We´re only on our second year of marriage but we quickly realized that unless we make an effort to bond, we easily can get drawn in our different interests. I run six blogs, more than I can ever maintain while my husband, after he arrives from work, is excited to do his favorite computer games.
Fortunately we both knew that marriage, just like any relationships, is like a plant. It needs to be watered and tendered in order for it to grow. So I and my husband consciously aim to spend some time to bond. But let´s be real, bonding as a couple doesn´t always mean dining out. Although allotting a budget for a dine out for say once or twice a month is a great idea, doing it every time just hurts the family budget. Therefore we have to find some ways, simple but meaningly ways to spend quality time together while not blowing the bank.
1. Share Household Chores and Do Them Together
Even if I´m a stay-at-home wife I work from home, that means I don´t have all the time to clean and polish our apartment. I and my husband use the Sunday morning (because we go to church on Saturday) to do the cleaning. My husband does the vacuuming while I do the changing of sheets, he dusts the furnitures while I clean the restroom, he polishes the glasses while I clean the kitchen, and then we´ll cook together for lunch. Not only are the tasks done quickly, we also have so much fun.
I understand that some husbands or wives work a lot that they could hardly have time to share the chores but remember, even if you, the husband, brings dough for the family while your wife stay at home to take care of the kids, taking care of the kids is much more difficult than working at the office. Thus your wife can use some helping hands.
Exercising together is a very fun activity to do together. If your situation allows to go the gym, do a two-round-jog at the neighborhood in the afternoon, bike at the nearby mountains, or do yoga at your kitchen together, then make time to do so. You´re not only spending quality time, you´re also keeping you both fit.
Sometimes I´m tempted to cancel our fitness gym subscriptions especially at times when the money is tight, but my husband holds that it´s our time to go exercise together. So he never wanted to cancel our gym subscriptions.
We have a wide garden at the back of the house and I and my husband are in-charged in trimming the grasses and keeping the area clean and tended. Although the task can be exhausting if we to do it quick, we try to make it fun by taking breaks in between to play at the swing or rewarding ourselves with a barbeques party after we complete the task. Gardening is also a rewarding form of exercise.
4. Worshipping Together
Worshipping together means reading the Bible, singing songs of praise, and praying together. I don´t have this in my marriage because I and my husband don´t share the same faith (even if he goes to church with me, he´s still Catholic and I´m SDA), but this is something I´m planning to do with my kids. I grew up in a family that worships together every evening and most early mornings and I found it a great experience for both the parents and children, uniting them together.
5. Going Out Once a Week Without Spending a Lot
I look forward to Fridays because that means I and my husband would go out strolling around the city. He goes home early, around two o´clock, every Fridays while I finish my work early so he could pick me up and we could hang out. We walk in the park, we window shop, we visit our favorite bookstores, or check what´s currently showing in the theatre (without actually going in and seeing a movie). Afterwards, we´ll treat us with very affordable fish burger. We don´t necessarily spend a lot, but I´m always excited for this day because it means fun.
6. Seeing a Movie While Cuddling on the Sofa
Going out to see a movie is expensive, especially during weekends. We prefer seeing a movie at home while we cuddle on our sofa. Cuddling is my favorite time. In fact, we always spend time to cuddle every evening as we watch news on TV. But watching a movie or doing a movie marathon with home cooked popcorn and soft drinks from the ref is just as great as going to the theatre.
For more productive yet practical ways to spend quality time together with your spouse, check out Elizabeth George´s A Wife After God´s Own Heart for 6 little things that make a difference, page 174-177.
How about you? How do you and spouse find time to bond? What simple but meaningful activites do you do to nourish your relationship?