For those of you in the Sacramento area, the weather has been wild these past few weeks. Temps in the mid 70’s in February. It’s so beautiful in fact that we decided to spend last Saturday out and about enjoying the gorgeous day as a family. A trip to the Sacramento Zoo and the Land Park staple of Dad’s burger joint seemed like the perfect way to spend time together.
That is until the realities of being out in public with twin 3 year old's set in. I love my kids to pieces but they also have the amount of energy comparable to a pair of fighter jets ripping through the clouds. The zoo was supposed to help run off their explorer energy so we could enjoy a nice lunch out together. I’m of the mindset that kids are alright to be out for breakfast or lunch, but I’m not going to subject you to the crazy witching hour that hits about dinner time.
But, clearly I underestimated the amount of spirit in my children, because lunch quickly become a 3 ring circus. Sadly, I don’t think my husband and I had quite let go of the hope of having a conversation that lasted more than two sentences. To my kids credit, they were excited, in a new place and hungry….so basically the worst combination ever.
After about the 19th“why” question from my son and 14th redirection of my daughter, I looked at my husband longingly and said “I just want to sit and be able to hear you, to be able to really listen”.
Yes, I’m a therapist, but I’m also a wife and I realized at that moment how desperately I just wanted to connect with him. In my head I had him sitting across the table from me, but in reality he was miles away. He was in the thick of parenting mode. Because honestly, family time is rarely couple time.
And honestly family time is never scarce. It’s not something we forget to do or forget to plan. It’s actually something we do quite often throughout the week. It’s the couple time that gets forgotten. It gets talked about and hoped for, but not planned with the same urgency that family time does.
The bottom line is you HAVE to plan it! Talking and dreaming about it just doesn’t cut it. I don’t know about you, but last time I checked my kids are not scheduling date nights for my husband and I. So if we aren’t prioritizing it, no one will.
And the sadness, anger and loneliness that I see couples experiencing in my Sacramento office from years of disconnection is heartbreaking. I’m talking two loving and smart people with the best of intentions who just let time slip away from them because they were too busy to prioritize the relationship.
It wasn’t intentional.
It wasn’t mean spirited.
It was simply focusing their energy and time in the wrong direction.
If the gap is widening between you and your partner, or if you just want to be sure that you are reinforcing the connection between the two of you, here are some great tips to try to put the priority back on spending time together:
- Turn off all electronics at least once a week to spend an evening together without distractions.
- Eat dinner at the table rather than on the couch.
- Schedule a date together at least once a month (if not more).
- Don’t make time together so big or elaborate that it becomes an obstacle to following through on it.
- Keep it simple and intentional.
If you really want to kick start your reconnection, click here to take part in my 7 Day Relationship Challenge. It’s filled with daily tips and activities to restore connection in your relationship!
I want to hear from you? I want to know how deprioritizing your relationship has impacted your connection? How did you notice this was occurring? How did you change it around?
I want to know what this journey is like for you.