So you’ve been married for some years. You’ve set a budget, you’ve had the fights, the vacations, a pregnancy or two, and you feel like you’ve really settled into the family that you always wanted.
But life is busy. You have a house to maintain, a carpool lane to embrace, a crazy work schedule and a social life to try and uphold. With all of your time divided, how much time do you have to dedicate to your relationship, you know the thing that got you here in the first place?
It’s not surprising if you say very little. That’s just how life goes. The amount of time you can truly dedicate to your relationship waxes and wanes over the years, but it doesn’t mean you should ever fully lose sight of it along the way.
Use some of these tips to be able to gain more time and refocus it on your partner, even if you’re already at time suck capacity.
#1 Figure out what you can nix
Every day our schedules grow. We never start over from a clean slate, instead we just pile on the responsibilities and learn how to accommodate one more activity or ask. Take a good look at the schedules that you, your partner and kids are upholding and see what can be cut. There’s bound be something in there that you don’t truly enjoy and are doing simple to appease someone or something. Get rid of it and dedicate the time you used to spend on that activity with your partner. You’ll also feel lighter and happier knowing you don’t have to do something that you didn’t want to do.
#2 Stop saying, “Yes” all of the time
Don’t join the HOA just because someone asked you to or agree to making 150 cupcakes for your kid’s end of year celebration if you don’t have the time. Saying yes all the time will eat away at your free time and your sanity. You’ll be more stressed out, more likely to snap at your partner and kids and a whole lot less likely to actually spend any quality time with them. Learn to say no more often and yes only to the important things. You’ll find that you have more time on your hands when you’re not face deep in a bowl of batter until 2am.
#3 Don’t let intimacy get pushed to the back burner
Coming home and being intimate with your partner can almost seem like a chore after a long day, but don’t let your mind drift that way. Sure you don’t have the time or energy to get it on every night of the week, but aim for once or twice, even if it’s just quickies. That time together will help the two of you feel closer and bridge the gaps when you truly don’t have the time to sit down and talk. Be sure to throw in some surprises along the way to keep things new, like showing up with some toys or Adam and Eve lingerie.
#4 Create a new night time routine
Stop disappearing after dinner. You know, where one of you retires to the office and the other to the couch. Find a middle ground and promise to spend some of that time together before running off to do your own thing. This may mean recording one of your favorite shows or rearranging how you work. If that doesn’t work, you can also promise to shut down the technology at a certain time and meet each other in bed, so that you can end your day talking to each other.
#5 Designate date night
It seems almost silly to have to pinpoint a night of the week or month that you’re going to dedicate to each other, but it’s not going to happen if you don’t do it. Decide how often works for you and pick the night the date will happen each week or month and then stick to it. It doesn’t mean you have to go out and spend a lot of money. You can stay around the house, drink wine and watch a movie. The only thing that matters is that you are promising to spend the entire night with each other, focused on one another. Be sure to keep the night alive even when you’re at your busiest.
Do you have any tried and true tips that have worked for you and your partner?