It is my experience when you ask married women what their top three priorities are their marriage is almost always in that list, as it should be. It is also my experience that when you ask them how they are spending their time and energy their marriage or their husband gets somewhere between very little to absolutely zero singular focus. Sure you’re in the car with him on the car trip to the in-laws. I know, you go to bed together every night. However, if your husband and your marriage aren’t getting the energy that your priority list dictates it should, the relationship will suffer. More simply put, if your relationship is in your top three priorities, it needs to be getting that much time and focus.
There is a myth that says relationships, marriage in particular, are hard work. They certainly don’t have to be. That said, they do not run well on autopilot. You can’t just point a relationship in a specific direction and let it go while giving your time and attention to everything else in your life. The relationship is likely to go off course. Unfortunately, often, the only time a relationship gets top priority with regards to energy, is when it has already gone off course.
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Now, I’m not saying you have to “do the work”. Quite the opposite. I am saying however, you do have to give your relationship the time and attention you would anything else you want to grow. Relationships thrive under the warm spot light of appreciation and understanding. Relationships do take time. To put it bluntly, your relationship requires one on one, face to face time alone.
I once read an article, authored by a genius, who’s name I don’t remember, who simply said, married couples need 36 hours alone every six weeks. I know, many people say that’s just impossible. We have kids, jobs, bills, and soccer. However, for those couples who can pull it off, I’m willing to bet their relationships reap amazing benefits. Why? Because they get to experience each other as adults. Because they get time and space to be intimate. Because it’s good for their sex lives. Because they make their commitment to each other a priority.
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My mom tends to say, “the proof is in the pudding”. I tend to say actions are the truth. So, if you say your relationship is your priority, but your actions say otherwise, your actions are telling the truth and your priority list is just lip service. If you aren’t living the relationship of your dreams, and you want to, you might want to act as if your partner is your highest priority. If you’re “beloved” isn’t top on your to-do list, (literally and figuratively), you may want to reorganize your time management plan. Believe me, the investment of time, energy, and even money is worth it. Divorce is devastatingly expensive.
One final note - if you have kids, trust me, they will thank you for getting your priorities straight. Kids thrive in homes with parents who are madly, deeply, wildly in love.