Time together with people who matter most does not just happen. It requires a deliberate and determined decision.
Before they get married most couples contrive to spend every available minute together. Gary Chapman, a marriage counsellor describes it well,
“At it’s peak the ‘in love’ experience is euphoric. We are emotionally obsessed with each other. …
We long to be together. … Our mistake was thinking this would last forever.”
We have been led to believe if we are really in love our emotions will never fade. Psychologists’ research however, indicates that this state only lasts an average of two years. After that a couple can no longer rely solely on feelings. They must choose to love each other.
Married couples need to continue planning special times for each other. If in marriage we continue to make time for each other the romance will be kept alive, we shall have the chance to communicate effectively and our understanding of each other will deepen. The regularity and nature of this time together will create the fabric of our relationship over a lifetime.
When Nicky and Sila Lee (The Marriage Course) are asked for one thing a couple could do to keep their marriage alive and their love growing their answer is:
Plan a regular time every week of at least two hours to spend time alone together.
In The Marriage Course they refer to this as ‘marriage time’. The time is intended to be different from the other hours spent together during the rest of the week. Carefully planned time together rekindles romance in a relationship. Exhausting organisation is not required: candles on the table, music in the background, ordering a takeaway and turning off our phones, is all that is necessary. These times should be fun and memorable. We could go to the cinema or out for a meal. It is time to hold hands, time to laugh, time to enjoy doing things together and above all time to talk. This is the time to share our hopes and fears, excitements and worries, struggles and achievements. Such sharing builds intimacy. It’s simple but very powerful.
Keeping weekly time together requires three things: planning, prioritising and protecting it. If we don’t do these three things our marriage time will easily be overtaken by other things and people.
Extract from The Marriage Book by Nicky & Sila Lee.
Alpha Marriage – http://www.marriageandparenting.org.au/
Marriage Week – https://marriageweek.org.au/