How do you stay emotionally connected during weeks at a time of life’s craziness?
“Life’s craziness” meaning, barely seeing each other. Work is busy and when not at work everything at home breaks and needs fixing or replaced. And the times you are together the stress comes out in forms of griping, complaining, etc. Which, rather than responding back in the same manner or worse, I end up doing what I can just to get away from it (him).
A few days of not having time to have any kind of emotional connection, seems somewhat doable, because you have to only hold out for so long. But when the days turn into weeks, what do you and your spouse do to keep and maintain an emotional connection? That the woman/wife actually feels emotionally connected and fulfilled.
I realize, that for men, sex is often how they emotionally connect. That is not what I am speaking about, but maybe there’s a way to apply it to the ways women typicallly emotionally connect. My husband seems to think that when we are feeling disconnected, sex is needed. It may connect him emotionally, but for me, it does not. There can actually end up being a greater emotional disconnect.
For us, early morning together time helps. We generally sit on the back porch drinking coffee at least a few times a week before I go to work. I am an early riser, and I need that quiet time anyways, but it is better shared. About half the time, she is up when I leave for work, and the other half she is still asleep. My day starts out better when we share that time.
We have an advantage in that we are empty nesters, so whenever we are both home, we tend to be doing something together, whether it is yard work, housework, or just watching TV. We probably have less time than most because of my work schedule, but we tend to spend that time together more often than not. Some of it is deliberate effort, but a lot just comes down to us enjoying the same things so it happens naturally.
We plan a date, usually dinner. Sometimes it’s only a quickie meal.
We ask a lot of questions, “what are you thinking?”
We talk through our feelings and emotions. We pray together.
Don’t think were sane. We have some struggles with outside forces something fierce. The sexual connection might skip a week or two. But we manage to renew our commitment that is greater than even sex.
We intentionally spend time talking. Listening to each other and finding out where the other is at is important. I spend more time listening to DW than she does to me, because that is especially valuable for her. Or, we reduce things in our schedule so that we can connect more. We assert our authority over our schedule. We do simple things like go for a walk or watch a movie or reminisce about the past to connect.
Some wise ministry words for those in full-time ministry: Give your mornings to God, your afternoons to your church and your evenings to your family.
Full time ministry brings the issue of taking care of other families and neglecting your own – which can result in you having no more ministry.
It’s a delicate balance!
This is something we struggle with at times. Okay, a lot. I used to think finally getting to be a SAHM would make all the difference, but of course nothing is ever as simple as it seems. Our energies are higher at different times of the day. Some struggles we are facing are the ingrained, been fighting forever kind (clutter, home maintenance challenges, healthy habits) and others just don’t seem to have solutions (stubborn pets and their bad bathroom habits, wildlife issues, family drama), so when we do get a chance to really talk, sometimes it feels like a merry-go-round of recycled conversation that doesn’t really go anywhere. Also, sometimes we don’t even want to do anything more than just “hang” in a very casual way, watch TV, read or be on the computer side-by-side because that’s all we’ve got the energy for, but it doesn’t really build connection. Also, he’s not really a talker when it comes to significant things. He’s happy to let me do all the, what my Dad calls, “ciphering” and then say “Sure, whatever you think.” So when we have long periods of time without an actual date night we can get pretty emotionally dried up.
On the other hand, we are pretty good about the day-to-day little stuff like calling, texting, greeting with kisses, sending each other stuff we think the other will like, sharing stories of our day. So when life is hectic, we may not stay great romantic connections but we are always great friends and roommates. 🙂
Yes, this is something we struggle with work, school for her and 3 teens in sports. I have to remind myself that DW needs conversation about feelings (not just daily activities & routine). She needs that to feel connected and I desire sex to feel connected so it can be a difficult “crazy” cycle if it gets going so we both need to make the effort to connect with the other person in mind and their need to feel loved in a meaningful way.
We just started a book by Dr David Clarke called MEN ARE CLAMS, WOMEN ARE CROWBARS (the do’s and donts if getting your man to open up). It is HILARIOUS!!! We heard him on a FOCUS ON THE FAMILY podcast and I decided to get it for us to work through.
When we don’t have a lot of time due to early mornings, long days and late nights with opposing schedules, it means one or both of us has to compromise & sometimes sacrifice our desires & needs to the other and also plan for something that’ll allow us to connect in a deeper way for both of us.
Wow @newwifenewlife, I know that a Dr. David Clarke book changed our marriage, I had never heard of that one. But by the title alone, it doesn’t seem to be applicable to our marriage dynamic. My husband and I tend to hold the opposite typical roles on certain ways. I would be the clam and he the crowbar.
Thank you all for sharing!