I’m gonna let you know right off the bat, I hate yard work. I just do. Ok, actually I hate starting yard work. Once I manage to get going, I’m fine. Unlike those quick projects around the home, yard work is more likely to eat up a whole day.
Bigger Maintenance in Your Marriage
There are projects you’re going to have to undertake for your marriage that a little more involved. They won’t happen as frequently as the regular maintenance we discussed previously. This doesn’t mean that they don’t need to happen routinely.
It does mean that you’ll have to be more intentional because they won’t necessarily be on your mind as often. Just like you might have to set aside a day on your calendar to get out and weed the garden, you’ll need to set aside time for your bigger marriage projects. Talk it over with your spouse and ask when is a good time for them. Plan it out, put it on the calendar, gather the necessary tools.
I always know when it’s coming. It starts with “So, lemme ask you…” or more often “I was thinking…” When I hear one of these preambles, I put down what I’m doing, cut off the radio, get comfortable, and turn my full attention on my beautiful wife. There’s a deep conversation coming. It’ll either be a plan she’s working on, a problem she’s facing, or maybe a check-up.
Unlike simple conversation starters, this kind of deep conversation needs to be more personalized. In other words, we’re not talking about “If you had a million dollars, where would you go on vacation?” I mean something more like, “Are you satisfied with our love life? How can we help our kids in school better? What are our financial goals for next year? We need to talk about our daily schedule.”
These are conversations that are going to require focused time. This is why you might want to put it on your calendar. The venue is also important. Topics like school plans, major changes to your house, or buying a new car are probably fine to be discussed over dinner at a restaurant. More sensitive topics like major marital problems that need resolution or discussions about intimacy should probably been kept at home.
Just like frequent dates are important, weekend getaways (or even week-long getaways!) are important for your marriage. Now, I know this can be tough when the budget is tight, especially early in marriage. There are ways to do this on a budget. It will require some extra creativity.
A getaway can be as elaborate as a big vacation just for the two of you, or as simple as an extended day-trip. I recommend a middle-ground of taking a weekend to get a hotel and plan a few fun activities. Catch a movie, or better yet, a play. Go to an amazing restaurant. Visit a museum. Find a concert nearby. Whatever yall are into, try activities you don’t normally do. And make sure you take full advantage of that hotel room.
This can also be an ideal time to have some of those deep conversations. If there are serious issues or problems that need to be addressed and cannot wait, you can use this time for that. However, I often counsel couples to avoid those topics and just have a light, fun time in each other’s company. Have intentional conversations that are geared towards the positive: dream about the future, reminisce about the past, be a little silly and laugh together.
It’s important to step back every now and then to see how things are going in your marriage. You’ve got to set aside some time to assess the garden and pull the weeds before they take over.