What cultivates a deep relationship for my marriage is really simple. I racked my brain trying to decide what to write in this post because the answer seemed too simple. The thing that has worked the most for us is a true commitment to TALK. We really do not get regular date nights and my husband is gone a lot for work. When he is in town we probably talk for at least an hour everyday. We talk about everything. I have learned questions to ask him about work and football and he has learned to listen to me debrief the day or talk in circles (which he hates :) until I find my point about something that I am passionate about. If we were confused or hurt by something the other did we would stay up and talk it out. Yes this meant a TON of late nights the first 5 years of marriage. This also has meant me learning to really understand and like a lot of the things that he likes and is interested in. It means staying on top of who plays for his favorite team or having his coworkers over for dinner or staying on top of the news or joining a fantasy football league. This has also meant me learning to text and message and email. This season of life in particular I have had to learn to keep communication a priority over cleaning or having a craft of my own or many other things :) We are blessed though through all the bouts of the stomach bug or overseas travel or family turmoil in that we are a team and we have a deep affection for one another.
How do you develop a deep friendship with your husband? October 26, 2009
To piggyback off of last week’s topic, we’re chatting about friendships with our husbands this week. I personally was really encouraged to LIKE my husband, (not just agape-love him) from the book Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney. If you read this before young children, I’d recommend that you reread it. I found it very timely during the mom-of-toddlers time of life.
We like to keep things light as much as possible. Certainly, there are lots of serious things to talk about in life. However, as much as possible, we make each other laugh. We use silly voices, faces, and just generally give each other a hard time about stuff. I think this improves our friendship because we like to be around each other.
I try to make sure to talk through my serious thoughts with Andrew. It is tempting for me to process with girlfriends rather than my husband. They understand me more easily than Andrew does many times. When I consistently turn to friends first, this hinders my friendship with my husband. Not to say that I do not tell my friends what’s going on, but I just make sure I cover those topics with my husband thoroughly so that he knows the deepest parts of me.
Dates. This is where we find time to talk. Andrew has made it a priority that we have a babysitter weekly. (Believe me, I know this is a tricky thing to make happen financially, etc!) The main thing is that we KNOW that we will have an uninterrupted lengthy time to talk on a regular basis. This helps me, an external processor, to make sure I am opening my heart to my husband and getting to hear his heart as well.
Helpful video to encourage your marriage September 9, 2009
David Powlison is one of the gentlest, wisest counselors I have heard. I totally recommend this short video (8 minutes) that is packed with wisdom and will no doubt encourage you in a loving, humble mindset in your marriage.
Scheduling that time together September 3, 2009
The timing of our post topic this week makes me laugh! My husband is currently out of town for 4 days in a time zone 3 hours different than our own after having been in an out of town wedding last weekend where we were super busy, and we are looking at a weekend ahead where he will be serving most of the weekend at a camp we are going too! We could really use some time to refresh as a couple! Despite all of the a-typical business in our lives as of late, we are still trying to have some times of refreshment together and remember with fondness the seasons in our lives where we have had a little more regular time together!
One of the biggest things that we have done as a couple to refresh is scheduling date nights together! No, this doesn’t mean an expensive baby sitter and a fancy dinner out, we can’t afford either of those and don’t want to do that very often anyways. Last year we did a date night swap with another couple from our Bible study and it turned out to be one of the best things ever! We traded watching each other’s kids every other week (or a little more spaced out during the holidays and busy times in our lives) and made it a point to at least get out w/o kids for a few hours! We did little things like going out for coffee and dessert, going to a matinee movie or having dinner at Carl’s Jr and walking around Lowe’s together. It was so good for us to have the time scheduled to force us to make time to just be together and reconnect!
Refreshing as a Couple September 2, 2009
So this week we are talking about how to refresh as a couple. Since we have been married I feel like someone pressed fast forward on my life and it has never really slowed down so this is a topic that is really dear to me. As a couple we have gone through so much joy and loss and just plain chaos. We really do not know what it is like to be a married couple without being pregnant or having babies or some tragedy going on. In the midst of this we have really had to be creative with getting time as a couple so here are a few of the things we do :) –
- Nights out are really hard. We do not have a lot of money to spare so going out to dinner is a luxury for us, let alone actually paying a babysitter. So here is what we do – we stay in. This means purposefully turning off phones and computers. Sometimes we make a fun appetizer or dessert together and watch our favorite show or movie. Sometimes we go outside on the porch or up to our room and just talk for hours.
- We play sports together. Throw a Frisbee around, play whiffle ball, go on walks. My husband likes activity and doing things so he really enjoys it when we are active together.
- Massage – I learned how to give full body massages.
- The most important thing for us is really just being consistently intentional. We set aside time most days to talk and reconnect and stay on the same page. We try and text or IM about the detail type stuff and that way when we are together we can talk and connect.
There are just a few ideas that help us keep refreshed. It really boils down to making time for one another in the midst of craziness.
Practical Polly and her husband May 19, 2009
Okay ladies! Here are some super-practical ideas for loving, while you’re serving, your husband!
- You know that favorite dinner of your husbands that you really can’t stand? That dinner that his mom made when he was growing up? That dinner that you just aren’t really that fond of? That dinner that you’d rather kick off the menu permanently? That dinner whose main ingredient is something you’re allergic to? (okay, maybe that’s going too far)…well, make it! Make it with joy, make it on a fairly regular basis, and strive to make it that way HE wants it.
- Ask your husband what part of the house he would like to see cleaned more/most often. Then (can you guess?)…clean it! Clean it with joy, clean it on a more regular basis that you do now, and strive to clean it the way HE wants it.
- What about your bedroom? Is it a wee bit too flowery or shimmery for your man? Tone it down a bit with some natural elements (bamboo, wicker, rattan…anything wood-ish and in it’s natural color). Add a few plants…non flowering ones of course! And don’t worry, even bamboo can be romantic in candle light. :-)
- What kind of dates do you go on? If your husband is a sporty type dude, why not go to a ball game next time you head out. Too expensive? Go to a local college game or even a high school game. They are often very cheap – and although you may think it’s “lame”- he’ll love that it’s live and right in front of him.
What do you already do? Have more ideas to try? Leave it in a comment…you know we’d ALL love to hear ’em. :-)
Dates your husband will like May 4, 2009
Have you ever noticed that when someone talks about going on a date, it’s usually tailored more around activities and places women like? I am guilty of this myself- too often, I want to go where I want to go on a date with Andrew. I want Panera… not polish sausage or McDonald’s….
Andrew very graciously takes me where I want to go almost every time. But, I’ll bet it would knock his socks off if I said, “Hey, let’s go for some buffalo wings!” This week, we’re going to brainstorm some ideas for dates that would suit our husband’s preferences rather than our own.
Some man-approved date scenarios:
On the cheap: Wander the Apple Store, wander Best Buy, College football on TV where I stay engaged the WHOLE time, Looking at construction or a sports stadium, Taco Bell, go to his office and take a tour of what he does everyday, Barnes and Noble- have him pick a book that you can both browse and discuss, clean up our room and have fun in bed, sit in the garage while he does woodworking and bring him hot drinks,
Takes some cash:Buffalo Wild Wings (and I can take some lessons on sports while we’re at it), a college football game, the lingerie dept. followed by our bed, Breakfast at McDonald’s and a copy of a sports or business magazine, go to a Chicago Style eatery and don’t mention how greasy it is,
Hint: We have recently discovered the joy of the morning out instead of the evening out. I tend to be so exhausted in the evenings that I don’t have much energy to contribute to conversation. I am so excited about taking more dates in the morning so I can give my attention to Andrew when I feel fresh and energetic.