By Lana Leigh Wilkens
Do you need help learning how to create space for your husband? I have four ways to share with you today.
CREATE SPACE FOR YOUR HUSBAND
Before I was married I had to plan time to see my boyfriend. Everything else swirled around us and we had to prioritize one another. Our schedules were demanding with school, work, family, friends, and the organizations or activities we were in. But we always made time for one another.
After getting married to this boyfriend, I noticed a shift. As a married couple, our default was being together. So instead of planning time to be together, we shared our calendars and planned when to be apart. As a result, we actually spent less time together.
We must continue to plan to be together, like we did when we were dating. Otherwise we’ll become so busy with life that we risk seeing each other only in random passings from one activity to the next. I knew I didn’t want that to happen in my marriage.
This shift happened naturally when we began to live together as husband and wife. We were around one another more, but the time was less intentional. Brushing our teeth and zoning out on our phones after work didn’t feel like date night. But it was the hour we had together.
In some ways, this phenomenon is why I think many marriages suffer. Our ideals of how much carefree time we’ll have is shot down by the reality of paying bills together, cleaning up messes, or discussing how to raise the kids. Life gets in the way.
4 WAYS TO CREATE SPACE FOR YOUR HUSBAND
Thankfully I’ve realized it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are four ways I’ve worked to create space for my marriage in the middle of a full family and work life:
- Keep a whiteboard family calendar. This visual reminder helps me more than the dings on my phone from the digital one. I see it when I’m doing other things like getting ready for my day, winding down after work or walking around the house. We create the week together every Sunday night.
- Wake up earlier. Having several kids has brought us to morning time dates. We wake up, work out, get our preferred beverage and spend time enjoying conversation and doing something productive next to one another. This has become my favorite way to spend time together because it happens every day and has multiplied our time together.
- Say no, wait or delegate. I used to be the one to sign up for whatever needs I saw without thinking through the consequences of my yes. Now I protect my family time, especially time with my husband. Learning to prioritize him has made all the difference in how I view my time. He comes before our kids, work and all my pet projects. If one of those things needs emergency attention, fine. But as a general habit, I say no, wait, or find a way to delegate anything that creeps into the time I spend alone with my husband.
- Initiate. If I want to spend time together, I don’t wait for him to ask me. When we do the calendar I ask questions like, “Is this a good week for us to spend a little alone time together?” or “When do you want to make a little space for a date?” These questions express that I desire him. A warning – don’t initiate and then turn him down. The initiation part works both ways.
CREATING INTENTIONAL SPACE
One day I started to consider how Mark 10:8-9 NLT might apply to my time with my husband and how I treated its importance:
“and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.”
After reading that, I began to believe that investing in my husband is like investing in myself too. So these four ways to create space for my husband are as good for me as they are for him.
Wife Step: Try scheduling one thing a month. Write it down in a physical place you’ll see so you can look forward to it all month.
Lana Leigh Wilkens, author of Knee-Jerk Mom, helps women discover their authentic family values and challenges them to ask the right questions so they can decide with confidence, not comparison.
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