When times get difficult, a couple needs to be intentional about connecting. But how?
She quickly explained that although her marriage wasn’t “on fire,” her heart was heavy, and she had real concerns.
Her husband had so much to do just to keep their business afloat in this difficult year.
She did her best to be supportive and understanding as he worked day and night to (barely) make ends meet.
Besides, she had her hands full too, adjusting to the new baby while navigating distance-learning with their other children.
But none of this was ever intended to be the “new normal”—merely a short-term solution to the challenges facing them in this season.
Then weeks turned into months, and this temporary solution was now bringing problems of its own.
“We hardly even know each other anymore,” she lamented. “We’re still a couple, but I feel so disconnected.”
Then added, “And the strange thing is, we’re at home together more than ever.”
And yet so distant.
How does a couple connect in hard times?
That’s what she wanted to know. And maybe it’s what you’re wondering too. Although the details of your situation might differ, the concern is still the same….
How to stay close as a couple in these troubled times?
1. Remember that your marriage relationship is a top priority.
If we’re not careful, we can keep responding to the urgent — the kids, the business, the stuff — and neglect that relationship which needs our time and energy as much (or more?) than any of these other priorities. To put it another way, your home and family (and I’d argue even your work/business) NEED you to have a strong and loving marriage.
2. Take time to be with the Lord.
Often when we’re stressed or struggling, we impulsively throw ourselves into added busyness—whether by working harder or diving into distractions such as social media or entertainment. But none of these things help our heart or relieve our anxiety: they make it worse. So if you want to grow closer to your husband? To deepen your love for one another? Then the very best place to begin is seeking God first in your life and then have it flow over into your marriage relationship.
3. Get creative in practical ways to connect.
Matt and I recently celebrated 28 years of marriage, and we’ve walked some fairly deep waters over those years: a severe special needs child, helping his mother through Alzheimer’s, and caring for his father on hospice at home. Deep waters.
And do you know what we’ve found through these challenging times? We needed to connect more, not less, in such times.
We gave up on wildly romantic getaways (as lovely as that sounds!) and fancy date nights. But boy! did we learn to grab — and fight for — those little moments throughout the week.
Sometimes it meant getting up ridiculously early to have a few moments alone together. Other times, it required us to stay up late, after the kids were in bed. Turning off our phones, shows, etc. and, tired or not, focusing on only US for a few minutes. You know, as a man and a woman. Not as parents, homeowners, or business partners. But husband and wife.
I think you know what I mean.
So if you find yourself feeling farther apart than what you want or need? Don’t give up and don’t wait until “better times” because who knows how long that will be!
Start today. Spend a few precious minutes to read your Bible and pray over your marriage.
Then warmly, lovingly suggest the two of you carve out some time this week to reconnect. Also, don’t use this time to problem-solve or complain, but only speak kind and encouraging words over one another. Focus on the good and not on these troubled times.
BONUS: You might be surprised to learn that your husband needs this kind of communication as much as you do, but maybe he didn’t realize it!
How Can a Couple Connect in Difficult Times?
They’re back! After taking a summer break from FAITHFUL LIFE, Matt and Lisa have started up a new season on the podcast. This week they’re talking about how to avoid drifting apart and getting distracted from what really matters. Are you as close and connected with your husband/wife as you want to be?
We invite you to join them on the FAITHFUL LIFE podcast this week HERE or press “play” below!
Matt and Lisa Jacobson, authors of 100 Ways to Love Your Husband and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife, are the hosts of a weekly podcast to talk about what it means to be a biblical Christian in marriage, parenting, church, and culture. Matt and Lisa offer deep encouragement, along with practical steps and true-life stories, as we grow in walking the faithful life together.
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