If you’re like most wives and moms, one of the hardest battles you face is the struggle to connect with your spouse and build a strong marriage in the midst of life’s chaos. Staying connected shouldn’t be something you have to “battle” or “fight,” but more often than not that’s exactly what happens.
When your job is demanding, your children (or parents!) are needy, your house is cluttered, and your schedule is crazy, it becomes incredibly hard to connect with your spouse, keep a positive focus, and build a strong marriage.
Honestly, sometimes it just seems easier to let the marriage slide until tomorrow or next week or when things slow down, or even “when the children are older.” And most of the time, we don’t even realize what’s happening, that we’re essentially putting off enjoying and caring for our marriage until “another day.’ (Includes affiliate links)
Simple Ways to Connect with Your Spouse
So I want to encourage you not to let that “slide” happen. Don’t risk looking back a month, a year, or 5 years from now and thinking, “Why didn’t I invest more in myself, my spouse, and my marriage?” Instead, determine to connect with your spouse regularly and make your marriage a high priority, even if that means making something else a lower priority.
If you’re ready to give it a try, here are 15 simple (and fun!) things you can do:
1. Establish your marriage as the primary relationship in your family.
Have you and your husband talked about and established priorities for your family? If you value your marriage and want to keep it strong – in spite of a hectic schedule – set a priority to establish your marriage as the center of your family life.
Trust me, you won’t be taking anything away from your children. Instead, you’ll be adding to their sense of security and helping them understand what it takes to create a lasting marriage.
2. Control your family’s schedule, rather than letting it control you.
In many families, the wife, husband and children take on activities and commitments without much thought or discussion. And everyone ends up running from one activity to another and feeling exhausted most of the time – leaving little time or energy for you and your spouse to connect emotionally, physically, sexually or in any other way..
Don’t buy into this mindset. Your children don’t have to do every activity and you don’t have to say yes to every request for your time. This doesn’t mean your children shouldn’t be involved in activities, but it does mean you and your husband should decide which activities are reasonable in terms of your family’s goals, time and energy.
And if one of your goals is to connect with your spouse regularly, you may have to cut some activities or let go of some commitments.
3. Make time to talk every day.
When things get busy, it’s easy to go for days without talking about anything other than schedules, carpools, pick-up times, and errands. So be intentional about taking at least 15 minutes every day to really talk with your husband about what’s going on in both of your lives.
Put it on your schedule, if that’s what it takes to make it happen. You can do it in the morning, right after work, before bed – whatever works for the two of you.
For example, my husband and I drink coffee in bed for about 20 minutes every morning and talk while we’re waking up. It gives us time to connect and sets us up to face the day.
4. Go to bed at the same time.
Every night if possible, but at least several times a week, plan to go to bed at the same time. Put away your devices and be intentional about using the time to connect. Going to bed together allows you to talk and unwind, connect physically in non-sexual ways, and maybe pave the way for sex and intimacy. Speaking of which…
5. Make love (fairly) regularly.
Yes, it takes time, and you’re often tired. But it’s important for both of you, if you want to stay close as a couple and build a strong marriage. And it doesn’t always have to take a lot of time – while a long romantic interlude is great, sometimes something a bit shorter provides all the connection you need! (And I don’t mean just do something for him! Remember that sex isn’t just for your husband – sex is for you too!)
6. Let go of small things that interfere with your connection.
Do you hang onto small annoyances, things your husband says or does that really bug you? I try not to, but sometimes it requires putting mind over emotions, making a conscious choice to let it go.
It’s hard to maintain a positive connection if you feel annoyed with him frequently, so consider making the choice to let some things go. I’m not talking about serious issues in your marriage (those need to be addressed), but rather the small things that just aren’t worth the anger or frustration you invest in them.
7. Plan one face-to-face activity (which many women prefer) and one side-by-side activity (which many men prefer) every week or two.
This way, each of you gets to connect in the ways that’s most comfortable for him or her.
So, for example, you might enjoy a cup of coffee and some conversation at the kitchen table on Saturday morning, then paint a room together on Saturday afternoon. Or maybe the two of your prefer other ways of connecting. Just be sure to do something that “speaks” to each of you at least once a week.
8. Work on projects together.
Rather than always focusing on your own projects, change things up sometimes and work on projects together. If he always does the yard work and outside projects, for example, work together outside one Saturday. Or if you do all of the interior painting, ask him to work with you one weekend to paint a room. Or work on a project you both enjoy (like gardening) or share the “pain” of a project you both hate (like cleaning out the garage).
9. Exercise together.
Walk, jog or bike together. Train together for a charity walk or race. Take a hike. Dance. If you have small children, let them play outside while you walk where you can see them. My husband and I used to walk around the yard and talk while our boys played outside. Do anything you both enjoy that gets you moving together.
10. Spend some unplugged time together every day.
You can’t connect with your husband, or anyone else in your life, in a meaningful way if you’re plugged in all the time. So put away your phone, tablet, and computer and spend some time together without the electronic distractions. Try this for just 15 minutes a day for a couple of weeks and see what happens.
11. Kiss him like you mean it.
After a few years of marriage, the ‘hot and heavy’ kissing we once enjoyed often disappears. Add a couple of kids and a busy schedule to the mix, and kissing tends to be relegated to a pathetic peck on the lips a couple of times a day! One way to stay connected to your husband is to kiss him like you mean it – frequently! Try it every day for a week and see what happens.
12. Touch base during the day.
If your schedules allow it, connect with your spouse by talking on the phone at least once a day, just to see how things are going for both of you. If talking isn’t feasible, send a brief email or text, just to let him know you’re thinking of him.
13. Increase your sexual energy.
I’m not talking about having more sex, but rather about infusing your marriage with sexual energy – the communications and actions that say “I want you.” Sexual energy “boosters” come in many forms – sexy texts, sexy nicknames, code words, quick-but-steamy kisses or touches, and planning and anticipating sexual activities.
Or it can include using scents or oils that increase libido, giving and receiving a sensual massage, trying something outside your comfort zone, or anything else that keeps you connected sexually.
14. Speak your spouse’s love language.
You probably know about the 5 love languages, but are you speaking your husband’s language consistently? When your schedule gets crazy, maximize your connection by showing him love in the way God designed him to receive it – it’s an easy but powerful way to connect with your husband in the midst of a very busy life.
15. Step out in faith together.
It’s easy to get stuck in our daily routines and miss the needs all around us, needs God is often calling His people to meet. But maybe God is calling us and our spouses to break out of our routines once in a while and do something for others. Stepping out in faith to do God’s work is a great way to stay connected, while meeting real needs in our communities. If you have young children it could be something simple, like serving together at a soup kitchen once a quarter. If you have no children or older children it might be something bigger, like working regularly in a homeless ministry or taking a mission trip together.
(Find more resources to help you connect with your husband and enjoy your marriage in the CalmHealthySexy shop.)
Are you feeling frustrated with your libido and your level of interest in sex? Do you feel like something might be wrong? Do you wonder if you’ll ever be able to boost your sexual energy and enjoy intimacy more? If you’re feeling any of those things, check out the 10-video Boost Your Libido ecourse from Sheila Gregoire.
This course can help you figure out why your libido or your sex life have gone way off track – and get them back on track. It can help you answer the question, “Is there something wrong with me?” (I’ll give you a hint – the answer is no! But you may need some new information and strategies to get things going again.)