Take Steps Toward One Another


Practical steps for bringing married couples together when busyness has pulled them apart.

This summer, my wife Hannah and I will celebrate our 12-year anniversary. The longer we are together and the busier life gets with work, kids, family, friends and everything else, I’m discovering how important it is for us to intentionally take steps toward each other. The steps don’t have to be huge, but consistently taking them brings us back together after busyness has pulled us apart.

Here are a few of my favorite small steps. These are short and simple enough to do daily.

  • Kiss a little longer when you come home. It’s amazing how simply holding that welcome-home kiss a little longer changes the tone for the rest of the evening.
  • Schedule a daily “catch-up” time. After we put the kids to bed, my first reaction is to sit on the couch and turn on the television. But my wife and I have decided to intentionally spend at least 15 minutes focusing on each other with no TV, Internet or other distractions. This helps us reconnect and catch-up on the day’s events.
  • Bring home flowers. This is always a good idea, but I’ve found it’s really easy to pick up flowers on those days that my wife needs me to stop by the grocery store on the way home.
  • Bless your mate with a card or note. Who doesn’t love finding a note by the bathroom sink or in his or her briefcase?
  • Give “happy” gifts. Hannah’s family has always called small gifts that are given for no real occasion “happy.” These are “just-because” surprises–and it’s always a good time for a little bit of “happy.”

Here are a few larger steps. They may take a little planning but trust me, it’s worth it!

  • Schedule a regular date night. My wife and I wish we were more consistent with this, but we’re working toward having one night per week that we go out together. It may just be coffee, or a movie, or a walk but it’s essential to continue dating each other.
  • Schedule weekends away. We try to put a one or two of these on the calendar every year. Again, it’s a discipline we’re working on, but it is so good to have dedicated time to reconnect with one another.
  • Have fun with a sleepover or movie marathon. When we can’t get away, this is a great substitute. After the kids are in bed, we set up a pile of pillows and blankets in the living room, pop some popcorn, and stay up late watching a few movies together.
  • Tackle projects together. This is more practical but it’s fun to pick a project and tackle it together even if it’s installing a new dishwasher, folding laundry, or painting.
  • Have a Pajama Day. As an alternative to tackling projects, sometimes it’s great just to have a Pajama Day together. This usually involves the whole family but it’s still a fun way to spend a lazy day, just hanging out with each other!
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