Give me 10 seconds and I can tell you where my wife, our three kids, and my parents are at this very moment. I can even tell you how fast our daughter is driving if she’s on the road. As I write this, it actually sounds a little creepy. But we use a smartphone app that tracks each family member’s location because it keeps us connected.
Connection is so important—and not the creepy GPS tracking type of connection, but real, relational connection. And it is crucial in our marriages. Through my marriage, I’ve learned that there are surprising ways to connect with your wife without the use of technology. Here are 4 of them.
1. Connect through community.
We didn’t have many married friends early in our marriage, so we decided to take a marriage class at church. We didn’t know it would provide us with a community. Having a community to journey with us in a nonjudgmental way strengthened our connection. We knew we had others rooting for us and it fueled us to love each other well.
I encourage you to intentionally build relationships with other couples in your stage of life as well as with couples who’ve been there and done that, who you can learn from. Do it by joining a small group at your church, attending couples events, and reaching out to couples you like. When you’re surrounded by a community that wants to see you and your wife succeed, you’re more likely to work together toward success.
2. Connect through commitment.
On your wedding day, you made a commitment that would change your life forever. But it wasn’t a one-time thing. To stay connected, you need to renew and affirm your commitment continually. You do this by planning and going on dates, saying no to the game occasionally to watch something she’d like, and speaking her love language. You do it by doing what you say you’re going to do.
Once, I decided I’d buy a new phone for my wife, but to save money I didn’t buy the “best” phone. I explained I’d give her the better phone when I upgraded my phone and I’d take her current phone. But when I found it had features I needed for work-related tasks, I changed my mind and kept it. I didn’t honor my word and my wife was hurt—and so was our connection. I missed a great opportunity to affirm how committed I am to her by not honoring my word.
3. Connect through conflict.
One of the greatest ways to connect with your wife is through conflict. It’ll bring you closer than almost anything else if you learn how to do it well. Recently, my wife made plans for me to drive our son to a friend’s house for a sleepover—and she did this in front of our kids and their friends without asking me first. I’d already had a really long day and I also had a late night ahead of me. So I said I would need to think about it.
My wife and the kids took that as a no and nobody was happy. But when she and I stepped away to talk about it, I expressed how I felt put on the spot and what we could do differently next time. We could have stayed mad or given each other the cold shoulder, but we didn’t. We’ve learned that when you address a conflict quickly, honestly, and respectfully, you share thoughts and feelings you otherwise wouldn’t have—and that’s intimate. What starts as tension can end up connecting you deeply.
4. Connect through calling.
There is purpose in your marriage. It’s not just about love or having someone to grow old with or about being parents. Your health, your financial well-being, and the people and communities impacted by your marriage and your work are all part of your calling, too. Working on that with your wife will connect you. As an example, my wife and I are pretty open about sharing our marital challenges. We want to help other married couples through our own struggles. But it wasn’t always like that for me.
In the past, I just wanted our challenges to be fixed. But we realized our marriage is bigger than us. The work we do isn’t just for our benefit. Knowing that gave us a shared purpose that leaves us feeling more connected and gets us to fight through every tough situation together. Your calling as a couple may not be exactly like ours, but it’s still true that your marriage isn’t just for you. Seek out its bigger purpose, talk with your wife about it, make plans together for it. That alone will create connection in your marriage.
Earn some points: Share this iMOM article with your wife: 6 Things that Keep an Emotional Connection in Marriage.
Sound off: What are some other ways to connect with your wife?
Huddle up with your wife and ask, “What do you think are some different ways we can connect as a couple?”