Do you remember the butterflies you used to feel when you first began dating your spouse? How you could sit and chat for hours about everything and anything?
Then you got married. Years go by and kids get added to the mix. Work, activities, church, household tasks...
Do you remember the last time you sat and had a real, quality conversation with your spouse?
When was the last time you were together when the tv, computer, or phone wasn't also in the way?
While Micah and I are intentional about spending time together every day that time is usually spent watching shows or a movie. Sure, we get to cuddle on the couch and we chat about our days during commercial breaks, but quality conversation? Probably not as often as we should.
What if you could strengthen your marriage in only 15 minutes per day? Could you sacrifice a show or some time browsing Facebook to pour into your relationship?
It seems like a silly question, right? Like, of course I could spare 15 minutes for my spouse! And yet how many days go by when the deepest your conversation goes is, "What's for dinner?"
I came across 15 Minute Marriage Makeover: Refresh Your Relationship, Add Sizzle to Your Sex Life & Be Happier in Just Minutes a Day from Engaged Marriage and knew it was something I wanted to read. I mean, Micah and I consider ourselves to have a pretty darn great marriage, but there's always room for improvement, right?
The book is broken down into four sections, one for each week of the 28 day challenge.
Week 1: Communication that Counts
Week 2: Real Romance for Real Busy Couples
Week 3: Better Sex and Deeper Intimacy
Week 4: Control Your Finances... Together
These challenges are simple. I mean, they take 15 minutes out of your day! But they can also be a bit out of the comfort zone if you aren't used to close, intimate conversations with your spouse. I'm not talking about that kind of intimacy, but the kind that asks you to put aside all distractions, face each other, and make eye contact while you are speaking.
Other than date nights that doesn't happen super often around here because we are always trying to talk while doing something else! I'm super guilty of talking while brushing my teeth. Um, no one can understand me at that point, let alone the person also using an electric toothbrush!
The questions are important and yet often ones that I wouldn't have thought of asking. Many are great for clearing up that whole "why can't you read my mind" issue that lots of couples face.
For instance, on day five each partner is tasked with telling the other three to five things they appreciate the other doing without needing to be asked. Not accusing or nagging, but saying things like, "I like when you make sure the car is filled with gas after you use it." or "I appreciate when you make coffee for me to take to work." Sometimes we don't realize the little things we do can make a big difference!
We are still working our way through this challenge but I can already see and feel the difference it's making. I'm remembering to tell him thank you for those little things and keeping his preferences towards the front of my brain. I'm also making a point of voicing those little considerations I'd like for him to try that I thought he knew but ya know, mind reading isn't a thing!
UPDATE: We finished the book mid-May and feel really confident we talked over topics that we didn't realize we needed to talk about. We both had the chance to share things and have since learned better ways of serving each other and showing love to one another that we weren't as focused on before. Plus the weekly date night (even at home) was always something to look forward to. I highly recommend working through this book together!
Want to know something amazing? 15 Minute Marriage Makeover is only $14. A book that could add so much to your marriage is a steal at that price!
Share your advice for keeping your marriage strong in the comments and let's help each other have marriages that can withstand anything!