Intentional Conversations: My Marriage

Sooo, I’ve been working really hard at having intentional conversations with my kids. I’ve (mostly) made breakfast a time for conversation and not rushing. I’ve used my car time for talk time. But here’s a confession:  When my husband gets home from work, we eat dinner while talking to the kids, put the kids down and then plop down in front of our laptops to work or in front of the TV to watch Parenthood.  Not only do we not have intentional conversations, but often, we don’t have conversations at all.

We’re in a slump. We have a bad habit.  And honestly, it’s really hard to break when we’re exhausted and worn out and it feels exhausting to have yet another intentional conversation.  Anyway, since I’m in no way an expert (or even competent) at this, I took to my good friend Google to get some tips.  Here’s what I found out:

1.  Set aside 5-10 minutes to talk right when your husband gets home from work.  Sure, all you want to do is hand him the baby and grab yourself a hot cup of peppermint tea– but before you unwind, give yourselves a few minutes to connect and tell each other about your days.

2.  Schedule 1 TV and laptop-free night per week.  I know it sounds hard, but that’s what Tivo is for.  Instead, grab yourself a glass of wine, light a fire, snuggle on the couch and just talk.

3.  Overshare.  I have a tendency to undershare because I assume my husband has enough on his mind to add my thoughts and feelings on top of it.  But if I don’t tell him what I’m thinking– however unimportant it seems– I’m not giving him a chance to connect with me.

4.  Give yourself a break.  As parents of young kids, our lives are crazy.  We don’t have time– or money, energy, stamina, brainbower, wherewithal– to have crazy romantic date nights or intense, hours-long conversations.  And that’s okay.  Just talking about your day or what you want to do next summer is better than nothing at all.
Question for you: How do you make sure you connect with your husband on an intentional level?

9 Comments

  1. Yep, I am struggling with the same thing. Love your advice — especially no TV and laptop. I’m quick to criticize the TV, but I’m the laptop queen.

    My husband and I have found that sometimes we just need to get away — for an evening or just for a couple of days. It’s like moving a mountain sometimes to make it happen, but it is always worth the effort.

    Reply
  2. It’s so hard, especially when you have little ones. It gets easier as they get older, and it is easier if you and your husband are on the same page with your intentions. When you start when the kids are little, you also train them that mom-dad time is important.

    My husband and I have Friday Night Date Night every week. We’ve been doing this for about five years now, and we rarely miss. It’s so great to talk and share and get some face time. And I love that it is important to him too. He has even been known to have a make-up Saturday date if something keeps us from our Friday night date.

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  3. This is soooooooooooo hard, often overlooked, and usually forgotten because I tend to put my children’s needs above all others (including myself and my hubby’s). It is so important (if not crucial) to tend to the hubby as well and continually nurture that relationship too.

    I really like the idea of turning off the computers, phones and every other distractive device and just focusing on each other. Great idea.

    Great post, Erin!

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  4. #4 is so right on, as some others here mentioned, too. Having a house full of kids makes it harder for the husband and wife to communicate.

    Our youngest is now a freshman in college. That allows for a lot of time for conversation for us, but even then, we have to engage. Technology does make it easier to block each other out.

    Note: an update: your guest post is my number 8th most read post overall on Family Fountain, and is the #2 most read guest post (just 30 reads behind Cheryl, who wrote “Challenging Circumstances in Marriage”, about her husband’s war injury). So, whenever you want to submit another, it’s open to you.

    Can I share a post I did on communication? It is entitled “My Husband Can’t Communicate.” It is the number one read column on my blog. Here it is: http://warrenbaldwin.blogspot.com/2009/11/divorce-3-my-husband-cant-communicate.html

    Good post.

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  6. It’s funny how your recent posts mirror my personal life. Just last night, my husband and I had a conversation about how in the morning, he wants to talk and I’m busy working. And in the evening, I want to talk, but he just wants to eat dinner. It felt strange to not jump into “fix it” mode. I just tried to step back and ask myself how to work around that. There are certainly times when we can unwind and focus and one another… right? right? :)

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  7. Amazing tips! I have been previously trying to find something similar to this for a time now. With thanks!

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