Entering a new year invites a personal introspection that often teeters on the edge of self-absorption. But what if, this year, you and your spouse enter a new season focused upon one another?
One day, the kids will be grown, that 4 bedroom palace will be exchanged for a two bedroom bungalow, and hopefully, you will only pursue the work which is required by the passions you’ve always wished to pursue. The only constant, other than God’s faithfulness to you, will be the one who walked through all of it with you. Don’t arrive at that place and find out you’re married to a stranger. Why not team up to make your marriage stronger in 2013? Here are five goals for the new year together.
1. Resolve to Be Intentionally Romantic This Year. We’d all love to be Hollywood lovers—spontaneously pulling bouquets of flowers out of thin air and taking off for a long weekend in the mountains on a lark—but real life demands planning. If we plan to woo our wives with roses like we plan next quarter’s sales goals, or schedule special nights away from the kids like we schedule PTA fundraisers, there’s a much bigger chance that we’ll also be rewarded with those sudden “movie moments” we always hoped we’d have when we tied the knot.
2. Resolve to Do Things Together that Require You to Engage. Even with regularly scheduled date nights, it’s easy to end up in a movie not really talking to each other, get back in the car, and go home without having really connected in any meaningful way. Next time you get out together, how about just the dinner part of “dinner and a movie?” An evening at a local coffee shop over a game of Scrabble may not sound as glamorous as a night at a Broadway production, but you might be surprised at how you can reconnect over a nice French roast and a triple letter score.
3. Resolve to Give Each Other More Grace. Norm Peterson, the beloved character from the 80’s sitcom Cheers, when asked how he was doing once replied, “It’s a dog eat dog world, Sammy, and I’m wearing Milk Bone underwear.” Resolve to give each other grace when one of you is having that kind of day. When you ask her where the TV remote is and the reply is a 5 minute rant on how rotten the kids are and how you still haven’t taken out the garbage, forget the remote. Just listen, acknowledge her feelings, and of course, take out the garbage. Double up on grace.
4. Resolve to Pursue a Common Passion or Goal. It may be something you used to love to do together or something you’ve talked about doing for years, but haven’t. Whether it’s renovating the kitchen or running in the latest 5k-obstacle course hybrid, enjoying the journey together can help you reconnect as a couple and help you remember what you’ve always cherished about the person sleeping in the bed next to you.
5. Resolve to Learn 5 New Things about Each Other. Sometimes, especially after years of marriage, we just feel like we have each other figured out. Next time you’re at the mall, stop by the jewelry store and ask to look at one of their diamonds under the jewelers’ loop. Notice how it looks from a number of different angles. The more facets there are, the more cuts, the more attractive and engaging the diamond is. This year, purpose to discover facets you never noticed within the one that you love.
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Huddle Up Question
“What is the most romantic thing I did for you last year? Why?”