My husband and I disconnected in the last year. I realized we stopped being intentional with our marriage. I realized we were living on autopilot and had been for a long time. Get the kids up and ready for the day, at night get dinner, homework, and baths complete then prepare to do it all again tomorrow. Weekends were spent taking kids to dance, birthdays, and church, getting groceries and laundry done. The romance was dead and if we did not spark it back up, our marriage would soon follow. We realized we were no longer being intentional in our marriage, we realized romance had taken a back seek to parenting, and we needed to make a plan to be intentional. Here are five ways we committed to being intentional to bring romance and connection back.
1. Make time to have one meal alone together during the week. We don’t have funds for a weekly babysitter and we have no village at all, so we take one lunch break per week to meet and eat together. This time with him is life giving for me. It is the ONLY time I have during the week to sit across from him uninterrupted by children and really talk with him. If you can afford a sitter, awesome! Make it your purpose to schedule a date night every week. If you are a SAHM and don’t have lunch breaks then ask your husband to come home during your kid’s nap time so you two can sit across from one another to share a meal and have conversation. When there is a will you can find a way!
2. Pray OUT LOUD together. This is HUGE for us. There is something special about kneeling next to your husband and speaking the words on your heart to God in front of him, and it is equally gratifying to hear your husband’s heart out loud to God. The vulnerability it takes to do this is so connecting. When you pray out loud together there is no room for distress against one another.
3. Go to bed at the same time. I know this sounds like no big deal, but truly I believe it is. When I allow my husband to go to bed and I stay up for television or phone time it places a gap between us for disconnection to breed. Even if you are not tired, go to bed with your spouse. There is intentionality in being next to him.
4. Know how your spouse needs love and love him or her in that way. My love language is quality time, my husband's love language is receiving gifts. The lunch together each week fills up my romance "tank" and little gifts fill up his. It doesn't have to be elaborate, a little note placed in his wallet, sending a free coffee to his Starbucks app. Small little tokens provide romance and show love.
5. Be intentional with your words. I feel romance begins with the words we speak—tell one another, "you look good today." Text your spouse on the way home from work and say you are excited to see him or her. If you are having a stressful day or an off day in marriage still watch your words. If God would not be proud of the words you are about to speak, then rethink your words. You can express your hurt and sadness in a way that will glorify your marriage and not tear it down further.
Incorporating these small steps has taken us off autopilot and reconnected us through the daily routine of caring for our kids.