Earlier this year Lori and I contributed to Love Everyday, a free e-book that was a collaborative effort of 27 love and marraige bloggers. Last week Kathleen over at at Project M posted Dinner Time her contribution to the e-book. This week it’s my turn to post my chapter. At this point no one has signed up to follow me, so I guess the first (I had the first “chapter”) is last.
By the way, I know there is one sentence in the e-book that is not consistent with a Christian world view. I still think the content well worth the price! :mrgreen:
Time Starved: Why Don’t We Have Time For Each Other?
Time spent together is vital to the health of a marriage. Without time together, marriages stagnate and decline; sometimes they die. This seems obvious, and yet many marriages are time starved.
Why do so many couples not have time for each other?
Usually, a lack of time together is a matter of poor planning and/or a lack of self-control. We feel bad saying no, so we say yes to far more than we should. When our commitments exceed our available time, things like sleep, family, and marriage get cheated. We are surrounded by folks who demand our time – our employers, our kids’ schools and extracurricular activities, our church, our friends, and on and on. If a spouse is not vocal, he or she can move toward the bottom of the list – and if a spouse is vocal, he or she may be accused of being selfish.
Sometimes a lack of couple time is due to a desire for recognition and success. In a society that values money, job skills, and education far more than it values marriage, it is acceptable to risk or even sacrifice your marriage for a raise, a promotion, or another degree. Giving your marriage the time it needs to thrive is counter – culture, and those who do it may actually feel guilty or lazy for doing what is right!
Another killer of marriage time is children. The myriad of activities and learning available to kids today is far greater than ever before. While this seems like a great opportunity for our kids, it can easily harm our marriages.
A husband or wife’s hobbies, clubs, or friends can also rob a couple of needed time. It can feel selfish asking a spouse to back off on their
Driving kids to and from sports, dance, band, choir, this club and that club, takes a lot of time. Don’t forget the time for games, recitals, and competitions. Do a couple of events each for a couple of kids, and your marriage will be on hold for a decade or more! No wonder the divorce rate is so high in the year after the last child leaves home. “recreation time”, and often the response to a spouse’s time-stealing activities is to get ones own hobby or group – multiplying the problem.
Regardless of why a couple has insufficient time together, the solution is to set good priorities and stick to them. Put time together high enough on the priority list that it will only be shorted for a real emergency. Then stick to that as if your marriage depends on it (which it does, by the way), and fight jealously for that time.