Raising a family is hard work. My day typically starts with noisy, hungry little boys and ends with noisy, hungry teenagers. Everyone wants a piece of my time, and I find myself flitting from one child to the next, answering questions, solving problems, and just being mom.
And then, my husband comes home.
He doesn’t need me to be his mommy – but, he does need me to be available. I am the only person on this earth in whom he can fully confide. Our marriage is a union between 2 hearts, minds, and bodies. I have to somehow find the energy to engage all 3 more often than not.
I am sure a few of you reading this just started to say, “But…” out loud.
“But, I have a newborn.”
“But, I need him to help out more.”
“But, there isn’t room in my day for another thing.”
I hear ya! I understand. I’m pregnant with #10. I have an 18 month old all the way up to an 18 year old. I homeschool. I am the epitome of exhausted! But…
This sign hangs over our bed. Below it are photos of us and the kids. I’m a mom BECAUSE of our marriage. I cannot neglect where I came from. I cannot put the raising of children in front of the nurturing of a marriage. They have to coexist – they depend on one another.
My relationship with Ty has to be made important. Some people believe this means regular date nights and plenty of couple time, but that’s not what I’m going to tell you because when you are in the trenches of raising a family, you may not have the luxury of such things. However, that absolutely does not mean your marriage is doomed.
Making Time for Your Marriage with Words
There have been times when Ty has walked in the door from work and I have completely ignored his entrance. Why? Because I thought I was too busy with something else and didn’t think I could stop to even say hello. However, I have seen how his entire face lights up when I smilingly acknowledge his arrival. It takes seconds and means the world. No, I don’t need to stop cooking dinner or changing a diaper to do it. It counts no matter what I’m busy with because I took the time to welcome him home – back to the place where it is safe for him to be himself.
Another way you can use your words to make time for your marriage is by simply affirming your husband’s strengths. It is easy to point out, or even harp on, the negative, but why not affirm some positives? I don’t mean lie – I mean praise those things he does get right. No one messes everything up. Don’t you think it’s about time you looked for the good stuff he does?
Now, before you go complaining about the fact that he doesn’t affirm you, be the bigger
man woman here and just do it without expecting anything. We shouldn’t create expectations because all too often they become our excuses. (Side Note: Expectation are killers in relationships – no one measures up to expectations – not me, not you, not your husband. The end.)
Making Time for Your Marriage with Deeds
There is one little thing I have done over the years in our marriage that has meant a lot to my husband. It’s something we call “driveway dates.” He will arrive at home and text me to see if I can meet him out in the car in the driveway. I make sure everyone is safe (and sometimes bring the baby with me) and sneak out to meet him. We talk, we listen to the radio, sometimes he has brought me home a drink to sip on. It’s our time to reconnect before the chaos of our household envelops us.
Your deeds do not need to be major things to make a difference. Asking your spouse’s input on the weekly menu plan, smiling at him, grabbing his hand, being playful, leaving him notes, and just taking the time to be near him are all little things that say you are committed to this marriage and that your man is important to you.
Making Time for Your Marriage with Intimacy
There is a reason God created sex, and it wasn’t just for procreation. It is a bond between a husband and a wife that ought not to be taken lightly or discarded easily. Certainly, there are circumstances that create a marriage without intimacy, but this is rare and should never take place because of excuses.
So, what about the exhaustion factor?
I’m not going to lie. It is very real. But, it is also very easy to fall into a habit of being exhausted. Here are a few things you can do to combat the exhaustion…
*Take breaks throughout the day so you aren’t worthless at night. (To learn more about finding a place in your day for relaxing, read this post!)
*Take a bath to clean up and give yourself some time to prepare.
*Remind yourself of how good-lookin’ your husband is, and why you married him in the first place.
*Work to find ways to actually enjoy intimacy with your husband.
Raising a family and running a household IS exhausting at times. There are difficult parts of the journey that can leave you worn down and used up at the end of the day. Marriage isn’t all about sex – that’s only a piece of it. And marriage isn’t all about complicated routines and well-orchestrated dates. You can make time for your spouse, you can grow stronger together, you can build a close union that lasts. It doesn’t take expensive romantic vacations, long marriage retreats, or the perfect circumstances – it takes TIME. Time for loving words. Time for thoughtful deeds. And yes, time for the marriage bed. There is always enough time to appreciate the union of husband and wife. It is the union that turned your house into a home. You may be exhausted, but there is always time for even the tiniest of expressions of love. Don’t miss those opportunities!