Couples take the biggest leap in their relationship when they decide to marry and start a family. Marriage is a long-lasting commitment, a tumultuous journey with the same partner. With all things attached to marriage, couples have to continue the spark and affection that brought them together. So, why is quality time an essential component in a successful marriage? Learn the why’s and what’s of quality time in marriage with this insightful article. Also, you can read some great tips below; read now!
Every couple—whether married or not—use different love languages. In simple terms, love language contains the methods and processes of expressing and accepting affection from a lover, spouse, or partner. Over time, love languages adapt to changes in the relationship. Although it does not define the entirety of the relationship, it helps understand the different emotions of the couple.
A Southern Baptist pastor coined and popularized the concept of love languages in 1992. Over the years, the theory got interpreted in various forms and reasons. In 2019, The Atlantic published an article about the five love languages and their framework. In the post, psychologist and researcher Julie Gottman mentioned that having “one primary language of affection” seemed impossible; instead, utilizing varied expressions of love and care can be observed among couples—regardless of age, gender, and culture. She highlighted how one love language is limiting the way girlfriends or husbands show their love for their significant other.
Why Quality Time Matters
Truly, the dynamics of a couple depend on several factors. From acts of service to physical touch, all of these things are relevant to the maintenance of a relationship. For married couples, the bond shifts according to the needs of the family. And sometimes, husband and wives have little time for each other. But why does quality time matter for married couples? How does it affect the totality of a relationship?
The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) produced a study focused on reasons for divorce and its preventive measures. The research revealed that “lack of commitment” is the main cause of marriage failures. Seventy-five percent (75%) of the respondents agree that the absence of bond and devotion led to the breakup. While other elements shape the level of commitment in the relationship, lack of time affects how couples interact and converse. Hence, quality time is essential for the continued development of the relationship.
So, here are the reasons why quality time is significant for married couples:
- Recharging the Love – Naturally, couples spend time apart because of work and other activities. During these situations, each partner may feel lonely and anxious—constantly needing the reassurance of their lover. With that, the husband and wife have to spend time together to recharge their love. It replenishes the level of attachment and increases the affection between the two.
- Relationship Growth – Even when already married, couples have to continue improving themselves, dependently and independently. Through devoting time to each other, the couple will see the things they need in their relationship. In this process, no one is left behind and the couple can move forward with a better understanding of their strong and weak points.
- Opportunity to Talk About Things – Conversations bring people closer. Everyone knows that simple dialogues with a teenage son or daughter can help ease tension or stress. The same thing applies to spouses. So, dedicating specific dates and hours for quality time can improve the connection between two lovers. In these moments with the significant other, the couple can talk about private matters without worrying about the reaction of their kids.
- Bonding Strengthens the Connection – Every relationship starts with a minute connection. And to maintain this certain link, couples have to bond over different activities and hobbies. Hence, uncomplicated pursuits strengthen the interconnection between couples, and it keeps the emotions alive.
What Couples Can Do Together
The United States Census Bureau recently released the marriage and divorce rates in the last ten years. In the study, the researchers saw a decline in the number of new marriages and divorces from 2009 to 2019. The paper shows that compared to 2009, wherein there are 17.6 new marriages for every 1,000 women age 15 or older, 2019 has only 16.3 new weddings. Additionally, divorce rates fell from 9.7 in 2009 to 7.6 in 2019.
Despite the decline in numbers, couples should continually show commitment in their relationship. As two people share more than a home, keeping the spark alive is essential for a healthy living environment. Aside from setting time for yourself first, you should put emphasis on some of the things you can do together with your husband or wife. Whether it’s indoor or outdoor activities, the main purpose is to get the couple to do things together.
We’ve listed down some activities couples can do together during their free time. Here are excellent ideas and plans you can do with your wife or husband during vacant days or weekends.
- Weekend Trips or Getaways – An excellent way of relieving stress or tension is by going on vacation trips and weekend getaways. Additionally, planning a trip with your significant other—especially with no kids around—is a great method of rekindling feelings of love and excitement. Now, some people may assume that weekend trips are only for out-of-town or country activities. But, planned trips can also be within the city limits only. You can spend the whole afternoon in a secluded cafe where you can talk with your partner or go to the nearest spa and resort to relax. For longer vacations, you and your partner can travel overseas for one week. Either way, the objective of this activity is to spend time together with your spouse.
- Nighttime Talks – Nightcap with your spouse while enjoying the cool night breeze? Yes, that’s a perfectly romantic evening for a good conversation with your husband or wife. If both of you are busy during the day, then allocating time for nightly heart-to-heart talks is the option. When the kids are sleeping, both of you can curl up on your couch and talk about your individual day. Some dialogues are interesting and others are not. Despite this, you are opening up to your partner and sharing your innermost troubles and thoughts. You can also do nightly interchanges with your lover before going to bed.
- Implementing the No Cellphone Policy – Couples can religiously follow vacation plans and date nights. However, these enjoyable moments look insignificant if both of you are stuck on your mobile phones. With that, married couples are encouraged to implement a “no cellphone” policy when spending time with their loved ones. In this way, the pair’s attention will focus on what the other person is saying. Moreover, this shows respect and love. Having the undivided attention of your wife or husband can be sexy and exciting.
- Investing in a New Hobby – Instead of spending time away from home to recharge, some couples invest their time on a new hobby. What types of leisure activities are great for married couples? In a way, couples are best friends to each other. So, there are tons of interesting things available for both of them. For instance, spouses can start doing yoga or hiking as a weekend hobby. If you don’t like outdoor activities, you can try knitting, cross-stitching, or embroidery with your spouse. Some couples become collectors of specific items like cards, coins, stamps, and action figures. Essentially, the new hobby should be important for the pair.
- Movie Nights – One of the simplest ways to relax with your spouse is a movie night. It can be every Friday or Saturday, whichever day fits with your schedules. The great thing about movie nights is that you can do it at home. If your husband or wife is dealing with anxiety about going out, then staying at home is the perfect way to end the evening. So, you both take turns choosing the film every movie night. After the end credits, you talk about the movie—any thoughts and reactions will do. Since you’re at home, it’s best to tell your kids not to disturb you during movie nights.
Conversation Starters for Couples
Relationships come in unusual colors and dynamics. What works for one couple may not be compatible with another. For example, the silences between conversations may have varied interpretations for couples. Therefore, every romantic relationship is unique.
After years together, some couples may have a hard time finding the tone in daily conversations. Sometimes, the effort can take a toll on how married couples interact. With that, we rounded up some quirky and serious conversation starters for couples. Choose from any of the topics and start talking with your spouse.
- Recent discoveries or revelations from social media sites.
- Talk about the book your spouse finished reading a few weeks ago.
- Wildest conspiracy theories you found on the Internet.
- Which cartoon character will win in an imaginary fight?
- What Netflix movie or series deserves more views or likes?
- Unforgettable moments in a faraway trip (other city or country).
- What year do you like best?
- If you can go back in time, what things would you keep or replace (specific year)?
- Life, death, afterlife, and everything in between.
- If you could live the life of someone else for one week, who would it be?
- What are the things we will do twenty years from now? What are our plans twenty years from now?
- Thoughts about zombies, apocalypse, and end-of-the-world agendas.
- Rankings of best, worst foods (combinations, new creations, old recipes).
- Craziest bucket list items.
- What would the future world look like?
- Fall traditions from other countries that you want to experience.
Communication is Key
Every relationship—professional or familial—requires a clear-cut communication method. Whether it’s about business or home issues, people need to communicate their apprehensions or problems. If individuals don’t take the time to talk, it leaves the other person in the dark. And that’s why communication is always the key to success.
In marriage, communication glues the relationship together. The wife airs her discomfort about certain work responsibilities, and the husband listens. In turn, the husband discusses his troubles at the office, and the wife comforts him. Communication plays a crucial role in strengthening the married couple’s feelings towards each other.
Aside from showing your love and appreciation for your spouse, talking about how it means to you solidifies your honest intention. Even when “action speaks louder than words,” simple messages and gestures of love can break barriers. Furthermore, communicating with your significant other will fix misunderstandings and lessen doubts within the relationship.
So, as early as now, learn to be more open with your partner. List down the things you need to ask your spouse and wait for the chance to bring up these topics. Accept criticism and praise. Be more attentive and understanding. And always, listen when your spouse has something to say to you.
How to Initiate Bonding with Your Partner
Most couples, especially when they want to spend time together, have trouble starting conversations with their significant other. The main reason would be time-constraints and busy schedules. Nevertheless, spouses will find ways to bond with their loved ones. So, how can you initiate bonding with your significant other?
First, you have to plan your approach. Should you surprise your spouse with a lovely dinner or warm bath? Should you purchase new gift cards for her? By deciding which methods work best, you can begin conversations with your spouse. From then on, you can create a habit for quality time with your partner.
According to Psychology Today, an intimate bond with your partner, particularly non-sexual intimacy, helps build the relationship. It’s more than just sexual acts and gratification, it’s on the emotional level. With that, couples have to start bonding on other activities and events. As people crave emotional intimacy, the couple needs to cultivate this particular aspect of the relationship. Spouses need to show that they are the safe space of their partner, a person they can trust and lean on during difficult times.
These things help couples with their journey towards growth and inner peace. However, if things are still unstable and difficult, it’s best to seek help from experts in the field. Couples can try counseling or therapy to find the root cause of issues in the household. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help. In fact, asking for assistance is a sign of maturity. But before going that path, talk with your spouse, say what you want to say, and speak words of affirmation. Be kind, and always have patience.