Strangers in the Night

Doo be doo be doooo…

Now that I’ve put that song in your head… (you’re welcome!) Does it ever seem as if you and your spouse are like strangers in the night? You’re both so overwhelmed or involved with work, kids, family, sports, friends, LIFE that you’re lucky if you can give each other a high five let alone have an uninterrupted conversation?

My husband and I have been in this season before. We both have demanding careers that keep us more than busy. We have three kids under the age of six who have doctor appointments, sporting events, school events, practices, play dates, conferences, and sickness. It’s the endless grind: work to provide a good life for your family; be present and attentive to your children; keep the house clean, laundry done, dog fed, practice attended, check, check and check.

In all that daily grinding our spouse and our marriage can tend to fall to the back burner. “Oh, go on a date!” They say. Well, yes but we have to find an evening that works, pay for a sitter, make sure we and the kids have no other commitments and by the end of all that pre-planning, you just want to sit on the couch in your jammies.

So what can we do when this season comes upon us?

Acknowledge it. Instead of getting irritated with your spouse when he’s been short with you or the kids, take a step back and take a deep breath. Acknowledge that life is crazy at this moment and offer your spouse some grace – knowing and hoping he’s giving you the same!

Give reassurance. If it’s a hug before we both run out the door in the morning or a hand squeeze at the dinner table with the kids, I make sure to tell my husband I miss him, I love him, and I will see him on the other side. I need for him (and for me!) to know we still have each other’s backs.

Don’t give up. I promise there IS light at the end of the tunnel! You WILL get through this season! You WILL be able to come up for air. Keep your eyes peeled for that moment and then pounce on it the minute it arrives.

Carve out time. You saw the moment, you pounced, now produce. Make a combined effort to carve out time to sit on the couch together; watch a movie, cuddle, have conversation, go on a walk. Any step towards reconnecting is the right step.

Find what works for you as a couple. What works for some may not work for all. Find yours! My husband and I discovered we can have an actual (uninterrupted!) conversation if we talk on the phone while sitting in traffic after work! We’re able to catch up on the other’s day, plan for when we get home and CONNECT versus trying to have a conversation at home over endless “I’m hungry!” “When’s dinner?” “Can we watch TV?” “He pushed me!” interruptions. Use trial and error to find what works for you and your spouse to take those small steps at connection.

The Earth will continue to go round so the seasons will continue to change. Remembering the foundation you and your spouse have built will help you weather whatever season may come your way! 

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