My husband and I have been married nearly 6 ½ years. That’s not long, especially in comparison to my grandparents who were married a whopping 62 years! But, we’re also not considered newlyweds anymore. (Though I like to think we are, just because it’s fun being a newlywed and I never want our marriage to stop being exciting!)
I have noticed though, that after these years of being together, it’s very easy to be home after a long day (him at work and me at home with the kids) and just plunk on the couch and mindlessly watch a few TV shows before going to bed. Other couples might both grab their phones and scroll their social media apps for long periods of time. For others still, it might be the time that the stay-at-home-parent gets some work done while the other does their own thing. This can so easily become the routine, that every night, though you are technically spending time together, you’re not really spending time “together.” You’re no longer connecting. Which can eventually cause you two to slowly disengage. Though marriage might seem okay and life is going fine, are you actually just doing life alongside the other person, rather than doing life with the other person?
Here are some examples of how to connect at the end of the day, even when there are still things to do like eat dinner and wash dishes and do bath time and, and, and…
- Cook a meal together.
Yes, more often than not, dinnertime is rushed and everybody is basically running frantically around the house (or is that just in my house?) that it almost seems impossible to connect during this time. However, instead of having the usual “cook” in the house doing all the work, why not approach it as a team? Even if it’s just once a week. It will not only allow time for genuine conversation to happen, but it also gives you the sense that you’re working as a team. Accomplishing something together will really help you feel like allies in your relationship.
- Wash the dishes together.
Similar to cooking together, this also lessens the load for one person to do. When you are both engaged in cleaning up after dinner, it will obviously save time, which will allow time for other fun things like the rest of this list! Plus, who likes doing dishes? It’s so much better when somebody (especially your spouse) is standing right beside you.
- Play a board game.
Sure, some people will probably find this cheesy, but get out a board game or a deck of cards and have a little friendly competition. It doesn’t have to be a game like Monopoly that takes hours to conclude. Even playing a short game can help vary the daily routine and add a little entertainment to the week. You could even play for friendly wagers like massages or who gets to sleep in.
- Ask each other random questions.
After being married for years, it sometimes seems daunting to try to come up with new conversation. You often find yourselves simply talking about what happened at work or how your toddler learned to say a new word. Obviously, the easy topics to talk about are the things we are involved with every day. But shake things up a bit and sit down with a cup of hot cocoa or coffee (if you’re like my husband, who can drink coffee at any odd time of day-even the middle of the night-and still fall asleep), and take turns asking and answering random questions. Maybe questions such as: what would be your favorite thing to do on vacation? Or where would you rather sleep, in a tub full of Jello or on a bed covered in honey? Or if you had 50 boxes of tissues, what would you build? Do you see what I mean by random? They really don’t have to have any point at all, but they get you talking and laughing and learning new things about each other you wouldn’t learn otherwise.
- Give each other foot massages (or back rubs, if feet gross you out).
This doesn’t need a ton of explanation. Massages are amazing. Bless each other. Serve each other. Physical touch is important in marriage, so something as simple as a little shoulder rub can really reveal your love to your spouse.
- Do something silly like have a word search race.
Okay, this is similar to board games and card games, but finding something you wouldn’t normally do together and then turning it into a competition can add some liveliness to your normal routine. Get a book of word searches from the dollar store or print some from online, and then see who can find the words the fastest!
- If you’re binge watching your favorite show, at the end of each episode, take 5-10 minutes to connect.
If you honestly cannot go one night without watching Netflix, at least break it up a little bit while you are watching. When one episode ends, before watching the next, press pause for a few minutes and connect with each other. Ask about their day. Offer to get them a bowl of ice cream. Tell a joke. Talk about what’s going on in the show. It’s so easy to get caught up in what you’re watching that pretty soon, five episodes have passed and you haven’t even said one word to each other. Sure, you might be cuddled up on the couch, but are you actually connecting?
These are just a few ideas to add some spice to your daily marriage routine. Remember how exciting it was when you were dating? It doesn’t have to stop just because you’re married and have to be home every night. What are some amusing activities you and your spouse do that are out of the ordinary?