Not only is it important to be active with your family, but it is also important to be active with your spouse. Working together and going on dates together will strengthen your relationship.
Research suggests that couples should go on a date every other week. Gasp, I know. With 4 kids, this seems impossible to me. But I know the benefits are huge, so my husband and I do our best to find some individual time together.
The number one go-to activity for couples is T.V/movies. Although there is room for this type of activity in our relationship, it can’t be the only thing we do. We need to spend time together being active.
So what does that mean, what makes a good date that will strengthen our relationship.
First, time together needs to be enjoyable. For both partners. It is good to communicate about how you like to spend time together with one another. For example, my husband does not think that doing things at home together counts as an enjoyable couple activity. To him, we need to be away from home and active. So we make sure that some of our activities fit that criteria. I like to do things that are a little more creative sometimes. So we make sure that some of our activities fit that criteria.
The best way to work this out is take turns planning activities. One week it is my turn and I plan our date. My husband participates with a willing heart and a good attitude. The next time, my husband plans and I make sure to bring my good attitude and willing heart also.
Once you are comfortable taking turns, substitute one of the activities for something new. An activity that the two of you choose that is new to both of you. Hopefully you will find that these new activities become “your” favorites, instead of choosing “his” or “her’s”.
Second, your time together needs to be private. It is always fun to go on group dates with friends and colleagues, but it is important to also spend time just the two of you. Otherwise we forget how to talk with one another and being alone can become awkward and embarrassing. This time together will also give the two of you an opportunity to be affectionate and lovey-dovey.
Third, you need to have a conversation. Time together will be most beneficial when the two of you talk. Avoid talking about the kids, or the finances or the problems that are causing stress. Instead, remember when you started dating, how you could talk for hours? Find that again. A good way to tackle the conversations is to prepare before hand. Come up with a few questions or conversation starters that can get the ball rolling. Before you know it you will be conversing like you did when you were courting.
It is easy to let life get in the way of our marital relationships. Kids and work and other responsibilities are constantly pulling us away from each other. The best way to combat, be active together. Date one another. Find private time to communicate and participate in enjoyable activities and you will find your relationship flourish. Making it easier to handle the day to day challenges that come with life.
p.s. Here’s a secret, spending quality time together as a couple will make you a better parent too.