Great American Eclipse Photo from NASA

Four Ways to Grow Closer to Your Spouse

Marriage Dynamics InstituteContentment, Quality Time

In August 2017, the U.S. experienced what many called The Great American Eclipse. While a total eclipse of the sun happens somewhere in the world every 12 to 18 months, it hadn’t happened in the U.S. since 1979. And it hadn’t happened ​only​ in the U.S. since 1776.

The total eclipse only lasted for a couple of minutes, and it appeared only in select cities along a set path, so thousands traveled to another city to watch the incredible event. In other words, you had to plan ahead to be in the right place at the right time.

Good lessons for marriage out of this. A total eclipse in only the United States had not come around for more than 245 years, but someone gets divorced in our nation every 45 seconds. One rarely happens and we pay lots of attention; the other happens all the time because of a lack of attention.

If you want to divorce-proof your marriage, it’s going to take some planning and some time. Consistency is the key. Don’t go forty years to experience special events that bring you closer together with your spouse. Here are some ideas.

Four Ways to Enrich Your Relationship

  1. Make everyday events special.​ Instead of waiting for a chance to go all out (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.) find something that sends those “I think you’re special” signals to your spouse. What if you knew the exact time your spouse would emerge to the kitchen and there was a cup of coffee waiting, fixed up just how they like it? Even better, what if there was a special note there beside their cup?

  2. Occasionally, plan a big event that brings excitement, intrigue, and interest into your relationship. ​When’s the last time the two of you had a weekend getaway with no schedule, no distractions, and nothing but focus on the two of you? You know it’s important, right? So stop thinking about it and get ‘er done.

  3. Special events don’t have to take up much time. ​Big trips, weekend rendezvous, or flowers are fantastic (husbands, don’t forget the chocolate), but think about the solar eclipse. It lasted less than three minutes, then it was done. What would it mean to take a walk together for 15 minutes every night after dinner? What if you read a book out loud to each other for a few minutes right before bed? It’s probably not as much what you do together as much as the fact that you’re being thoughtful about it, and that it sparks communication and quality time together. Which leads to our last thought…

  4. Take time to prepare so you can get the most out of the memories you plan to create. ​This is all about intentionality. You don’t get the benefits unless you actually do it. It’s great to know about a solar eclipse, but if I don’t step outside I’m going to miss it. You’ll never have time for your marriage if you don’t make it. That may mean you have to look at your to-do list and roll some things over. It may be that you need to decide if your kid’s 50th baseball game of the summer is more important than you seeing your 50th year of marriage someday. Perspective is the key.

Some couples seem to think that their marriages can float along on autopilot and do just fine. But relationships are kind of like plants … if you don’t feed and water them, they can shrivel up and die. How will you take a little time today to feed your relationship?

About the Author

Marriage Dynamics Institute

Marriage Dynamics Institute (MDI) wants to cultivate healthy families, churches, and communities by helping create marriages full of joy, meaning, and purpose. Having served more than 75,000 couples since 1994, MDI offers workshops and seminars for marriages at every stage, including those in crisis.