A Year of Familyness: 15 minutes
Mike just left for work and I’m sitting her typing wrapped in a blanket trying to keep warm after the temperature has plummeted. My toes are Popsicles. I’m trying to keep them warm with a pair of striped socks, to no avail. Before he left he kissed me, said he would miss me and then rode away in our rumble-y car.
This morning we sat on the couch, feet stretched out, facing each other from each end of the sofa. We chatted for longer than we should have since we both had things to get accomplished.
I realized, it’s hard to make time for moments like this regularly…where we just sit chatting the way we did when we were dating. In Love Affair workshops I would suggest to women that they give their husbands 15 minutes everyday. (This would elicit all kinds of laughter and a little bit of whooping.)
I’m all for the whooping part of the 15 minutes.
What I’m really talking about, though, is taking a bit of time for each other everyday. Committing 15 minutes to each other. Marriage is more important that careers or children. They need our top priority.
How to set aside 15 minutes:
*Determine what time is best for both of you: morning, afternoon, evening? Don’t automatically think you have to do your 15 minutes at night. Maybe on Monday, Wednesday, Friday you can get together in the evening but on Tuesday and Thursday you have to go with an afternoon time. Weekends you spend time together for 15 minutes before the kids wake up. Your 15 minutes can take on whatever time works best for the two of you.
*Decide what time of day has the least conflicts so you’re not setting yourself up for failure. Figuring out a time during the time of day you are always out late will help just make you discouraged. You don’t want to end of feeling like neither of you is really committed to this 15 minute thing.
*Set a timer. I love a timer. It will encourage you to keep to an allotted time. A timer also helps us to be able to make choices about how long we spend doing something. I’m a terrible time keeper and love talking to my husband. If I’m not paying attention though, 2 hours could easily go by without me realizing because time passes so quickly when I’m with him. If that happens the first night I’m less likely to want to sit down the next night because I know that when I sit down I’ve got to be ready to commit 2 hours of my time even though I have 42 loads of laundry I want to get done and 25 blog posts (that may be unrealistic and I might be overexaggerating…maybe). So I need to be able to know that each night I’ll spend 15 minutes so that I’ll want to stick with it.
*Keep it positive. Have some topics to talk about that steer away from accusations and negative topics. What you put energy into you create more of…so more positive energy around your 15 minutes means more positive energy in your marriage.
*Be flexible. If the first schedule or time you decide on doesn’t work be open to trying a new time until you hone in on a time of day that works best.
Making the 15 minutes for our spouse can be as simple as turning off the TV 15 minutes earlier than usual, getting up 15 minutes earlier, putting the kids to bed 15 minutes before they usually go to bed, or planning to be together right after the kids go to school.
I’m excited to hear how this challenge changes/helps marriages this week!
I know there are other benefits of making time for each other. In the comments tell I’d love to hear:
- What do you do to make time for each other?
- What are you hoping will happen when you make 15 minutes a priority for your spouse?