Marriage Momentum: Let's Get Active
Once a week … Do Something Active That Lifts Your Spirits
“Spending recreational time with his wife is second only to sex for the typical husband.” ― Willard F. Harley, Jr.
Bill and Erica sat across the table from me at the coffee shop. We were in the corner, in the back, in the booth by ourselves and that was probably a good thing as they both poured out their sadness to me about their marriage.
“We just don’t have anything in common anymore.” Bill said.
“Yea, we’ve just grown apart—we stopped trying a long time ago…” Erica added, sadly.
It’s a rather common malady with many couples. The hard work of continuous relationship growth becomes over-whelming for all kinds of reasons. And finally, one day, a couple wakes up only to discover that they’ve grown apart and barely recognize the person next to them in their bed. A powerful antidote to this is activity—doing something together. Shared activity is essential to a growing relationship.
One of the greatest gaps between wives and husbands is their idea of emotional intimacy.
I’m going to go way out on a limb here and paint with a very broad stroke: Generally speaking (generally!) for women, intimacy is, in large part, verbal. It means talking things over, sharing secrets, processing all kinds of verbal information.
For guys, on the other hand (well, really on the end of the spectrum), building intimacy happens in a different way. For guys it’s about activity. Guys connect by doing things.
So how might we work together to play together?
Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott suggest all kinds of things from biking to walking, from gardening to golfing, from boating to musicals. The idea is to do something active that also creates conversation which, in turn builds emotional intimacy.
Here are some suggestions to begin to make this happen in your relationship:
A healthy relationship needs to be fed and nurtured, and demands time. So get out your calendar and schedule some time.
Don’t Push Too Hard
Be fair. There are some things that are never really designed to be enjoyed by both husband and wife. You can share separateness in your togetherness. I grew up with the experience of hunting waterfowl. Getting up before the crack of dawn, heading into the inky blackness of early morning, rowing a duck boat through a marsh and setting out decoys and then sitting in a duck blind with a wet dog is about as good as it gets. Nancy Lee wouldn’t sign up for that in a couple lifetimes. But what she would do, has done and is really good at is shooting sporting clays! So we have to work hard at supporting each other’s version of a good time without pushing too hard.
Do Something Crazy
Every now and then, you’ve just to push the limits a little bit. Take a risk, be a little crazy. What‘s the craziest thing you’ve never done together—within the limits of the law? How about making this list the topic of your next coffee date? Go ahead and make a list. I dare you.
Brace Yourself for Change
It may feel awkward or weird at first. Especially if you haven’t done anything like this together before. And there will be a lot of trial and error. Change is hard. But if nothing seems to click, don’t give up; keep exploring. Be patient and be hopeful!