Divorce is not an option. Does that statement ring true to your heart and mind? Yes? No? Either way, there are habits that will help you to divorce-proof your marriage. So whether your relationship is rolling along smoothly or you are walking through a tough time in your marriage, here are three habits you can begin today.
Determine to build a habit of scheduling 15 minutes of uninterrupted conversation with your spouse every day. It could be before the kids get up, after they go to bed, maybe even after dinner while they watch a cartoon. It is important for husbands and wives to stay connected through conversation.
I know some of you men are thinking, what will we talk about? What you need to understand is that conversation is like “play” for your wife. Have trouble believing that? Next time you are out for lunch, watch two women who are having lunch together. You will see two women who are having the time of their lives—conversing.
Having meaningful conversation as a couple helps smooth out the plan for the day and helps to avoid surprises in our routine.
Plan at least one three-hour date a month. Our friend Edgar Garcia is the Marriage and Family Pastor at Knott Avenue Christian Church in Anaheim, Calif. Here is his definition of a date:
- Can’t talk about the kids
- Can’t talk about work
- Can’t be just a movie
Garcia’s wisdom is clear. Do not talk about the kids or work; worse yet, do not sit silent in a movie theater. Yes, dinner and a movie count as a date. For us, these three hours keep us focused on our relationship. How are we doing? What have been the ups and downs lately? How can we move forward positively in our relationship?
Not only will you reap these benefits, but dating your spouse keeps the romance alive! The anticipation of spending time with the one you love, connecting in real and meaningful ways, and celebrating your love at the end of a wonderful evening together are all part of divorce-proofing your marriage.
Twice a year, every year, plan a two-day getaway with your spouse. Build it into your budget, put it on the calendar and request the days off. Simply put, make it a priority. It does not have to be an expensive getaway. Take an overnight camping trip or spend a night at a reasonably priced hotel. Even a stay-cation counts if you take the kids to grandma’s or a friend’s house, and then return home, fix dinner together and watch a romantic comedy.
The benefits are obvious. First, you build anticipation as you discuss all the fun you are going to have. Second, it creates memories that will last a lifetime, and each getaway will add a cord that will keep your bond strong. And finally, planning the next getaway will fill you and your spouse with excitement as you prepare for another adventure.
Divorce-proofing your marriage is not rocket science, but it does take a commitment to build positive habits into your relationship so you can reap benefits for years to come.