Trust in marriage – consistent truth – where does it come from? Over the years we’ve been watching husbands and wives interact. Deep conversations are important to growing a meaningful life filled with trust. And deep conversations are one thing we suggest and write about on a regular basis. However, the everyday, seemingly mundane interactions each week also build this truth and trust. These regular check-ins and planning sessions can have a purpose!
Make an impact for your future by planning your week.
Planning your days – together – makes it easier to be truthful and consistent.
Sharing life – that’s a part of what marriage is all about. And that’s where trust in marriage grows.
Most days and weeks in a household look similar. Predictable. Normal. They may or may not be a healthy normal, but it’s possible to anticipate how a week will go. Even if we don’t hang a family calendar on the wall anymore, many husbands and wives will share and/or sync their digital calendars. And, in case we need to state it, we recommend having full access to your spouse’s calendar whether it’s digital or paper. 😉
Ask each other: “Where will you be? What will you be doing?”
We must ask where we are and whither we are tending. Abraham Lincoln – 1809-1865 Sixteenth President of the USA
Where are you? What are you doing? That’s one kind of constant. It’s the daily reality of living together in one environment.
It’s not intrusive to know what your other half is doing and where he/she is going! It builds trust because what we’re involved in matters and has an impact on our spouse. As husband and wife, we are one flesh!
Prepare and Enrich – Building Trust in Marriage
Rob and I are facilitators for the Prepare/Enrich program.It’s been used for premarital preparation, but there’s so much in this program to equip couples married decades. One of the exercises has the couple fill out an assessment of what they spend time doing in a regular week. It can be very enlightening!
There are only 168 hours in a week… do you know where they go? Maybe planning your days and weeks starts with a little introspection?
If you see value in mentoring, Rob and I are available – reach out! We have the Prepare/Enrich program, Values in Mariage, a Biblical DISC program and more we can leverage to enrich your marriage. We can talk via Zoom, Skype or phone to explore some mentoring/coaching options. Click HERE.
Build trust in marriage every day.
Trust builds when there’s a predictable order to the day.
If couples are proactive in planning their weeks, a greater control over consistency emerges. And the trust in marriage grows. Of course, we can’t plan everything. However, if there’s a framework, husbands and wives can trust they know where their spouse is and when to expect time together.
Rob and I are still working on planning our weeks – however, there’s a normal flow to a week we can count on. (Now, being productive in that week is a whole ‘nother thing… 😉 Planning will help with that, too!)
Have you created an “ideal week” plan?
Can you anticipate what your week – or your spouse’s week – will look like?
learning and growing – reading, taking classes, talking with people who have a specific focus
and everything else you do in your week…
This spring I worked through a program to order my evenings so my days would have a better impact. It brought to light where my behaviors needed to shift because they weren’t serving me well – it’s a valuable course.
(This is an affiliate link, meaning if you purchase we receive a small amount at no cost to you – thank you for supporting Robert and me. We appreciate it very much.)
When you plan, do you have resources you use? Share them in the comments, please – we’d love to know!
Let the truth of your days build the trust in your marriage.
It’s autumn in the Northern Hemisphere. The leaves are turning bright yellow, red and orange, then falling to the ground. We see pumpkins in the fields, and on door steps in suburban neighborhoods. The season to buy! buy! buy! is creeping up on the calendar.
Do you have any plans for the holidays? And if so what about time for you and your spouse?
How will you keep your marriage strong?
As fun as the next few months will be, there will also be stresses. I don’t need to make a list, do I? I’m sure you can fill in the blanks with all the mishaps and misunderstanding from other years.
What’s your strategy to stay connected and aligned with your spouse during the next two months? It’s not enough to “wing it” in these busy days ahead – you need to have a plan.
And every plan works well if there’s a bit of fun incorporated!
Quick! Can you mark in some dates with your spouse in November and December? Yes. Really quick – before all the holiday invitations start to show up.
Demonstrate to your spouse how much you value her/him by making it a priority to spend time together.
How can you spend time together – really inexpensively – to stay aligned and in tune with each other? Keep the dates cheap, but fun. Simple, but fun. Private, but active. And allow you two – husband and wife – to slow down and talk about what’s going on in your lives; to catch your breath and stay connected.
Make memories together – as a connected couple!
5 Autumn Ideas to Stay a Connected Couple
Here’s the criteria: fun, cheap, private and active.
1. Sparklers in the dark.
Buy a package of sparklers, and go outside after the kids are in bed and it’s dark. Light those sparklers, and play! Run around the yard, write your names in the air, and kiss under them. (Use good judgement and watch out for your hair/clothes – those sparks can ignite!)
Set up your camera with a timer – create fun photos to share with family & friends. Capture your memories of the evening!
The leaves might be falling off the trees, but it’s also time to plant some hope for spring: daffodils, crocus and tulips! Buy a few bulbs, and dig in the dirt one morning or afternoon to plant them. Talk together about next spring, and your hopes for that time. Digging in the dirt is therapeutic! If you don’t have your own yard, talk with your church, or a local daycare to see if they’d mind you planting a few bulbs.
You can enjoy the moment and still look to the future when you’re planting some bulbs!
Just take your laptop, and a DVD out to your vehicle, bring some drinks and some snacks, add blankets, and snuggle together! Or you can have a fully outdoor experience by pushing two loungers together and zipping up two sleeping bags to snuggle in as you watch your movie.
Remember those teenage years? Oh, the fun you can have under the blankets, while watching a movie! (nudge, nudge, wink, wink)
Yes… Yes. I know you love your coffee in the morning. So do we! But if you’re going to get up to watch the sun rise, maybe your spouse needs a little more incentive. Try a version of hot chocolate oatmeal in your slow-cooker! I’ve put some recipes on a Pinterest board for you try! Start it cooking before you go to bed, and it’ll be done by morning. Some of the recipes are with stevia & coconut milk, others incorporate yummy extras like cherries, or pecans & toasted coconut. (Click here to go to the recipes.)
Take your hot chocolate oatmeal outside, and watch the sun rise – start the day together.
Why do we only think to bake stuff with our kids? Put your kids to bed, then, why not make it a date! Just you and your spouse – to bake and decorate cookies together. (And you might playfully add some decorations to each other… you’re alone, remember?)
Be a Keeper. By being proactive, use date night to do something new, and stay connected all through your years of marriage. There’s no reason to fall out of love (or “like”) with each other! Here’s a link to a post about what we’ve seen in couples married many years.
Stress Away. No… really! Let that stress of daily life GO! Arrange a date night to let go of stress – music, physical activity, laughter, quiet contemplation while viewing a sunset or whatever works to recharge. A date night is the perfect opportunity to de-stress.
Reach Out and Touch. Physical touch is another of the 5 love languages. It’s priceless. (and not all about sex – but always could include intimacy!) Use date night to escalate the power of touch – from holding hands, to caressing a face, to massaging shoulders, to kissing, to… (Yeah. You get the gist, right?) Play a bit. Only go further one step at a time – use an hour to go no further than touching each other’s hands, and the next hour to only touch above the neck, and the third hour to only use your mouth... elsewhere…(are you smirking yet?)
Stability in Change. There’s nothing so constant as change. Your life is going to change. Guaranteed. You will change. Your spouse will change. Your kids will change. Everything is always changing. (Tired yet?) Use date night to remain stable, emotionally and relationally, in every change you encounter.
Challenged to Grow. Date night, done well, forces the two of you to stretch. What do I mean, “done well”? Whenever there’s a opportunity, you have two choices: put in some effort or seek the path of least resistance. Your marriage will grow if you always put in the effort, and date night is a regular way to make sure you push yourself.
Inject Humor into a Serious Life. Robert and I are pretty serious. We feel we don’t laugh enough, and deliberately seek out opportunities to be around people who find laughter easy. What about you? Are you one of those easy-to-laugh couples? (Hey- want to hang out together?) If you do find it easy to laugh, share your gift with each other, and others! And if you’re like us, then use date night to watch YouTube videos, listen to comedians on Sirius Comedy channel, go to the bookstore and read each other funny comics – or the card store and pick out cards to make each other laugh! (Just read them and carefully put them away – it doesn’t have to cost anything!)
“Yes, I’d marry YOU again!” Words of Affirmation. Assurance. Use date night to affirm your spouse. (That’s another of the love languages!) After you’ve been married for multiple decades (or even before that) and life becomes either hum-drum, or hectic, it’s deeply valuable to know your spouse admires you… still. Or that your spouse values you… still. Or your spouse would choose you all over again!
More than. You are more than a man. More than a woman. You are more than a mother. More than a father. More than a grandparent, an employee, a minister, a clerk, a lawyer, a note-taker, a cook, a dog-walker. You are the other half of another person. It’s so easy to lose track of that fact. To mitigate its importance. As spouses, you are One-Flesh. Made for each other. United.
Asking for Help. It’s not what you might think – I’m not suggesting you use your date night to go to counseling. Rather, have you ever considered a date night focused on prayer? I’m guessing your life isn’t all peaches and roses. I imagine you’re kind of like Rob and me – you’ve got problems. Concerns. Use an hour of date night to pray together – ask for help from the ONE who has all the answers and all the power. Date night doesn’t need to be (only) fun and games. You’ve already taken time away – you’re disconnected from everyday life.,, Date night is also there for the serious stuff. Make date night count – use it for the problem times too!
Be Unique! Unfortunately, it’s not common to find couples who are deliberate about making time for a date night. It’s rare to find husbands and wives who have a night/morning/afternoon date – alone – every week. Yes, it is sad. Heart-breaking. Especially when you talk with couples who are contemplating divorce and can’t remember the last time they spent quality time together.
Here’s a personal story – we have friends in Dallas – married many decades, who go on a weekly “date night”. Her work even knows not to schedule her on that evening, because it’s “date night”! In her role as the Director of First Impressions at a call center, she shares her view on the value of date-night… and she lives it! Couldn’t we all be like that?
You’re a Team. Have you forgotten? Husband and wife are a team – tackling life together. Your kids are going to grow up – your buddies/girlfriends will shift, your employment will change… You. Are. A. Team. Use date night to work together on a project, to overcome a fear, to plan a new outcome, and set goals. Oh, please set goals together!Here’s a post about setting goals as husband and wife.
Keep Each Other Young.Use date night to play. Use that time together to renew your playful spirit, and to find the kid hidden inside you both. Try board games from your childhood, or legos, or swing, or play hop-scotch, or…
Romance is ALIVE and well! Do you remember the “tingles”… those flutters, and quivers when you first saw your spouse? My first memory of Rob is hearing his deep, bass voice answering questions behind me in church. (I was 14 – he was 16.) Later, when we began dating, I would get this thrill, just to know he was going to knock on our side door, and take me out for the evening. When was the last time you felt the “tingles”? Have you dressed up for your spouse lately? Have you given her a gift? (Yeah, gifts are another of the five love languages.) What about trying a few new options in your intimacy, or an invitation to slow dance to a love song… a moonlight kiss, or a love note? A date night will keep the romance in your marriage alive!
Connect and Communicate to Encourage. We all long to feel understood, don’t we? We all need to feel affirmed. Each spouse – husband or wife – wants to feel valued. Date night does all of this – if you’ve decided to make the event (morning, noon or night) a tool to connect and communicate. It’s up to you. Each of you. Date night is the best choice to encourage your spouse, if you keep this in mind.
Really. You’re relationship will be forever changed!
It’s the first resource that Robert and I recommend for anyone. Everyone. It’s easy to understand, and easy to do. Yup. It has the big picture and the practical.
There are 5 ways we feel loved – and one of them is our primary way. So many spouses believe they’re communicating their love, and yet the other isn’t “getting” it. This book will get you on the road to solving that problem.
Have you read it a while ago? Maybe it’s time to re-read it. Together. With your spouse!
When was the last time you expressed gratitude in your marriage
– and said, “Thank you.” to your spouse?
Gratitude in Marriage
Gratitude. Thankfulness.It’s important to tell your spouse how thankful you are.Sometimes we’ll say, “Thank you.” to a stranger, before we’ll say it to our spouse! This is number 2 of 101 phrases to encourage your spouse – see the video of Alex and Alisane saying these phrases to each other – by going to “The Video” and also see the other posts in this series.
The Big Picture
Courtesy isn’t a luxury in marriage – it’s a necessity. Courtesy – including saying “thank you” – demonstrates how much you value your spouse!
Print them on cardstock, cut them out, use them as bookmarks, hang on ‘fridge or mirrors, or tuck them into sock drawers, hang them from your spouse’s car steering wheel, or even more fun spots! Take some action…