Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Don't "Find the Time," MAKE Time to Have a Great Relationship or Marriage

A reader asks how to find some time in a busy schedule to spend with her husband. In her case, and maybe in yours as well, finding time isn’t possible because it just isn’t there to find. When there’s none to be found, you have to make some!

I love hearing from the women who subscribe to this newsletter as much as the men. Their questions are just as relevant and they prove that women really do want time with their men to be intimate and nurturing and to have some fun. Meet K.:

Hello David,

I have a question for you. My husband and I work together as we own our own construction company. We are together 24 hours a day, and need to find a way that we can spend time together but not at work. It seems like when we get home we are too tired to have any intimate time together and when we are at work we are AT WORK. I want to know how I can separate work from pleasure with him. We don't have much family that we can rely on to take our son, and the one's that we do have that take him are sick right now. So when we need our alone time we want it.

How can we get this?

K


My reply:

Good morning, K!

Under the constraints you’ve listed, you can’t, so you’re going to have to make some changes, at least small ones. You’re going to have to change your priorities to make that time together actually important enough to take it, and then manage your schedule so that you can, no matter what that takes. Maybe until your babysitters get well, you might have to schedule one day a week where the two of you disappear at lunchtime for an hour or longer, to an intimate lunch or a hotel or whatever, or schedule a late opening one morning so that you can have a little while at home after your child has gone to school before going to work, or something like that. How you do it isn’t important as long as it doesn’t destroy your business, but you have to schedule the time and then take the time instead of just waiting for a window to open.

I’m all about achievement and getting the job done, and this was a very hard lesson for me to learn as well; very early in my own marriage, my wife and I were both over-achievers and found ourselves in serious trouble before we realized that while we love each other dearly, we had inadvertently let our work schedules take over our lives, and had evolved from husband and wife into roommates and business partners. That was one of the problems that led to me doing the research to write "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," and one of the first problems that I put to the test group to solve.

It turned out they all had it to some degree, either with spending all their time with their jobs or their kids, and for most, just scheduling one date and one lunch per week was enough to keep them close and engaged while continuing to get things more under control, and all of them found that once the schedule was made and acknowledged, it was very easy to keep to their commitments as long as they were smart about scheduling the time, avoiding times that were common for meetings, times that were in the middle of project start-ups, times that were during peak customer flow or when they knew they would have problems getting a sitter, etc., and they always secured a sitter before planning the date – “We need a couple hours some evening this week; when would be good for you?” was the question. And when the sitter gave them a date, it was set in stone, and only an event that produced fever or lots of blood was a good excuse for breaking the babysitting engagement and spoiling the date.

This isn’t as hard as what it may sound. An hour or two per week isn’t going to make that big a difference in your business, if any, and it will make a world of difference in your life together. Just realize that you’re together for the long haul, and you should therefore try to give each other the best part of your day instead of what’s left over after everybody and everything else has worn you out all day. Get up early and enjoy morning sex, breakfast, a sunrise, etc., before the kids get up, for instance.

When you do schedule an evening date, try to keep your day-time schedule a little lighter than other days to make sure you aren’t too tired to enjoy the time together, and never let yourself think that you are too tired to enjoy some time together without at least trying it. You’d be surprised how rejuvenating a little intimate, playful time together can be, because it gets your adrenaline pumping. Sometimes a long day doesn’t create so much fatigue as it does simple frustration and depression, and some time together in celebration of a job well done and a rough workday brought to a close can be the best pick-me-up of all.

And if you’re really all that tired and need some low-energy together time, while it would be better if you talked so you could connect more deeply, at least pile up together on the couch with a drink and a bowl of popcorn or anything that can be shared, sit close, clink the bottles or glasses in a toast, and just be still and relax together. No, it’s not steamy sex on a yacht or hiking in the Andes or some deep emotional discussion, but when you’re that tired at the end of a long day of over-achieving, even that quiet, mindless time spent in the intimate ritual of sharing food and entertainment is better than just crashing and forgetting about it. Do whatever you are able to do to indulge in what husbands and wives enjoy doing together.

Give this a try, and let me know if I can be of further help. You can do this.

Take care, and keep in touch!
David


A lot of couples make this mistake. They try to find time instead of making time, not realizing that when your life is in overdrive, even small amounts of time scattered through the week can make a huge difference in keeping your relationship on track, and if a couple hours a week is going to make the difference between your business folding or succeeding or the difference in you being able or unable to pay your household bills, you’ve got bigger problems than you realize and need to be finding some professional help. It’s like arguing over a nickel at the cash register; if that nickel is going to break either you or the vendor, you’re already broke.

Make the time for what’s important, and get your priorities straight. You will most likely outlive your career, your parents, and your friendships by a very long time, and while you may not outlive your children, they will be moving out of your house somewhere around age 20 and you won’t be seeing that much of them after they are gone. Your partner, on the other hand, is supposed to be with you for life, right? Common sense should tell you that your partner should therefore be your first priority, and if they are not, then you need to stop and figure out whether your priorities are wrong or you’re with the wrong partner.

Finding a new job, making new friends, or even making new babies is relatively easy compared to finding a true life partner and soul mate, and if you’ve found one and lose them, that lengthens the odds of finding another somewhat, does it not? Look at your life, and get your priorities in order, and then do whatever it takes to support those priorities. Yes, it’s really that simple.

When it comes to your partner, Gentlemen, doing what it takes to keep her happy and striving to nurture and excite you is a simple matter of communications and manliness, something you aren’t taught in school, and have no hope of learning from watching television unless you’re able to home in on that tiny percentage of programming that shows men and women being men and women, and not this homogenized New Age mess of political correctness and utter wussification and victim mentality that seems to be swallowing the world.

For a tested and proven, tutorial and definitive reference on “keeping mama happy so she keeps everybody happy,” go to http://www.makingherhappy.com/ and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage." I’d also STRONGLY suggest you join our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com/, and take advantage of the friendships and mentoring that await you there.

Do it now, too. Don’t wait for tomorrow. Life’s too short to let it pass under-lived and unenjoyed, and as anybody who has ever used it will tell you, this book is “the hook-up” you’ve been looking for.

In the meantime, live well, be well, and have a wonderful day!
David Cunningham

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