How the Thrive in your Marriage While Quarantined
How to thrive in your marriage while quarantined. I am not a marriage expert or a marriage counselor but I do have 31 years of experience in this field and have seen many highs and many lows. I have also been stuck in a home with my husband for an extended amount of time before and we are still standing. So does experience trump a degree? I think it does for the most part. Throughout the 31 years, I realized a lot of what works and what doesn’t in our marriage. Let me share some learned wisdom with you.
Wisdom I have learned over the years from other married couples
Fill the love tanks.
The love tanks have to be constantly being filled. What does that mean? A love tank is an emotional health meter inside yourself that your spouse has a major role in filling and emptying. Or as my husband says, ” also can step on the hose that goes to and from the tank.”
Gregg, my husband, love tank gets filled a lot different than the way my love tank gets filled. We have had to learn each other over the last 30 plus years on how that works but the good news is that it doesn’t take that long to figure it out if you can just have good communication. We are just slow learners.
You need to learn what fills your spouse’s love tank. It could be as simple as acts of kindness, to serving them, or physical touch. Maybe a little bit of all but there is always one primary way a person receives and feels loved. This book has been around many many years but I still think it is probably the best way to figure out how to love your spouse. If you have read it, reread it and if you haven’t, spend some time investing in your spouse by reading this book. 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
I think this is probably one of the most important ways how to thrive in your marriage while quarantined.
Plan date nights at home
This one is hard when you are home and really can’t leave to go anywhere. I understand completely. This is when we need to tap into our creativeness.
Choose a night or day to block off 2 hours of time to just spend enjoying each other. If you have kids, it might have to be during nap time or after bedtime.
Order takeout with Door Dash or Uber Eats or even feed the kids early and then grill a nice meal for the two of you. Make it special as much as you can.
One thing that Gregg and I have done is created a space on our deck that we enjoy to just sit. It is a place that we can unwind and just talk.
Find a place in your home that you can make your place to just sit and be with each other. Make sure it is not an office where you do finances or the kitchen table where you have that day’s mail still laying. Let it be a place that you have prepared for the two of you to enjoy. It could be the living room and lay a blanket out to have a picnic without the TV turned on.
Be intentional and be intentional often.
Listen & Don’t Assume
If you have been with your spouse day in and day out and start to think we know exactly what they are thinking and what they are going to say to the point we really just check out when they want to just talk and tell you something. Am I the only one that struggles with this? Surely not.
I can usually tell you how Gregg is going to finish a sentence or finish the sentence for Gregg 75% of the time when we are in a group talking. I actually have to be careful not to actively do that and let him finish his sentence. When you have been with your spouse for many years, you just naturally grow to know them that well.
This is a double-edged sword if you allow me to say that. It is huge that you know your spouse that well. How awesome is that!! BUT it is also a negative because if you think that way when you two are alone and your spouse is wanting to talk or think through some things out loud with you it will backfire on both of you. You can not just assume you know what they are thinking and not allow them to communicate. You also need to listen to them and not check out of the conversation by knowing what the end of the conversation will end like.
What a privilege it is to have your spouse want to talk with you. What a blessing it is that they want to have communication with you. Don’t take the years of being together and water down this special time. When your spouse wants to talk, make every effort to stop and listen. Hear them and respond. Even if the response is simply a nod of the head and eye contact. Let them know you are listening and want to hear their hearts. This is another way how to thrive in your marriage while quarantined.
Have fun together
Seriously, you are in the house for longer periods of time with the one person that many days, months, or years ago you could not get enough of. Enjoy your time together. Have fun together. Make sure you have board games that the two of you enjoy doing together, or maybe a puzzle or even a cookie mix that you can cook together. Whatever it is that you both enjoy doing, do it together and laugh.
If you can’t laugh together, spend some time searching on why and correct it. Life is too short, love is too powerful and your spouse is too important not to enjoy this special time together.
There is so much more that I have learned over the years living with this complex husband of mine and I am sure I have not even maxed out my learning about him but I hope and pray that these three things that I have shared today will give you some ideas to do while spending some extra time at home with your most loved one.
Let’s thrive and not just survive. Share with us in the comments on ways you have learned how to thrive in your marriage while quarantined.
Here is a post I wrote a while back on some more ideas on a healthy marriage.