After 10 years of marriage my wife and I feel more like housemates than spouses. We keep the house running and care for our two children, but with full time jobs too, we never seem to have time for us as a couple. Ours is a happy, comfortable relationship, but sometimes I miss our old passion.
The key here is time. You make time to do so many other important things, marriage takes time too. Another five or 10 years without investing time could see your relationship further deteriorate. You don’t want to damage your marriage over something so easily resolved.
Putting time into your marriage has be a non-negotiable, like sleeping and eating. If your relationship is strong so too will be your family, your children and so many other elements of your life. This shouldn’t just be a priority – it’s a necessity. You are not stuck in a rut but stuck in a routine!
Do you actually court each other anymore? This shouldn’t stop when you get married! You have to have a date night every week, during this time you are not allowed to talk about the children, talk about each other! If it’s hard to get out of the house, when the kids are in bed grab a dine-in-for-two meal, use the nice tableware and candles, and bring the restaurant home.
Spend at least 15-20 minutes daily just chatting together, whether first thing in the morning, over a lunchtime coffee or last thing at night. Don’t bring your phones/ laptops/ TV into the bedroom. Couples who have distractions like these will communicate less (it’s called pillow talk for a reason!) and will have sex less frequently. A great way to finish the evening is to pray – say something you are thankful for, sorry for, and praying for. This is a great way to see what has been going on in each other’s days.
Are you both appreciating each other enough? As Pope Francis says – how better family life would be if we said please, thank you and I’m sorry more often! Start the day well, maybe start each day blessing each other and leaving the house with a hug and a kiss. Affection is important. These things might sound insignificant but they all make a difference.
Why not consider doing a marriage weekend? Organisations like Marriage Enrichment and CANA Ireland do great weekends away to just give your marriage a boost! When was the last time just the two of you had a night away? Do something new together a new hobby, or volunteering and pray together!
The most important thing overall is to create opportunities for meaningful communication. Start by talking together and agreeing all these things. If you don’t commit to making these changes they will never happen, so diary your first date night and weekend away, do a cooking class or a salsa lesson together, set aside time to pray and ditch the phones in bed so you can have some real facetime.