After a full day of work and dealing with the kids, do you feel like you don’t have much time or energy left for my spouse? We often hear from couples about the stress of their busy lives. They work full time, go to school, raise kids, serve at church, and even more—and they wonder why their marriages are having difficulty.
If you are both working full time or going to school full time, then it should be no surprise you’re having a hard time connecting with your spouse. Think about it: How many waking hours do you and your spouse have together each day? If you cannot carve out even a few minutes each day to talk and connect, then you’ll be headed for trouble.
The ultimate question is: What is most important at this stage? It should be of primary importance to connect with your spouse and give your kids the security of their parents’ strong marriage. If you have the option, perhaps you should seriously think about putting off school for a season or one of you cutting back on outside work hours in order to give you the time and energy you need for each other and for your family. We live with the lie that we can have it all, we can do it all, and we deserve it all. And when we try to do that, ultimately something pays the piper, and many times it’s the kids and the marriage relationship.
Maybe having one of you quit work or cut back on hours is not possible. Maybe the second income is needed. Maybe that degree is one semester away. In those cases, cutting back may end up causing more stress instead of less. In such cases, you need to make a concerted effort to have a few minutes a day just for you and your spouse that nobody else can break into. You absolutely must have at least a few minutes of alone time where you can connect and give your spouse all the energy you have. This makes your marriage a priority and gives it the preventive maintenance it needs.
You see, during this busy season of life, you need to set priorities, and your first priority must always be your spouse and family. What you can fit in after that is up to you—that is, up to you and your spouse. There will be plenty of time for some of those other activities in your other seasons of life where you have more energy. You can go to school later, but your child won’t be a toddler bouncing on your knee for very long at all.
*For more practical marriage advice, check out The Great Marriage Q&A Book. It’s available in our online bookstore!