Emotional intimacy is how close you feel emotionally to your spouse. It speaks to the type of connection that you share with one another, the non-sexual affection that you show, and how you communicate, openly and honestly. In its simplest terms, emotional intimacy speaks to the friendship that you share with your husband or your wife.
One of the most important ways to build that emotional connection to one another is to simply make time for one another. I know what you’re thinking: easier said than done. With work, kids, and every other obligation, we are already so overworked, overscheduled, over-everything, that finding enough time for each other is about as easy as finding a picture of a unicorn flying next to a bald eagle.
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But when we’re talking about making time for our spouses, we have to remember three very important things:
- Making time for your marriage is not optional.
- The quality of the time is just as important as the quantity.
- You always have the time; you’re just making the decision to allocate it to something
Listed below are 10 ways to rescue some of your time back
- Say No. Help others, support friends, let your kids participate in activities, but don’t have so much of your time tied up in everyone else’s life that you’re neglecting your own. It’s ok to say, “I don’t have time for it.”
- Put the kids to sleep. Try to get your children in bed at least an hour before you so that you can make time for your spouse and do some things alone. If you have older children, let them know that after a certain time, they should be in their rooms, or just go in your own room after a certain time and close the door. Once kids are old enough to have some inkling about what may be happening behind a closed door, they’ll be a lot less likely to barge in.
- Don’t let the kids wake you up. You know what they say: the early bird gets the worm. If you aren’t night owls, grab some time at the other end of the day and try to get some alone time before the kids wake up or you have to head out the door to work.
- Make quick dinners during the week. Try to pre-make some of your meals during the week or on weekends. Make use of the crockpot. Have some go-to healthy standbys like store-bought rotisserie chicken that you can go for in a time crunch. There are lots of healthy recipes out there that won’t take all evening to create.
- Limit your time online. Whether you’re communicating on social media, browsing the web, or checking email, time online can be a huge time waster for a lot of people. In fact, most of us are probably spending a lot more non-productive time online than we think. For most of us, completely cutting out the internet for good or going cold turkey on social media is something that just isn’t happening. Instead commit to only spending X number of minutes online per day, or even better, create “connection free” spaces in your day and week and stick to them.
- Hang up the phone. Either stop talking so much or stop texting so much. Give your spouse some time in your day to have your undivided attention. If your phone doesn’t have a fancy “important people only” feature where you can screen your calls, do the next best thing and just turn it off for a few minutes while you get some couple time in. The rest of the world can wait.
- Hire help if you can afford it. If you can fit it into your budget, get someone to come in, even if only on occasion, to help clean, or cut grass, or do little tasks. You may even know a few older kids or teens that you can pay a few dollars to do things like put clothes away or wash dishes. Better yet, you may have a few kids living in your house that can take care of some of those tasks for free.
- Delegate if you can’t. If paying for household help is completely out of the question, find ways to divide up your workload. Try writing down everything that needs to be done throughout the week and dividing up tasks accordingly. Make sure that everyone has a role and again, don’t leave the kids out of the equation. Put those babies to work!
- Divide up time-consuming tasks The playroom in my house looks like hell. No, really, it looks like Satan came in and said, “I live here now,” spread out his toys, and did a little decorating. Instead of doing a complete overhaul, which would probably take me days of hard labor, I spend about 5 minutes in there every day cleaning and organizing. It’s not much, but chipping away at it a little at a time is starting to make it look a little more heavenly.
- Create an evening schedule for yourself. Write in 15 minutes. Stick to it. One of the best ways to ensure that you have 15 minutes to spend with your spouse is simply by making the commitment to do it. Think of something else you do without fail. Make your time together as essential to your day as taking a shower, eating dinner, or putting the kids to bed.
So, just 10 minutes out of your day devoted to your marriage is enough time to have an impact on your connection to your spouse. If you can’t find 10 minutes per day for your spouse, even five minutes in the morning and five minutes in the evening, then your priorities need to change. Remember, if you desire to have a strong marriage, taking care of it emotionally can never be an option.
BMWK, do you make time for emotional intimacy?