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3 Tips to Make Your Marriage Thrive

Photo Credit:  Estee Janssens

We hope this summer found you thriving, with plenty of time in the sun to relax and catch up with family and friends.  As these carefree days come to an end, we have some tips to help you continue to thrive.

Fall gets busy --
a return to school for kids and parents. Everything kicks into full swing with demands on our time to volunteer.  Sports grab our attention.  The ritual of hunting to fill the freezer can make wide swaths on the calendar.  The days are growing shorter as ironically the demands on our time increase.

Time is precious.  Like money, we need to budget it wisely.  For many of us, the tendency is to give and give until we are literally spent.  Most of us know the strain an overdraft creates on the checkbook.  We can attest the stress is even greater on a marriage when either or both of us create a drain on the 'time' account.  We have found it helpful to look at 3 categories when we budget our time and energy:  1.  Personal needs, 2.  Family needs and 3. Relationship needs.

  • Any self-help book or Psychologist will attest that if your Personal needs are not met, your ability to be your best self will diminish.  Replenishing this account might include exercise, recreation, reading and time with friends, hobbies or projects.  Raising kids keeps this simple by necessity, but it is important to budget time just for you.  Put adequate sleep in this category, too.
  • Family needs are obvious, time consuming and can become overwhelming.  Helping kids learn to budget their time may include saying no to one more activity so we can maintain sanity.  Caring for grandkids, while a joy, takes time as does caring for aging parents.  You may need to include them in your budget.  Be practical and include work.  Like sleep it's a necessity.  
    Photo Credit:  Joshua Ness
    Balancing time and energy in this area requires constant communication.  Don't assume anything.  Taking on a project, no matter how small, is no different from making a substantial purchase.  It requires thought, plenty of discussion and a mutual decision.
  • Too often we forget if we want our marriage to thrive (and who wouldn't?) we need to budget time for Relationship needs.  We have found this critical to our marriage.  We need quality time to connect daily.  This does not happen when we are preoccupied or when children demand our attention (and when teens want to talk you need to be immediately available).  Early in our marriage we learned to budget uninterrupted time every day to talk about us, our needs and other important stuff.  We call this dialogue.  A date night is a luxury and you deserve it.  Keep it simple to make it happen!  Click here for Fall Date Night ideas.  Make a commitment to go to bed together.  Pillow talk, a back or foot rub may be all you need to get a relaxing night's sleep and awaken with energy.  It is amazing how much faster the 2 of you can whip through chores at the end of the day if the goal is going to bed together at a reasonable hour. 
Want to thrive?  Take these 3 Tips to heart.  Share with us ideas you have found helpful to make your transition into fall successful.
Photo Credit:  Valerie Elash

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