Can You Find 15 Hours for Your Spouse?

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My husband and I are hooked on audiobooks. Because we are so busy, reading words on a page is an invitation to shut my eyes even though I love a good book. Listening to a book while folding laundry, taking a long trip or exercising is a great way to multitask. On a recommendation, we recently listened to on marital relationships.

In the middle of the book, the author and therapist explains that studies have occurred to discover how many hours it takes for a couple to spend together on a weekly basis in order to maintain a healthy relationship. As the therapist began his explanation, I began guessing at the amount of hours that would be recommended. I was completely shocked when the answer was a minimum of 15 hours every week. How were we going to squeeze in 15 hours around our kids, work, chores and extended family each week?

Surprisingly, my husband was not as shocked by the number as I was. He heard the number and assumed we would want to spend that many hours together. His argument was that we got married because we spent that much time together dating.

Do we spend 15 hours a week each and every week one on one? No, but we are making the effort.

Less Technology: When we are in the car, we are striving for the one not driving to not be on technology unless it is involved in a current discussion together.

We are watching less television in effort to try to talk and connect some each night after the kids are in bed.

Date Nights: We have promised ourselves to have at least one date night a month. We would love more, but babysitters for three kids are expensive. We are hoping to build up to more dates a month as our kids get older.

Bedtime Routine: We are doing our best to go to bed at the same time. Getting ready for bed together provides another opportunity to chat and connect.

Activities: Spending time together doing the same activity can add more time together versus each spouse going separate ways. My husband and I have discovered that our one similar interest is doing DIY projects together.

This theory makes sense to why long distance relationships are difficult to maintain. If adequate time is not spent together, it is difficult to maintain the closeness, love and respect for one another. Although kids, work, chores and extended family are all important things, our spouses deserve dedicated time as well.

Writer Bio: Summer Bolte

I spend most of my time and days with my three kids, husband and dog. My kids frequently play near me as I garden, cook, DIY and volunteer. My most unusual paying job has to be feeding fruit flies in a research lab, and my most fulfilling job was being an oncology nurse for seven years.  

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