One of the most common issues that couples talk about in my office is the lack of connection with each other. Most couples experience a deep and often profound connection when they first meet, start dating, and in the early years of marriage. Over time, with the arrival of children, careers that start to demand more time, and the general business of life, that connection starts to get weaker. Almost without exception the main problem in most relationships is a lack of time devoted to the relationship. It is easy to choose to work long hours to get ahead, to have an active social life, to spend time in pursuit of recreation or exercise (often alone or with friends), or to get so wrapped up in the lives of our children (driving, homework, children social events) that we have no time left for the relationship. The connection starts to wither and die with lack of attention. It happens slowly and we don’t really notice until one day we wake up and we are in a relationship yet we feel alone.
There are many ways to enhance the connection we have with our partner (and I will talk about those in future posts), but the primary task is to create opportunity for connection. We have to take the time from other areas of our life in order to make the environment in which connection can happen. While quality time is important, there also has to be a sufficient quantity of time available to really know each other. I think that each couple should set aside at least 30 minutes per day as the time to focus, in a positive way, on the relationship. I know that most people will have trouble finding 30 minutes in the day that is not already committed, but if we believe that our priority is the relationship and the family, then it is the best choice to make.
Life is a series of difficult choices. Make the choice to have your spouse and family be a priority in your life by setting aside the necessary time to create strong connections.