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Wifey Wednesday: Drifting Together

Have you ever felt that you're the grand coordinator for your family? Like you're the one who holds everything together? That without you nobody would get anywhere and nobody would know what was going on with anybody else?

In my book To Love, Honor and Vacuum I spend the second chapter explaining why that happened. If you think about it, 150 years ago families most families lived and worked together. They either had a little business, like a shop, and they lived above it, or they had a farm. The husband and wife may have performed different tasks, but they did them together. The kids helped. The husband was around to discipline if needed.

Then men started working away from home, kids went off to school, and eventually women left, too. Coordinating people's schedules was once a non-issue. In many homes today it is the main issue.

Marriage has several danger points: the first few years; the toddler years; the empty nesters; and the retirees. Those are the periods when marriages tend to break up.

And I have my own theory on one of the reasons marriages can decline in those years. If you trace things backwards a few years, you'll notice that there were big changes. Husbands and wives began doing different roles. And as they did, it's easy to drift apart.

When the babies are born, she starts heading to play groups and to doctor's appointments and to the gym. He starts working more. Right before the empty nesting years she often starts working outside the home more. She may be super involved in the children's lives, and then not have much else. Or she is throwing herself into a new career. Early in a marriage, before you have established an official "couplehood", you could both be doing many separate things.

Nothing is intrinsically wrong with any of these things. But they do represent a danger if we aren't aware of these trends and take efforts to make sure we don't drift apart. Because when we have different schedules, and different friends, and different activities, that can easily lead to different lives and different identities. And that's when marriages lose their footing.

So how do you keep yourselves solid, even when life seems crazy and you're going in those different directions?

Here are some practical solutions, and I'm just going to throw them out in no particular order.

Go to bed together every night and pray together and talk together. If one of you needs to sleep at 9:30, and the other doesn't want to until 11:30, go to bed at 9:15 or earlier. Have an evening routine. You do it with toddlers. You bathe them and then read to them. Why not do it together, too? This gives you time for sex as well! And then one of you can kiss the other, wish them a good night, and get up again and go watch a show or do a hobby.

Have one night a week that is just for you. I heard one older couple suggest to many newly marrieds that over their lives they need to take one dinner out a week; one overnight a month; one weekend a quarter; and one week a year. Every year. I think that's good advice. It's hard with the kids, but find a friend you can swap with so she can do the same with her husband. Isn't it worth it to invest in your marriage?

What ideas do you have? How do you keep together even when schedules are crazy? How do you coordinate time with your husband? I'd love to hear your suggestions, or even other thoughts you may have on marriage.

Why not join Wifey Wednesday? Just right click to copy the picture at the top, and then go and write your own Wifey Wednesday post. Then come back here and enter your URL to that post in the Mr. Linky box below.

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At 4:30 PM , Blogger Ann-Marie said…

Thank you Sheila!
This article hit home for me this week.



At 7:42 PM , Anonymous Pinaymama said…

it is so nice to read about your article and advices, I will be looking forward for more of your blog's posts soon!

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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