When we meet, and marry our mate, it’s with the idea that we want to spend the rest of our lives with them. We have idyllic ideas about spending every minute together. Our plans extend long past the honeymoon, to rocking together in matching chairs on a front porch somewhere down the line, comfortable in our dotage. But, life and schedules get in the way, and before you know it, you and your husband are but ships passing in the kitchen on your way out the door, before you both head to work, or before daycare drop-off. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle-bustle. It can be a fight to get time with your husband, but there are ways to make it happen, even if on a budget, and even if time-pressed.
- Evening Snuggles
The easiest and quickest way to connect and bond with your spouse is simply to touch each other more when you’re doing what you’re already doing. Change your evening veg session, in front of the television, into a cuddle session. If you’ve got a television in your bedroom, move your evening binge watching to the bedroom, so you can make sure you are laying on his chest, or spooning. Simply, make a physical connection. It doesn’t have to be sexual, just intimate. Even just holding hands, across the couch, instead of having your hands in the potato chip bowl, or fighting over the remote, can bring a sense of intimacy to your marriage that might, otherwise, be missing.
- Date Night
We all want date night. We’ve all heard of it, like a mystical beast in the forest. But, how often does it actually happen? There’s the baby-sitter to arrange, getting dressed up, and then you have to pay for the whole ordeal too. If you find all of that overwhelming, just forget it and do it at home. Roll out a blanket on the floor, put out your best grocery store candles, some juice glasses of wine, and some cheese crackers. The act of simply being together, celebrating your relationship as a couple, is enough.
- Book Club
Establish an exclusive husband/wife book club. Choose and read a book together and make a big deal out of your book club meetings. Pull out all the stops: snacks, wine, cheese. If you and your husband are into comic books, then pick a comic book, or graphic novel; if you are into romances, pick a pulp novel to turn up the heat between you two. There’s no pressure to become the next lit major here. Just pick things that will bring you closer together and read things you enjoy. As you are both reading, you can text updates to one another, spoilers included. It’s a mini-bond that only the two of you are sharing.
- A Pet
Imagine a reason that you have to walk in the moonlight every night, hand-in-hand with your hubby, or even as the sun rises, all the while taking care of a fuzz-ball that you will come to love more than you dreamed possible. With teamwork as a goal, you will come to enjoy the chores that are associated with a pet, rather than thinking of them as a reason to fight over whose turn it is to scoop the poop. Enjoy spoiling your fur-baby, because there’s nothing like nurturing something together. Before you know it, texts and photos will be flinging through the air between you, because who can resist the sweet face of your puppy, or kitten?
- Take a Class
Most community centers offer low-cost extension courses in everything from cooking to archery. There’s a subject to interest just about anyone, even so-called useful topics, like computer programming or medical billing. Sign up together for an evening or weekend course that interests you both. Aside from learning a new skill together, and spending loads of time together, study sessions with your beau will send you both to the head of the class. Imagine learning to whip up new pastries, how to throw pottery (a-la Demi Moore in Ghost–sexy time), or even how to fix a carburetor, all with your husband. If both of you enjoy the idea, you could take turns choosing, opening one another’s minds to each of your interests, bringing you closer together.
- Try Something New Together
There’s something innately bonding about stepping into a new, scary experience together. When you are both nervous about putting your feet into the water, how about learning to jet ski? Or, if you’re both terrified to jump out of a plane, learn to sky dive. You’ll have each other to lean on or to look to for laughs. There will never be anyone you’ll want to tackle scary life with more than your husband, and the same goes for him. So, why not face something that’s actually quite scary together? It doesn’t have to be a daredevil event. It can be something as simple as public speaking.
- Get Up and Run!
Pick a distance, like a 5K, or go big like a marathon, and train together. The satisfaction of training for, and completing an athletic goal is second to none; doing it with your husband, is unparalleled. No one says that you have to win, or break a land-speed record. Just do your best. Training, especially if you are new to running, or even walking, can mean spending lots of time with your husband. It’s a great way to connect as you chat, catch up, and log miles. Wear matchy-matchy shirts on race day, and get your camera ready to take shots through the whole route and at the glorious finish!
- Volunteer Together
Talk about the things you care about in the world and that are bigger than the two of you. Then, do something about it together. Spend some time in the soup kitchen or at the animal shelter, or even cleaning up your local park. When you do something to help others, you help yourself. And when you do it with someone you love, you reap the rewards double. It’s an amazing way to feel good about the world, yourself and your marriage, all at the same time.
- Home Improvement
There’s a million jokes about how marriages that survive home renovations are the ones that are meant to last. Pick up a project and complete it together. If you hate your kitchen, your bathroom or just the finish on your desk, take a trip to Pinterest and then to the home improvement center together. There’s nothing like working together, not bossing about, and watching a project come together. Every time you sit at that newly finished desk, you’ll enjoy the memory of working together. Every time you prepare a meal together in your new kitchen, you’ll remember the heart you sketched, in pencil, under the fresh paint. Make a point of enjoying your projects, and you’ll have fun with every moment!
- Plan Ahead
If you like to organize an annual or semi-annual “big” connection event for the two of you, like a short trip or a big date, make sure to plan ahead so that you can pocket your pennies and be ready for the cost, and to make arrangements for child-care if necessary. You can make the plans together, so that you can look forward to it together. You can have monthly planning meetings, thinking about your spa vacation with couples’ massages, walks on the beach and romantic breakfasts in bed. If you’re actively planning an annual event, you’ll avoid that feeling of disconnect and be ahead of the game. You’ll have something to look forward to so that when the time for your event comes around, it’ll feel like a romantic bonus!