Spending time with your spouse is a great way to build your friendship and ultimately your marriage. Today, I’m inviting Aminda Parafinik to share with us her 2 biggest tips for hanging out with your husband.
Here’s what Aminda has to say.
Elvis Presley once sang about relationships needing “a little less conversation and a little more action,” and there is surprising wisdom in those lyrics Of course talking and emotional expression are critical to marriage, but just doing is important, too, especially for husbands.
One of the top five needs of married men is “recreational companionship,” or shared activity. It makes them feel connected and bonded. Generally, men experience a sense of closeness during shared activity more than they do during conversation.
Whether for cultural or biological reasons, men don’t connect by talking as women do. They have no need to discuss their lives with their guy friends over the phone. They prefer to discuss matters during, say, a vigorous game of basketball.
Friendships are always better between men when they are doing things. This is the way they bond.
I love bonding with my husband Josh through our favorite activities. Josh and I met on a rock-climbing outing organized by the local Arizona chapter of a national Christian climbing group. From the start, climbing and mountain biking created some flirty competition between us and have brought tremendous satisfaction to our marriage.
Good news, you don’t have to go rock climbing to benefit from activity (though it’s a lot of fun, so you might want to try it!). The key is to do something different than staring at your phone while waiting for dinner to arrive. Things like shopping and eating are things we have to do as part of our daily subsistence.
Watching TV is something we do to relax and disengage. Activities, on the other hand, encourage fresh observation and talk. There are two ways to maximize the benefits you get from your time together.
1. Physical Activity
Sweating together offers some big advantages. Athletic activities foster competition, and there’s nothing like a little healthy competition to spice up a relationship. Another benefit is that adrenaline makes the people around us appear more attractive, so your spouse may never look better than when you’re doing something active and exciting together.
2. Sharing New Experiences Togethe
Getting out of our comfort zones can be a great way to unclog lines of communication. When in a fresh setting, perhaps one that is a bit uncomfortable (rock climbing, maybe?), we feel vulnerable. We respond to vulnerability by expressing ourselves.
Will that expression always be happy and sunny? No, but it will be a guaranteed conversation starter and will probably generate a pretty memorable experience. Good or bad, new experiences generate fresh communication.
Life doesn’t always give us complete control over how much time we spend with our spouses but sharing activities helps ensure that the time we do have is quality time together. This is the perfect time of year to set a goal to experience a fun adventure together. Here are some questions for discussion to help you get the planning started.
- What activities do you currently enjoy with your spouse? Why do you find them enjoyable?
- What new activities would you like to try together? What is keeping you from doing so?
- How do you spend your time together? Do you spend most of your time passively hanging out, or do you spend it engaged and interested in each other?
This article is modified from content in The Couple’s Road Trip Guide: Relationship Lessons Learned From Life on the Road (2015, Morgan James Publishing) by Josh and Aminda Parafinik. Josh is an experienced and passionate educator, having worked as a college professor, a teambuilding facilitator and a volunteer youth counselor. He holds a BS in Psychology and an MS in Adventure Education.
Aminda’s articles have been published in outlets including blogs, national ministry newsletters and trade publications. She holds a BA in Communications and an MS in Marketing. They currently reside in Phoenix, Arizona.