Healthy Marriage Goals:: Creating Time Together

Keeping a marriage healthy in Birmingham, Alabama
Photo courtesy of ArthurHidden

It’s Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. I’m stirring the pot of chili when I see my husband drive up the driveway. Big old work truck crawling over mud puddles, and dodging bicycles.
Thank goodness. He’s home.

I was just drying my hands off to go meet him at the front door, when I remembered the cornbread in the oven and ran to yank it out before it burned. As I finished that, the washing machine was buzzing.

When I finally made it out of the laundry room, he was inside the front door already. He was covered from head to toe in dirt and sweat from a long day…and three kids who were all hugging him, shouting jokes at him, and telling them stories from their day.

I stood in the kitchen doorway just smiling at them. Taking it all in as they giggled and argued around him like bees buzzing around a flower.

There is something good about Daddy being home.

Above the rowdy brood of kids, his eyes caught mine and he smiled. I smiled back.
We just stood there a minute looking at each other while life swirled around us. He laughed as he walked over to me and leaned in for a kiss. I had cornmeal smeared on my cheek.

After a few lifetimes…I mean, hours…went by we finally had everybody fed, bathed, and asleep. We sat down on the couch in the low light of a single lamp to relax and talk. Then here comes the oldest daughter saying she can’t sleep.

Soon after that, the toddler is crying for her bunny.

Somebody needs water again. The dog needs to be fed. The dishes need to be put in the dishwasher. 

And so it goes…
Does this sound familiar to anyone?

Maybe your date night is hijacked by kids with the flu. Or your needed conversation is distracted by helping your teen with homework. Sometimes those stiletto’s are replaced with bare feet. Or a fresh shower and styled hair is taken over by the five year old’s beauty shop.

The time of connection and closeness with your spouse is in very short supply. The kids that are a testament to your love, can often be the greatest hindrance to your connection at times. 

So, how can a couple keep their marriage at the front and center of family life? How can you give your kids what they need, while still finding time to keep the flame burning? How can we put our spouse first in a season when everyone needs so much of you all day long?

Create Time Together

I used to think the answer to these questions was elaborate getaway weekends, date nights, and having more options in the pajama drawer than just a holey pair of sweat pants from the 90’s. All of those things are good and needed at times, but they are not the bread and butter of keeping your marriage first.

What makes time together special is the intentionality that we put into finding the small ways to connect. It does NOT have to be big and elaborate. It DOES have to be as consistent as possible. Intentionality keeps that at the forefront of your mind.

Maybe it’s only a few minutes at the beginning of the day, over coffee. Ot it’s a phone call on his work break, or on your lunch. Try setting a timer for the kids to shower you with questions and stories in the evening, and then when the time is up, it is mommy and daddy talk time. (You might be surprised how kids get on board with this, because they have all had “their time.”)

It might be as simple as turning off the T.V. Or turning that computer off, and setting the phones in another room at a predetermined time every night. So you miss an extra episode of the latest binge watching show, or texts from the mom group you are part of. But you’ve gained so much more. 

Staying Connected

Don’t think I’m suggesting that every night will be a deep meaningful conversation. I am married to a hardcore introvert, so many times the deep communication is too much to expect daily. We might literally sit on the porch, looking out at the stars over the valley. Not a word said. It might even be a simple high/low of the day to share.

Part of connecting with each other is being students of each other. What does he need? What do I need? How can we achieve both?

Cook together if that is your thing. Do laundry together. Take a walk and let the kids run ahead so that you can watch them and still steal a few minutes. Laugh! Enjoy talking about the goofy things the kids said, or how awkward a work situation was. Snuggle on the couch or rub each others’ feet. It can be SIMPLE things, but consistency is key.

Marriage Goals

Be sure that your family life isn’t overrun with activities and appointments to keep. Don’t let your schedule plow over your kids or your marriage. Busyness is not always a good thing. Sometimes we need to have space and time to prioritize the things that matter. Let other plans and unnecessary obligations go. Learn to say “NO”  and “YES” with thought and consideration. Avoid putting other friends or, yes I am saying it, extended family members before the needs and desires of your spouse. The grass really is greener where you water it!

Your children will always benefit from seeing a mom and dad who love and prioritize each other above the other daily distractions. They feel secure and peaceful when they know you are both on solid ground, and working to spend time together. That brings great joy to your kids, but also sets a wonderful example to follow in their own future relationships.

I hope this season of life blooms for each of you, and that we will all spend more time tending our marriages.



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Ashley R
Ashley Rogers is a wife to Justin, and Mom to three busy kids. She is a southern blogger and a life-long farm girl who was raised in rural Shelby County, Alabama. Ashley homeschools her three children, Allie Mae who is 10, Jake who is eight, and Maggie who is one. She lives with her family on a farm about 30 minutes from Birmingham. This allows her to live the country life she loves so dearly, while still being close enough to enjoy the city of Birmingham and all it offers. Ashley is very involved with her church family at Crossbridge Church, teaching and learning with her kids at their homeschool co-op, and doing what needs to be done around the farm. She loves to hike, camp, spend time with her horses, read good novels, write about life as a southern mom, and cook homestyle foods her family enjoys. You can follow her blog here!


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