go where he goes, working along side of him on a project or ride with him to the hardware store or whatever. It gives you time to talk and connect. Plus he's thankful that you want to help and are interested in what he's doing. Note: I've loved our remodeling project time this winter!!

2. My husband tells me that if I want a "date night" to just plan it, put it on the calendar! He's willing, just not creative. When I don't "put it on the calendar" we let too much time go by without some alone time.

Sometimes I think we women expect our husbands to take the initiative, and have an unrealistic view of what this is "suppose to" look like! All that matters is that you're getting that alone time, connecting and nurturing your marriage!

Joyful said...

I think for me, as I continue with all these challenges, the key is prayer. My husband will not be receptive to these ideas without the Lord softening His heart.

Thanks Tracie for these suggestions.

Moranda Clark said...


Thanks so much for the encouragement and prayers. I agree with others that prayer is important in all of the challenges. For a lot of the things we are asked to do/say, God must soften our husbands hearts in order for them to even accept them. I have been doing that before I do/say anything and it has definately helped. Thanks for putting your time into helping us see what is important.

Jill in SD said...

As I read today's challenge, I'm realizing, I can be very thankful that my husband is the one with the urge to 'Play'. . . I'm a cheapskate, and a homebody, so he's the one who pushes to do the date nights- whether they are pre-planned or spontaneous. A date night to the mall for dinner and do the grocery shopping without kids is WAY BETTER than no time together. We have spent a part of our anniversary dates for years doing a huge portion of our Christmas shopping since it was "kid-less" time. Since our oldest child is our "built-in-babysitter" we've been blessed to be able to do date nights 2 to 4 times a month since last spring.

Even when we are having our "bad days/weeks/months" etc. . . we can take some time to just try to enjoy each other, and relax. Sometimes those dates during the tough times still end up being continued tough dates, but it's still time together- so I treasure it.

As Rachel B said, her husband said that if she wants a date, to put it on the calendar and plan it- he's game. Since I know my hubby is pretty much always willing, I'm working to be more creative and plan these dates, so we don't get too stuck in a rut doing the same thing all the time.

Thanks Tracie, for this challenge. . . you have no idea how well timed it is! :o)

~Jill :o)