School has started back, and our normal routines are in full swing. We wake up, I get the kids to school and my wife gets ready for the day. We cross paths in the bathroom as I get ready, and she starts her day before I leave for work. I get home from work, we do dinner, sit with the kids for a bit and then do baths and bedtime. After the kids are down, I make coffee for the morning, and we get ready for bed. We barely talk to each other. Somehow, we just co-exist and it all just seems to work out day by day.
Have you ever felt like you are on autopilot in your marriage? Ships passing in the night? More like roommates than husband and wife?
If you have been married for any amount of time it is easy to get stuck in the roommate phase. If you are not intentional, the roommate phase becomes reality in marriage. How do we get out of this phase and back into a more loving, connected marriage? Here are three refreshers when you start to feel like roommates instead of a loving, married couple.
1. Tackle ordinary tasks together.
When is the last time you shopped for groceries together? Every time I go to the store with my wife, I realize how fun this simple task can be. We are reminded of the early days of marriage when we had zero money and had to budget every slice of bread. Spending a little time together doing the ordinary stuff calls back old memories and refreshes our focus of today. Instead of passing each other by throughout the days, allow the ordinary stuff to bring opportunity for connection. It is a simple and refreshing reminder that we are on the same team and we are not alone.
What ordinary tasks can you tackle together? Use this Resource to help spark meaningful conversation while you complete the ordinary.
2. Take alone time together – away from everyday life settings.
This one seems obvious, but too often we fail to make time to get away from our everyday routines. If you have children, it can be complicated because sometimes kid schedules run our calendars. These days, time alone takes some creativity in our family. My job allows my wife and I to spend time on Fridays when the kids are in school. If you haven’t gone on a few date nights or scheduled time away together in a while, I would encourage you to do so. Even just one night — booking a hotel and sleeping in can draw you closer. Or maybe it is as simple as trying a new restaurant or coffee place. Perhaps getting out in nature for a walk or driving race cars. Whatever it is, intentionally plan to refresh your marriage through time away together.
When was the last date night you had together? When was the last time you spent 24 hours away without kids just the two of you? Find time alone, outside of your normal routine to gain perspective and appreciate each other more. Check out these date resources for ideas.
3. Show daily affection – Hug, cuddle and hold hands.
Roommates usually don’t cuddle or hold hands on the couch. When married life becomes just a routine or a surviving the day to day, physical touch and affection often get left behind. I am not talking just sex or touch that leads to sex (though that’s important too!). I am encouraging daily affection and connection through meaningful touch. Want to break out of the roommate phase? Share a blanket at home and cuddle on the couch. Grab hands as you watch to your kid’s basketball game or steal a kiss when you get home. Refresh your marriage with daily acts of affection to restore your loving connection!
When can you intentionally show affection? Look for opportunities to refresh your marriage and connect through touch! Listen to this podcast for more on intimacy in marriage.
Check out more resources for growing a strong marriage below: