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About Communication

These days we often hear a lot about “quality time.” In many cases, however, this comes to mean trying to squeeze as much as possible into a small amount of time allotted for it. People whose everyday lives and schedules are full to the overflowing point with job and family obligations usually consider this to be the only alternative; but there are also many whose personal interests, hobbies and pastimes take precedence, leaving the marital relationship to be resigned to this version of “quality time.”

There are two problems associated with this concept. First, obviously, pre-scheduled quality time is simply not enough. However, the other significant factor in attempting to have a marital relationship without giving enough time to it is that when one spouse or both begins to see that neither the relationship nor he or she is a priority anymore, both the relationship and the spouse will suffer from the neglect.

If you think back to your early days with your spouse, you were in the majority if you and this person wished and attempted to spend every minute together. In a healthy, normal relationship, “I only have eyes for you” is indeed a truism– there was nothing and no one that could compare with your new partner, nothing and no one that could pry your attention away from this person!

As is the case for normal, healthy couples, this begins to change. In most instances it is a matter of needing to work, tending to family responsibilities, and even having one’s own particular interests and friends which causes the spouses to shift their focus off of each other and off of their relationship.

If you are preparing to reconstruct your marriage, rebuilding that initial relationship is necessary. One very important point which many in this situation miss, however, is that while being more generous with your time is essential, getting back to the way it was in placing more emphasis and focus on your partner is also essential. As the quickest way to cause a substantial feeling of neglect

Is to make that person feel as if he is not as important to you as he used to be, reemphasizing the fact that he is indeed a priority in your life will do wonders to bring the sense of connection and joy back into your marriage!

If you truly want your marriage to be the very best that it can be, you cannot afford to be stingy with your time! Granting someone an hour per week, after all of the “more important” factors in your life have been taken care of, simply will not do it.

If you are like most people, you probably do not have the faintest clue in how to get more time for your spouse in your already-full schedule. The theory is correct: if you cannot find the time, you must make the time. We all know that finding free time is a luxury which most of us do not have; so if you look at it in those terms, you are not giving it a chance.

Instead, seeing your spouse and your relationship as a real priority in your life which you must make time for is the key. Perhaps you can look at it in a manner similar to the way in which you view your job: it is necessary, it is good, and the time will be taken for it.

If you have come to or past the point where spending a significant amount of time with your spouse is something which you have not done for a long period of time, it may feel like an unfamiliar venture. We all know people who have been married for many years, and rarely see each other because one or both individuals are “too busy.” Perhaps this describes you– or perhaps you see yourself heading in this direction, and are unsure as to what to do about it.

In addition to setting your spouse and your relationship as a priority again in matters of giving enough time, what you do with that time is also relevant. For example, you may know couples, such as retired older people, who spend a great deal of time together, yet do little together and have little to say to each other!

While being in each other’s presence is generally a good thing in itself, simply “being there” can benefit from a little boost. While planning in advance for what you wish to do is not always a good idea, having something in mind can be quite helpful.

If you are as many people who have full schedules and little time, it is most beneficial if the time you put into your relationship is focused on your “togetherness.” There is an aspect of this which many do not consider– and that is that there are two very different manners in which couples spend their time together. One is a matter of focusing on each other; the second is a matter of putting more focus onto activities and/ or other people. And even though both are good, the former is much more helpful when the basic goal is to regain communication and togetherness.

If you are uncertain as to what this means, and what the difference is, you can think about it this way: if you and your spouse go out to dinner, a movie, a party, or participate in an activity, your general focus is on the activity. You are not giving your spouse the attention he or she may need, nor communicating effectively, when the focus is on enjoying a movie or interacting with other people at a party!

Having and sharing common interests, taking part in hobbies and pastimes, and socializing with other people is important to the individual as well as to the couple. However, viewing it as a significant part of “couple time” or “togetherness time” is a mistake, because it cannot fulfill that purpose. Instead, granting your spouse your undivided attention is the factor which will help this all-important person to realize that he or she still takes center-stage in your life!