As parents we tend to focus our energy on our children. Letâ€™s face it, kids are a lot of work and leave you with little to give at the end of the day. But, we need to remember that our partners need attention as well. Believe me, Iâ€™m the first one to say, â€œWhat about ME time?â€ Me time is critical, and weâ€™ll talk about that in future posts, but today is about putting in some time in your relationship.
This past year during graduate school, my husband and I committed to having lunch every Friday: Just the two of us. I protected that date from other engagements so that we could have time talk in complete sentences â€“ no interruptions except to order a refill of iced tea. Some weeks it was the only time we could get two sentences out without interruption. At first it was hard to always keep that day available, but eventually it became habit. Now that Iâ€™m done with school, weâ€™ve decided to keep our Friday lunch dates in tact.
This time, we are going try â€œThe 50 Fridays Marriage Challengeâ€ as a conversation guide at our lunches. It wonâ€™t take the entire lunch necessarily to have the conversations each week, but will be a great time to come together on important topics. The book, by Jeff and Lora Helton, offers one question each week for â€“ you guessed it â€“ 50 weeks. There is an accompanying chapter with each question to give background and guidance on the topic. The chapters arenâ€™t long and drawn out. The authors have kept the writing simple, with stories. Some chapters are only a few pages long. This isnâ€™t a big homework assignment each week.
Some of the weekly topics are:
- What activities would you like to do together?
- What words do you like to hear from your spouse?
- Where do you sense Got is inviting your to grow or change?
- What are some behaviors your spouse does that help you feel loved?
- If you had only one day left on earth, what would you say to your spouse?
Try it: pick a day of the week and commit to time together. It doesnâ€™t have to always be the same day each week, although I think it helps and to only move the day if truly necessary. This way, you donâ€™t have to â€œplanâ€ the lunch; you always know you are going to go out together. If you try to plan around two busy schedules every week you are more likely to not get together. Other meetings will end up taking priority. Put yourselves first for a while and see how it goes.
You donâ€™t have to use a guide like the 50 Fridays book, but sometimes it helps to start conversations. The important lesson here is to make time for your relationship each week so that it doesnâ€™t end up on your â€œto doâ€ list.
Photo credit: lupy2002
Disclosure: I received a review copy of the book. All opinions are my own.