Phillip and I had a great birthday weekend together this past week. Our birthdays are six days apart so it's always a great week of celebrating for us. Our kids love it because essentially, they get two "birthday parties" in one week. What kid wouldn't love that?
Well we got a chance to connect on a deeper level since the kids were away at their god-parents' for the weekend. During this time, I realized all over again that intimacy with your mate can be created several different ways. It's not just sex.
1. Cook together. We do this on occasion. Phillip is probably the best omelet maker whom I know personally. Every now and again, we go to the kitchen and we tackle breakfast, together! It's perfect, I'll do the french toast or pancakes and he takes care of the omelets. It's fun moving around the kitchen together. Sharing the butter, stealing the spatula when the other isn't looking and as a result of this "close quarters" time, we engage is some of the greatest conversations about the kids or our future or some crazy things of the past. Which leads me to my next point.
2. Reminisce. Sometimes in the here and now, life can get hectic and stressful and busy. Take a moment sometimes to remember the days of living in your one bedroom apartment. Talk about how slowly you drove when you brought baby number one home compared to how you tore out of the hospital parking lot when driving baby number two home...don't even talk about how you drove home with baby number three...
3. Work toward a common goal. As a blogger I am blessed with a husband who knows a lot about web design and internet marketing. He's actually finishing up his degree in computer programming but it's fun when we're both engaged in our work and talking things over as we go. I love the fact that he wants to help out so badly and how he jumps at the opportunity to come over to my laptop to show me what he knows. He loves helping me out of a sticky situation. Now, if you're like me, you have the "I can do it myself" syndrome, but men do still like to come to our rescue. And while you may not feel like you're making a deep connection by allowing him to help you, you are.
4. Read together. Sounds boring right? Well, you have to read the right kind of books. (smile) I love to read marriage related books with Phillip. It allows us the chance to talk about things that we may have gotten too busy to discuss in our day to day lives. And I'll just say it. Read about making love. There have been great Christian books written on the subject. You can find a wealth of information on this subject at Sheila Gregoire's site To Love, Honor and Vacuum. One of my most favorite sites in the whole world wide web. Get it? www? ok.
5. Get a couples massage together. We got the opportunity to do this one for our birthdays this year. It was his first time so instead of relaxing, he was uptight. He actually said, while we were sitting in the relaxation room, and I quote, "I don't do relaxation." LOL That was just so funny to me. He's quirky like that. But he enjoyed the massage. He actually said that he was thinking of our marriage and being happy to be married to me. I'm pretty sure that it was because we were in the same room, doing something together. If you've been paying attention...it's pretty much whatever you do "together" will help you build that connection that's needed in any marriage.
6. Create something together. This is akin to working together but it is a little bit different. Kind of like when we planted a garden in our backyard as a family. That was time well spent. We can watch it grow or NOT, together. :). We can see the product of something that we did with our own hands and relish in, or laugh at the results, together. Another creation of ours is Silly School Songs. We write and sing the songs together and when we're done, we share in the feeling of accomplishment together. It is an amazing feeling. If you don't have a talent that you share together then just create a baby. That'll give you some togetherness. LOL!
7. Learn each other's love language and try to deliver. I can just tell you that my love language is acts of service. But this is how I show love, it's not necessarily how I receive love. I do love it when Phillip does things for me, but it is only certain acts that communicate love to me. Some acts communicate and ignite feelings other than love. I don't know how many wives out there who DO NOT want their husbands to help out with the house work, but I am one! It's not EVERYTHING, just some things. When he starts to do the laundry for instance, it doesn't make me happy. Instead it makes me feel as if I've slacked off on the housework. I know that may sound 1950s to some people; however, he works so hard and so diligently at providing an income for our family that I want to hold up my end of the bargain. He's only being helpful when he does it, and I need to make adjustments in my thinking. At any rate, find out what your spouse's love language is and communicate love often.
8. Exercise together. I think that every top ten post that I've done about connecting with a loved one, kids or spouse or just yourself, includes exercise. This is not a joke, it really could be good bonding time. Depending on the exercise that you choose to do, you could catch up on some conversations that you may not be able to have with the kids around. It could be a fun time of laughing with or even at each other (this is what my and my husband's time is usually like--laughing and playful).
9. Steal away. Try getting away for a weekend, a night or just for a dinner. We all know this one, it's no secret, the secret may be figuring out HOW to get away.
10. Pray together. I was told that there was a study done that Dr. Phil McGraw quoted from on one of his shows that stated that couples who pray together everyday, have long lasting marriages. I wish I would take the time to put a link to that information for you, but I just turned in my argumentative paper for school last night and I'm just a little bit over references and citations for the time being. :)
As always, thank you for reading and linkin this article up at Top Ten Tuesday and here.