I felt alone. Almost like we were roommates and no longer spouses. I realized that something had to change. My husband and I were living under the same roof, but to be perfectly honest, we were no longer investing in each other. We needed a stronger marriage.
I’m sure you can relate. Life gets busy. With two young kids, our time and focus were on them. Add in the fact that we were both working full-time and trying to run a family. And did I mention that I was also spending my evenings and weekends working on Inspired Budget as well? Talk about a full schedule!
We realized that our marriage needed a wakeup call. When Matt approached me with an idea of how we could put each other first again, I wasn’t sure what to think. I didn’t know if it would help, but I was willing to try. And that’s when we started the habit that would help change our marriage for the better.
What was once an idea became our life. And let me tell you that it helped us put each other first again and focus on our marriage. And I’m ready to share exactly what we do to invest in each other again. Spoiler: it doesn’t have to be expensive either!
We spend time together daily.
We aim to spend at least 30 minutes together each day. No phones. No distractions. Just talking and investing in each other to build a stronger marriage. This is the habit that can be overlooked so easily. With the craziness of life, are you truly spending uninterrupted time with your spouse each day?
Do you want to know something amazing? Your time is free. Did you read that? FREE!! It literally costs zero dollars to invest in your partner each day. No special meals or flowers needed. Just your undivided attention!
Aim to spend time together each day. Even if you’re just laying on the sofa after the kids go to bed and chatting about your day. Make it an intentional part of your day because guess what…you’re in this together! And without this daily habit, it’s too easy to feel like you’re in this alone. Need ideas on what you can talk about? Don’t worry, my friend Caroline has you covered! She has a post with 50 questions you can ask your spouse (to keep the conversation rolling).
30 minutes each day. That’s all you need.
We have a date night weekly.
Are you putting date nights on the back burner? It’s easy to let everything else get in the way and no longer make date nights a priority. I know because we’ve been there. And I know that we aren’t the only ones!
Commit to a weekly date night with your spouse or partner. And listen up! This does not have to be an expensive date! The purpose is to spend intentional time together, not spend a lot of money.
For our weekly date nights, my husband and I usually split the jobs down the middle. One of us will put the kids to bed and read bedtime stories while the other one runs out to pick up a cheap dinner or dessert. Then, we play games or watch a movie while we spend the evening together.
Every now and then we’ll ask a family member to babysit, but often our weekly date nights are spent at home. Get creative and just have fun together. Don’t talk about bills, responsibilities, or house stuff. Just enjoy each other!
We get away monthly.
This might be the most difficult habit to follow. But once a month, my husband and I try to have an overnight date together without the kids. I’m not going to lie to you…this is an expensive habit that we are putting in place, but it’s so worth it.
Sometimes this looks like getting a hotel for a night while my mom watches the kids. Other times it looks like the kids going to a grandparent’s house for a sleepover while we spend time at home. The point is that you get time with your spouse to just be together.
Now, I know that this can be expensive. And maybe you don’t have a support system to take care of the kids! The good news is that there are a ton of options to make this possible! For instance, instead of making this an overnight habit, find a day where you can spend an extended period of time together. Maybe you grab a babysitter for the day or ask a friend to take your kids for the day.
Before we started this habit, my husband and I would each take a day off work together twice a year to have a “day date.” We’d take the kids to school and plan to spend the entire day together. Whatever you do, just make sure that you are spending intentional time with your spouse monthly just the two of you to help build a stronger marriage.
We take a trip together yearly.
This past year was the first year that my husband and I started taking yearly trips together. No kids. No friends. Just us. It’s an expensive habit, but oh my goodness it’s the best thing ever!!
This is not something that we would have done while working to pay off debt (you can read more about that here). But hey! We didn’t spend 4.5 years working to become debt free so that we could stay in our home all the time. Nope! I want to travel and see this world! So we’ve vowed to save money each year for a special trip with just the two of us. Last summer we went to Cancun for 6 nights and it was so incredible.
Taking this trip wasn’t the easiest thing to do. We had to secure childcare (thank goodness for grandparents that live close by!) and make sacrifices throughout the year to pay for the trip. But let me tell you that I don’t regret it one bit. If you are debt free or can save money for a trip each year then do it! It doesn’t have to be a full 5 days, but make it a priority. Turn to your family for help watching your kids if possible!
But what if you don’t have money for this type of trip? That’s okay! Get creative with how to spend time together on a budget. You don’t have to go away on a trip to invest back in each other.
These habits will lead to a stronger marriage.
Daily, weekly, monthly, yearly. These are the habits we put in place to change our marriage and turn it around. But there’s something you need to know…these habits will only stick if you and your spouse make them a priority! If you want to truly invest in your marriage, then do it with your time. Remember, your time costs zero dollars! Focus on spending time daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. You never know how it might change your marriage.