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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

.Budgeting Togetherness.


Today's topic is a little more light-hearted than our others have been, but it is nonetheless just as important.

How does a couple keep their marriage fresh and alive? I've been married for almost 7 years and although we love each other more today than we did 7 years ago, 4 kids later (and #5 coming!) it's hard to get in time for just the two of us that fit into the budget! :) I'd love to hear creative ways of getting Husband and Wife time on a budget.

This has been fun for me to think through. We have not done all of these ideas that I have come up with, but I am hoping to! My husband and I have to be more creative during this phase of our life. Part of our attachment plan with Jamesy is to not leave him with anyone for one year. This makes things a little trickier with our alone time and with continuing to feel connected to one another, so this was a great chance for me to sit and and think in order to be purposeful about this important area of our marriage. Please feel free to add your own ideas in the comments below!

Jim and I have been married for nine years in July and we have been a couple for fourteen years. We dated for five years before we married. Jim can still look at me a certain way and immediately send butterflies fluttering in my belly. However, it does take work to make our comfortable, easy relationship still sparkle with freshness and fun. Satan loves to edge in to the day-to-day grind and make us forget the bliss that truly can be married life. Let's make a pact to elbow him right out of the way this summer.

  • Set aside a time for a date with your spouse once a week (if schedules allow). This does not mean you have to go out. If your budget and life cannot afford a once a week date night out then stay in. It is best if you can come up with one set night a week that is your date night. Feed the children early and put them to bed early - one night a week will not hurt them! Set aside a couple of hours to sit down, eat, and talk. Get dressed up and set the table nice - make it special and something you both look forward to.

  • No time for a weekly date night? Set aside a weekly 30 minute couch time. After the children are in bed, turn of the TV, shut down any distractions and commit to spend 30 uninterrupted minutes communicating about the week ahead, your hopes, dreams, prayer requests, things that happened in your day, the children, what you appreciate most about your spouse, areas your relationship can be improved upon, etc.

  • Write love notes. This happens to be an area where my husband and I both feel loved - words of affirmation, but sometimes the day-to-day gets in the way of this. Be purposeful about looking for ways to affirm your spouse, then write it down and tuck it in the car, on the pillow, tape it to the bathroom mirror, etc. Or email or text a love note during the day while you're apart.

  • Have a picnic dinner in your back yard after the children have gone to bed.

  • Make a list of everything you love about your spouse and give it to him or her or keep a journal and give it to him or her when it is full.

  • Turn off the TV and play a game together. My husband and I used to play lots of board games and card games before we had children, and we had so much fun!

  • Cook a meal together and talk.

  • Choose a book to read together before bed. Then take turns reading one chapter out loud each night. Don't forget to make time to talk about what you are reading.

  • Remember all of those cheesy love songs when you were dating? (C'mon, I am sure we were not the only ones that had them). Dig them out and slow dance in the kitchen.

  • Choose a cause and support it together. My husband and I began to sponsor a Compassion child together last year. I fell in love with him again, as I watched him fall in love with a little girl from the Philippines, then a little girl from Ethiopia, and now our son from Ethiopia. There is something so romantic about fighting for justice TOGETHER.

  • Set out a blanket in the yard, lay down, and watch the stars together as you talk.

  • Physically connect throughout the day. Be purposeful about hugging, holding hands, kissing and connecting physically.

  • Look at photo albums from your early years together and reminisce.

  • Make S'mores together over your BBQ grill or gas stove. (For me this is a chocolate bar between graham crackers sans marshmallows!)
Those are a few of my ideas, but I certainly have not thought of everything, so please add your own. Here are my husband's thoughts on this subject. As always if you have a topic of interest or a question you want us to try to answer for Wedded Wednesday please email at amomentcherished(at)gmail(dot)com.

To read other Wedded Wednesdays click here.
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