Four ways to stay connected to your spouse during the busy fall months.
Between school events and the upcoming holidays, fall is a busy time of year. For my family, there have already been more meetings, plus the birthdays that come up in September. October means Halloween, another birthday or two in November, plus Thanksgiving. December is everything Christmas and then it's a brand-new year.
It can be really easy to get overwhelmed as fall gets here, so how do you keep your marriage in the forefront of this busy season? As I was sitting having the oil changed in my car yesterday, I began to think that this was a great time to get a marriage tune up as well. Before it gets to busy—before we get in the autumn swing of costumes, turkey and Nativity scenes—it's time to think about how to stay connected to our spouses as life gets crazy. 5 Reasons Why Fall Is NOT The Perfect Season To Break Up
Be a Student.
Don’t let your kids be the only ones earning an education. Make sure you continue to be a student of your spouse. Having a learning mentality is very helpful to maintaining a close relationship. If you think you have your spouse all figured out, you stop being interested because you assume you know what they are going to say and do. Sure, we have ideas about lots of actions and behaviors that comes from doing life together, but there is so much more below the surface that you DON’T know. Continue to learn and observe your spouse. Ask questions—how they are feeling?Are they interested in a new hobby?—are they overwhelmed by all that is going on this time of year? Are they feeling fulfilled or disjointed? Rushed or chaotic?
If you think you are just going to "find time" to dedicate to your marriage—it won’t happen. Life happens and your marriage takes a back seat. You have to make the time to spend together with your spouse. That means talking about schedules, making arrangements with friends, neighbors or babysitters and it means carving out pieces of your calendar that are only for your spouse. Do it now before the snowball to Christmas picks up steam.
Fall is my favorite time of year for lots of reasons, one of them being football and I have a beautiful wife who enjoys men in tight pants...and also some football. While spending time together enjoying a football game can be helpful to your marriage, the real success of your marriage is determined by teamwork. Each person has a position and they do it well—working toward the same goal, to win. We have to be willing to do our parts as husbands and wives to make sure our marriages are winning too. I heard it said that if you are on a team and one person on that team loses, the whole team loses. We have to work together to make sure all our interactions and lives are a win-win for both of us.
Most of these tips boil down to being intentional in your communication. Lazy communication doesn’t work. When we give generic answers we leave room for interpretations that may be less that what we desire. There are certain levels of communication that are needed in marriage—the scheduling/information type of communication, then there is the deeper level communication, such as how do you feel? What is bothering you? Both types of communication need to be happening. If you can focus on both levels of communication it will help insure that not only the busyness of life is taken care of, but also that your spouse knows that you care about how they are doing on a much deeper level.
Taking the time to think about these things now, and actually putting them into practice over these next few months might actually make going into the holidays just a bit easier.
What does your marriage need to be successful?