When you first get married, your thoughts are full of all the fantastic things you’ll be able to do as a couple now that you have actually achieved the much-anticipated state of ‘spending the rest of our lives together’.
But so often in marriage, despite our best efforts, that dream of ‘spending the rest of our lives together’ does not always match the reality. Perhaps more often than not, it means little more than snatched moments together after work, or hurried spells between juggling meals, supermarket shopping or childcare. And then, when we do get that precious time together, a lot of our conversation and activity can centre on practicalities, plans or domestic chores. Time together, particularly quality time, can often end up being pretty scarce.
Being able to spend quality time together is important for a strong marriage, not least because it gives us the chance to talk. Whether we go for a long walk or a quick coffee, the key thing is that we have the opportunity to communicate well with each other. Now that doesn’t mean that we must always have ‘deep’ conversations whenever we have that elusive quality time together. But just having time out to ask each other about their day, or to find out their opinion on something, can make all the difference to the quality of our relationship. And as well as touching base with each other, time together gives us the opportunity to do activities we enjoy, build memories and renew our love.
Whether we go for a long walk or a quick coffee, the key thing is that we have the opportunity to communicate well with each other.
But how do we make that quality time together actually happen? Many couples solve the problem by putting a ‘date night’ in their diary. Setting time aside in advance and prioritising it means that it is much more likely to happen than a vague suggestion that: ‘We should do something together sometime soon’. And sticking to a date also shows your commitment to one another; it says, ‘You matter to me. You are important, appreciated and loved.’
If you have children, do get a babysitter if you possibly can so that you and your partner can have time alone. One of the best things we can do for your kids is to build a strong, happy marriage. Consider making an arrangement with another couple to babysit alternately for each other.
Date nights should be varied and include fun activities. A good way to keep them interesting is to take it in turns to plan them. As well as familiar favourites, doing new things together is a great way to stay connected, and it can recreate some of the feelings of excitement and interest that we experienced in courtship.
Spending quality time together is also a great way to build our friendship. It gives us shared interests as well as the opportunity to have fun and laugh together. All these experiences help to create closeness and exclusivity in our couple relationship.
Regularly setting aside time for one another is a small way to make a big impact on our relationship. All of us invest our time in the things that matter most to us, and our marriage relationship is no different: quality time together can transform a good marriage into a great one.
Why not give some of these activities a try?
- Have a picnic at a local beauty spot
- Play a round of crazy-golf
- Hire a rowing boat or a pedalo at a local lake
- Play a board game together
- Try out a new restaurant
- Visit an art gallery
- Cook a meal together
- Hire a tandem and go for a ride!
- Go to a dance class