Reconnect

The holidays are over and we have successfully finished the first week back to school. Now, let’s reconnect! That is, reconnect with our spouses. We have spent the last two weeks dealing with the hectic schedules of holiday parties and family visits and we have finished the week going back to work in full-force and getting our children back to the routine of school and homework. So, where does that leave ourself and our spouse?

Often times, I see many marriages minimized to the bottom of the priority list simply because “life gets in the way.” My response to that is, “That is a bunch of crap.” I have heard wives make excuses that their children need them and that life is so busy with the kids’ schedules. Because for some reason, we feel the need to turn our children’s extra-curricular activities into mini resumes for their future professions! I have heard husbands make excuses that they need to watch their finances and there simply isn’t a babysitter to ask or that work schedules are just too exhausting. It’s all EXCUSES!! If you really want to spend time with your spouse, then you would make it happen, right? If you really want your child to excel in a sport, you spend the energy and resources you need to make sure that happens. If you really want to close that business deal, you prepare mentally and physically and strategically assert yourself until you accomplish your goal. So, why isn’t our marriage as important? Why would we not exert the same energy, resources, preparation, and assertion into maintaining our marriage?

When I see couples come into my office, I typically see several issues – lack of priority (notice I didn’t say ‘love?’); negative and unconstructive communication skills; and lack of committment. From the words of Barbara deAngelis – “Marriage is not a NOUN, it’s a VERB. It isn’t something you GET, it’s something you DO. It’s the way you LOVE your partner EVERYDAY.” It’s a lack of priority – whether it is us, as wives or our husbands, we put others before our spouses. We put our children’s schedule above what our spouse needs. Who said that only our children need to be spoken to with gentility and affirmation? Our spouse needs the same thing, if not more (and in my case, with an added dose of affection.) The fact is – the greatest gift a father can give his children is to love their mother. And, vice versa. Our children will learn all about relationships from us. We can get down to their eye level and explain things patiently to them, but they will notice just as equally whether or not mom and dad treat and communicate with each other lovingly. That brings me to communication. I find that couples tend to become more negative as the years pass. They are no longer affirming, encouraging, or uplifting; rather they are bitter or have become guarded. What is worse is when I hear girlfriends get together for coffee and complain incessantly as though bashing their husbands were a sport. That is just as unhealthy as saying all those nasty things to their face. And husbands – just for the record, we don’t think that the reference of being a “ball and chain” is as funny as you think. The negative jokes that are laughed at while watching football is just as hurtful as an oblivious Fruedian slip. Communication begins with how and what we say to each other. Lastly, there is the issue of committment. Yes, ladies, this is for you – date night!! However, if you would like your husbands to take you out, do NOT call it date night. Schedule it on your calendar as “Sex night.!” That way, he isn’t grumbling reluctantly as he calculates in his mind how much this “date” is going to cost him. Rather, he might be a little more motivated to be spontaneuous and hopefully, a little romantic! Men, if you need to re-define date night, do so. My husband took me out to a luxury theater where you can watch a movie, have dinner and wine at the same time (killing two birds with one stone!) and recline on incredibly comfortable leather lounge chairs (so that my husband could still be relaxed in his converse.) So, when you are pressed for time because that babysitter can only stay 3 hours, then be creative!!! We need to commit to spending time with one another.  In essence, we need to remember to reconnect when life makes it easier to take each other for granted.

It’s Friday – Reconnect with your spouse!!

“A great marriage is not when the ‘perfect couple’ come together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences.” – Dave Meurer

Have a wonderful weekend!

Charise

Charise Casiano

About Charise Casiano

Charise obtained her BA degree at California State University, Stanislaus and immediately pursued her MS degree at Mount Saint Mary’s College. During her college years, Charise left for one year to do missionary work. She traveled the United States troubleshooting with teenagers.