Weekly Marriage Tip:  Put Your Spouse On Your To-Do List

This week’s marriage tip was inspired by my friend Michelle over at the blog Motherhood in the Major Leagues.  She posted about this video clip Spouse vs Kids:  Finding Balance in Marriage:

The speaker here is Matt Townsend, whom I had never heard of, but apparently he is a relationship expert (according to his website), so I guess we should all listen to him.  Also, how do I acquire this title?

Anyway, I likes what he has to say.  Here are his four tips on finding the balance in your marriage:

1. Find the compliment not the critique.
2. Lose the excuse that you do not have time. Invest your time it what really matters.
3. Focus on the important and not the urgent.
4. You have to get time together on the schedule. Every single day. If it’s not on the schedule, it’s not going to happen!

This last point particularly resonated with me.  I keep foolishly thinking that Rich and I will have all this bonding time together every night once the kids are down, but then, wouldn’t you know it, we tend to have other demands/desires/twitter feeds.  Basically, unless we specifically plan an activity to do together, it’s very easy for us not to spend any time together.

I’ve been talking to some of my friends about what a struggle it is to get anything done with little kids in the house.  And also about how easy it is to feel like you haven’t accomplished anything all day because we often weigh our productivity by our to-do lists.  Kids massacre to-do lists.  One of my friends said she started writing down specific things on her to-do lists to do with her kids that day to remind herself that her kids are a priority too.  So along with fold the laundry, sign the kids up for camp and go to the bank, she’ll write read to Libby, play chess with Xander, etc.  Then you can feel productive at the end of the day and keep priorities in check.

I like this idea with marriage too.  Stick that spouse of yours into your to-do list!  Plan out specific activities together and write it down. Because, as I’ve said before, if you leave free time unchecked, it will sprout legs and walk itself to the nearest screen faster than you can say, “what to do you want to do tonight?”

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