I’ve been married to my husband Steve for over 31 years and we never tire of spending time together. We talk about all sorts of things on a regular basis; our kids, the house, gardening, vacations, retirement, and so on.
The relationship expert, John Gottman, PhD, whom I greatly admire, would be very encouraged by this. One of his “Principles for Making Marriage Work” is turning toward each other for support and to know what each others’ lives are all about. When you know what makes your spouse happy, what they worry about, what is going on in their job, etc, it brings great strength to your marriage.
Steve knows I’m trying to get more exercise these days, despite my shoulder injury, so he cheers me on when I go to Zumba class or take the dog for a long walk. Today he invited me for a hike on our favorite trail. There wasn’t any pressure, just a gentle nudge that he’d wait till I got back from church if I wanted him to wait. (Steve gets up early, works out, then goes to church before me if my choir is singing at the 11:30 mass).
It would have been real easy to say, “Go ahead, I’ll go with you next time,” but these walks are a chance for us to connect. Steve spends 60-70 hours away from the house each week due to his job (and the long commute into NYC every day), so we don’t have much time for each other during the work week. All the more reason to make time for each other on the weekends.
Today was a special day in particular due to the “Big Game” (The Superbowl). We both grew up in New York and our daughter is married to a diehard Patriot’s fan, so it made the game more interesting. I love watching football, so to have two local teams in the game was great (I live in CT).
My love of football came from watching it with my dad as a kid. I was in the marching band in high school and I’d watch the college games with dad, back when they actually showed the half-time shows when the marching bands played for the spectators. (Now we get sportscasters talking about what we just watched.) We imagined me playing with the Notre Dame Marching Band (never happened) and it was one of the few times in my life that my dad and I made a real connection. It’s annother great example of making time for each other.
Moral of the story: Take the time and make the invitation or be open to accept the invitation. Either way, you’ll never regret it.
What’s your story?