When you are a parent spending regular time together with your spouse isn’t always as easy at it seems it should be.
Well you may spend time together in the middle of the night when you’re nursing or feeding baby. For a long time after my c- sections getting into and out of bed was a long process that it was far easier and quicker for my husband to get up and bring our son to me than for me to get up. So during the night we got to spend time together having a quick chat.
Unexpected time together.
Sometime in the early days I was introduced to the five love languages, Love and Respect and was invited to a half day seminar on communication in marriage by the local base. Ever the girl scout I like to be prepared and never really understood why we didn’t talk about maintaining our marriages and kept seminars and books for when we were in trouble.
It was really refreshing to be around women who didn’t only complain about their spouse or situation ( what woman doesn’t) but also were learning and trying to improve and find their groove. We were already reading, sharing and trying ideas with our parenting. Why not anything else?
Back to the three things and what they taught
Five love languages: After completing the online test things started to make sense. I’m a quality time person and not big on gifts. My husband is a gifts person. We give what we are unless we learn the others language. That was quite a radical shift in thinking which we still are very grateful.
Love and Respect: Side by side time for a guy vs face to face time that we love as women. Again, completely changed our time together.
Marriage seminar: Having my husband invite me to an event. He also happened not to be working (Yeah!) Sitting in a small room with other couples at various stages who were also military ( Who get it!) with practical ideas, discussions, debates and conversations. It stopped the frustration of family life as we had new ways to do.
As a military spouse our definition of regular isn’t as regular as some. Like many other spouses we’re a drop everything family often when daddy is home. With an irregular shifting pattern of work and commitment it’s much harder to plan a regular time in the day or week for regular time together.
Regular time together
We found planning date nights added more stress and disappointment than anything. Instead we go for groups of activities that we choose to do if we have the opportunity. Finding time for a long breakfast or lunchtime walk often fits in our schedule so although it pushes everything else out of whack the time together is worth it.
Depending on the season and work patterns our regular time together changes. To us this has been the key. This post isn’t about life being rosy and always good. We have our moments. It is about working out what’s best and keeping on going when it seems impossible to find a way.
Regular time apart
If you’re not with the kids or with your spouse, what are you doing and where are you? We used to talk about our hobbies but it’s really the passions that drives us. What is it that you do away from and independent of your spouse?
For a long time neither of us did this very well.
We don’t have to do everything together.
Nothing can be worse than compromising your passion to do it with your spouse who is not really that interested but is doing it to be with you. Neither of you are happy.
Instead find a time to be passion without them.
Once the children are gone. What will be your passion that you do without anyone? I’m not just looking ahead but right now. Developing your passion slowly and simply.
Conversation: What are you doing to create time and opportunity for regular together time? How are you finding and developing your passion and it being alright with you to do this alone? What do you and your spouse do apart that you know you both love?
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