Most of us live fairly hectic lives. Between raising our children, working long hours, 5 or more days a week, and keeping up with the many other responsibilities of life. Our spouses often have to settle for what’s left of us after life has sapped us of all of our time energy. Over time, the disconnectedness that forms between us and our spouse, creates a rift in our marriage that if left unaddressed, can easily cause the failure of our marriage.
This situation can be eliminated or at least greatly reduced by making changes in our life aimed at reducing our busyness and better serving our spouse’s needs. Some changes that will greatly help accomplish this are:
Make your spouse a priority. If we don’t make our spouse a priority and consciously put them above our children, career, friends, hobbies, etc. Inevitably there will always be something trying to compete for, and probably steal, our time and attention that we should be giving to our spouse. When this happens, our spouse becomes just another item on our to-do list. Causing resentment and anger on the part of our spouse who feels cast aside or relegated to the back seat.
Don’t let this happen. Show your spouse their importance to you by taking care of their needs before tackling items on your to-do list.
Learn to say NO to those who would steal your time. Nearly all of us know someone who always seems to be in need of a favor, or needs our help for “just a few minutes”. While it’s good to help others in need, to make our spouse a priority, we must set boundaries and limits on our time so we do not let people like this to take advantage of us, or steal time that rightfully belongs to our spouse. And while doing this won’t be popular with your needy friends, your spouse will thank you for it.
Keep ample margin in your life. Just as the margin is the area on a piece of paper that is blank, with nothing on it. The margin in our life is the time we have left over after all our daily obligations have been met. It’s time we typically use to relax and enjoy the company of friends, our spouse, or just take a nap. Because much of the time we spend with our spouse is margin time, when we keep our life schedule so full that we have no or very little margin, the time we are able to spend with our spouse typically suffers, and with it our marriage.
To avoid this, we need to be intentional about the hours we work and how much we put on our plate. If your work schedule causes you to spend very little quality time with your spouse or you constantly feel like you’re playing catchup. Chances are you’ve overloaded your life and changes might be needed.
I challenge you to make it a point to daily put aside time and energy for your spouse. Your marriage and your spouse will thank you for it.