Never stop dating your soldier:
Two weeks ago, I woke up and realized that my marriage was started operating like a well-oiled unit. Each person in the unit did their duties well and without complaining. Each person in the unit operated efficiently and as expected. If we were to get NCOER’s (employee evaluation in the civilian world) in our marriage, we would have definitely been “Far Exceeded Standards”.
Although my family unit was operating above expectations, my relationship with my husband was not. It sucked actually. We had slipped into the roles of business partners. We had slipped into the goal of the family unit and not connecting with each other. If you co-own a business with your spouse I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about. We fell into the rut of having business meetings about our firearms business and the business aspect of our family such as doctor’s appointments, meetings, required school events. Basically, all the non-fun things of life is what we got focused on.
In all that business junk, we forgot to connect as spouses, lovers, and partners. We forgot to connect with each other! Sure, we spent time together while watching Last Man Standing and Walking Dead, but we stopped talking; like really talking! We shared facts, not feelings. No one wants to be in a relationship of facts. It’d be like being married to Data (off Star Trek), it’d be fun for a few days, then it’d get really old.
So how can we combat being business partners with our spouses? Here are a few tips that I’ve really found helpful!
Talk with your spouse:
I don’t mean talking over calendars or to-do’s. I mean REALLY talking. Sharing what’s in your head and on your heart. Be brutally honest, yet kind when you’re having your heart-to-heart session. We need to share our feelings ladies. We can’t run and hide from them and pretend that they don’t exist. Emotions were given to us for a reason, we shouldn’t be ashamed of them! Your husband married you, emotions and all. He needs to have an idea of what is in your heart. He can’t read your mind!
Go on dates with your spouse:
I’m not talking about dinner and a movie. Seriously, who pays to go sit in a dark room, where you can’t talk to anyone, and call it a “date”? Um, acca-scuse me? That’s not a date. That’s not a date that you can connect and get to know your spouse. Try these date ideas for opportunities to really connect with your spouse.
- Go to dinner and skip the movie!
- Mini golf
- Take a dance class
- Put together a puzzle (my personal favorite)
- Do a DIY project
- Go through a marriage book together and discuss the questions. (when approached right this won’t be a turn-off to your spouse).
- Go to an arcade.
- Go out for cocktails.
- Couples Massage.
- Give the kiddos to grandma for the night and stay in with Chinese and a good movie.
- Take a walk and put the phones in silent.
- Go out for coffee
Keep a journal TOGETHER!
We did this a lot when he was deployed. Each time he left we traded off keeping it and writing in it, then we would mail it to the other person and they would write in it. This can easily be done when you are home together full time. Write honesty in there. Write your feelings, emotions, passions, and even the boring day to day things. I wrote about my good days, my bad days, and all the in between days. This really helped my hubby get a good idea of what was going on in my life when he was gone.
Meet your spouse where they are at:
What I mean by this is to take an interest in what they take an interest in. My husband LOVES talking about Every Day Carry kits and bags. It’s a huge passion of us. Frankly, I could care less to discuss it. I have my EDC and I carry it daily and that’s the end of it. I don’t care to continue discussing things over and over again, but my husband loves it! So, I discuss this stuff with him sometimes. I meet him where he is at. Naturally this has to be a give-and-take. My husband hates discussing the budget and long term plan for our finances, but I love it! So, he meets me where I am and he sits and discusses it with me. We both try to meet each other where we are in that season.
This is possibly the most important point of all. Keep trying to get to know your spouse. Whether you’ve been married for 6 months of 16 years, keep trying to get to know your spouse. Over time we all change and grown with the circumstances that we are faced with in life. Although Tim hasn’t changed into a completely difference person since we got married, he’s definitely grown and changed over the years. Same goes for me! I am still Nila, but I am not the same version of Nila as I was when we got married. Get to know your spouse in every season of their life.
I hope this serves as a reminder to continue to date your spouse. Meet them where they are and get to know them. Pinterest has a TON of great pins on questions to ask your spouse to continue to get to know them! Check it out!