Sure, togetherness is important. But is there such a thing as being too close?
“I promise to love honor and obey until death do us part.”
I said those vows but no one told me it would be like this. Did getting married and saying those vows really mean spending every moment together? I mean, we enjoy spending time together but I am starting to question whether or not there is such a thing as being too close. Could we unintentionally be causing strain on our marriage by too much togetherness?
As life’s circumstances have changed, so has marriage. You will have many competing interests for your time, resulting in you and your partner spending every “free” moment with each other — talking, playing, having sex, and just being with one another. You might be telling each other everything, bringing not only the office but the office gossip home too. You are not doing it on purpose; it just happens. If this sounds familiar, it may be time to take a look at what you are bringing into the marriage and whether or not it’s productive for you and your partner. Here are three things or topics to consider leaving out of your marriage and together time.
Many companies have started operating in a “do more with less” environment. (Do more with less but not with the increased pay, I might add). You might find yourself spending more time at work, possibly traveling, and becoming closer to people at work. As soon as you get home everyday, you share with your spouse all the ends and outs of your day at work. This includes who got a bad performance appraisal, who has a crush on who, who has problems at home, and it keeps going. Yes, you want to share everything with your spouse, but should you?
I remember a story that I was told many years ago about a man who had a stressful job but a very happy marriage that had lasted many years. Each night when he came home, he would rub a rock that he placed outside the door of his home. He explained that rubbing the rock was the reminder to leave all his work problems and issues at home and to be a husband and father when he walked in the door. So, stop and think how much time you spend venting and raving about what is happening at work. Your spouse may not have a clue about who or what you are really talking about and really may not want to hear the same stories everyday. In an effort to avoid this rut, try coming home a few times a week, rubbing the rock at your door, and just be in the moment.
2. Compromising Too Much
There are times when we should experience new things with our spouse. But what happens if you’re just not jazzed about your spouse’s favorite activities? A great example is video games: gaming is a hot industry, and it’s not just for children. Adults of both sexes and all ages are into escaping through games.
Your spouse may love playing games, but you will never be at the same skill level and you only get frustrated when you play. In fact, your stomach cringes every time you are asked. How do you feel when you are playing? After you play? Resentful? Angry? The quality time you thought you were going to share just turned out to be only time spent; time you won’t get back. The resentful and unhappy feelings you have when you continue to do something you really don’t want to can build up over time and put distance between you and your spouse. Don’t be afraid to let go and free your spouse to do something they enjoy without you. Which leads us to the next thing to consider…
3. No “Me” Time
You have spent so much time doing what makes your spouse happy, something got lost along the way. You! Do you remember the things you would take time out for that brought such a sense of peace and joy? Do you remember the things that you wish you still had time for? What would your marriage be like if you took the time to do something that brought you pure peace and joy each week? It could be as simple as reading a book, taking a yoga class, taking time to meditate, reading the bible or shooting a few golf balls on the range. You would begin to raise your anabolic energy level, which in turn would raise the anabolic energy in your marriage.
I leave you with a challenge: try to implement one thing that would take away the quantity of time you spend with your spouse and replace it with quality time with your spouse. You’ll be sure to see a difference! And a final thought to females reading this post — as my friend Lauren Solomon says, “don’t treat your husband like your furry girlfriend!” I couldn’t agree more.