Two weeks after my third child was born, I took on a new role at work. In wanting to impress my team, I found myself saying yes to every opportunity. But after a few months of missing dinners, late nights, and early mornings, my wife called me out. During a date, I checked my email on my phone. At that moment, she said, “I feel like we are just roommates now.” I knew I had to make some changes. Are you prioritizing your marriage? I wasn’t.There is a balance we must fight for in order to make marriage a priority.
There is a balance we must fight for in order to make marriage a priority. We want to be great dads, but we wind up prioritizing the kids over the marriage. We want to bring home a paycheck to take care of our families, but our workloads keep us from prioritizing our marriages, too. While there are seasons when we must spend extended energy on our kids and at work, we must keep in mind the effects this has on marriage. Here are 4 signs you aren’t prioritizing your marriage.
1. You haven’t had a date night in a while.
When is the last time you took your wife out for a date? You don’t have to spend a bunch of money to spend quality time with her. If you find that the only time spent together is also with the kids or is always interrupted by work, you may not be prioritizing your marriage.
Action plan: Schedule a date. Put it on the calendar, and follow through with it. Let the kids help plan the date so they see you prioritizing your marriage.
2. You’re not at home much.
If you are out more than you’re home, chances are, you are not prioritizing your marriage. Are you always working? Or do your hobbies take precedence? Maybe you sign up for every golf tournament or extra activity outside of work—and maybe you do it to ensure that you’re not at home.
Action plan: Look at your calendar and do the math. How much time are you spending outside the house that you really should be spending at home? Identify where you can tip the scale back toward your wife. Allowing her to be part of this process is a powerful way to communicate that you want to spend more time with her.
3. You are not mentally present.
You might physically be in the room, but mentally, you’re not really present. If you find that you and your wife spend more time on devices in the same room than actually talking and engaging, you may not be prioritizing your marriage.
Action plan: Make it a point this week to keep your phone in your pocket or outside of the room you’re in. Plug it in and leave it plugged in. Doing this will keep you from being tempted to mindlessly scroll.
4. You are not defending her.
If the kids are talking back to her, how do you respond? I know that if I were out in public, I would never let a stranger talk to my wife the way my kids have talked to her at times. How you respond when this happens may be an indicator that you are not prioritizing your marriage.
Action plan: Ask yourself when you last defended her or spoke up for her. And defend her the next time an opportunity to do so arises.
Sound off: What are some ways you can work on prioritizing your marriage?
Huddle up with your wife and ask, “What are the strongest parts of our marriage and what do you think we need to work on?”