HOUSTON (FOX 26) - No time for your marriage? We all feel it: work pressure, financial stress, the kids, the aftermath of Harvey and feeling as though from morning to night there’s no time. If and when you do get a moment, rarely is it alone. Couples feel guilty for taking precious time away from their children to relax and enjoy each other.
A recent article in the Journal of Marriage and Family described how researchers from the University of Minnesota enrolled and studied 47,000 couples from 2003 to 2010. Their finding? Couples were twice as happy in their life when they spent time together. Of special mention is the research’s finding reported stress levels of both partners dropped significantly and they reported their life as having more meaning when they spent time together.
During stressful times in life it’s important to make time for your partner. Careers, children and unplanned events may distract you but taking time and scheduling time to be together benefits all other areas of your life. The researchers supports the importance of keeping a mental check-list in your mind to help you notice the warning signs that you’re putting your relationship on the back burner. Couples can survive floods, children’s schedules, financial worries and demanding careers better when they spend time together. In fact, making time for your spouse is the best way to preserve your emotional health which affects your physical health.
A mental checklist of warnings
- You notice you’re arguing more when you’re together.
- You feel as though you’re the only one planning date nights or special moments.
- Work takes on a new meaning and you begin getting your need for connection, joy and fun through work instead of with your partner. You fill your evening hours with work as well.
- You begin taking your spouse for granted.
- When you do have spare time you sit glued in front of the TV instead of with your partner.
Suggestions to help you take time and be with your partner
- Have a set time when you shut off your phones and electronics.
- Take mini-catch ups with our partner throughout the day. Marriage research suggests it takes only 2 minutes of conversation for couples to feel connected. Make a schedule when you begin this in your marriage because it requires that sort of commitment.
- Let the children know your marriage comes first. The best gift any couple can give their children to ensure their success is to love each other. Children may not show it, but they are secretly proud of their parents when they see them in love. Love is a verb-keep date nights once a week.
- Little signs of affection. You’ve heard this before and that’s because it matters. It’s the little things you do for each other that help keep you emotionally stable and feeling good about your life no matter what you’re going through.
- Gratitude is a marriage vitamin. No matter what chaos goes on in your day, take time to thank your partner for one thing every day.
Who you choose as your spouse is one of the most important decisions you will ever make in your life. The health of your marriage affects yours’s as well as your children’s emotional and physical health. The best assurance for overall happiness is sharing your life with someone you love and someone who loves you.