Keeping the Spark Alive

Hey all, welcome back! Today we are blessed to have a guest post from my favorite girl, the love of my life, Sally! I love how she looks back and then forward to show us all how to keep the spark of love alive!

-Troy

SallyWarriorDash

Enter Sally:

What made you want to marry your spouse? Was it because you loved spending time with them? For me, I enjoyed every minute we were together. We talked and laughed and really connected. He was always trying to make me happy and vice versa.

When we first got married, we liked to play ping-pong, board games and watch movies.  As time went by, work and babies got in the way and we spent less and less time together. It was difficult going from all quality time to almost none. If you have read the Five Love Languages, you probably already have yours figured out. I had not yet read the book yet, but one of my main love languages was quality time. Most likely one person in every relationship has this as one of their languages. During the period of time when Troy was working 40 hours per week plus some evenings and I was home alone with a baby, we did not have much time together. Our quality time was down and our relationship suffered. We just weren’t feeling the love that we once had, even though we still loved each other. It was a difficult period. Once we read the book, The Five Love Languages, we realized what our issue was. Troy found a different job where he was able to be home every evening, and our quality time went up again.

Quality time doesn’t mean that you have to spend every minute together. It does mean though that the time you spend together should be more meaningful. We have learned over the years to try new things. Troy learned he could ride roller coasters if he took something for his motion sickness. I learned to get into the superhero movies. In fact, just this week we saw one that I would LOVE to see again.

When Troy started getting into running, I decided I better give it a try. Do I like it? No!  What I do like is the time I get to spend with him training. Being together is fun! I like the accomplishment of having finished a race. I like that we get to share more experiences together.  If he took up golf, I would try it too. I may be terrible at it, but I would do it just so I could spend more quality time with him. The point is, whatever your spouse enjoys doing, either find a way to join in or find a way to encourage them in their pursuits.  Whatever your spouse enjoys doing, find a way to join in or to encourage them in their pursuits. Click To TweetI have various crafty/artsy things I like to do. Troy isn’t really an artsy person, but he does like to go with me when I am hunting for specific supplies. He encourages my creativity and he also helps me when I need it.

It could be that your spouse has aspirations of owning their own business. There are many different types of them and some take more money to start than others. We spent three years building a business together. It was very successful for a while, but then it started to change and we felt God pulling us in a different direction. The best thing during the period when we were building our business was the time we spent together traveling in the car or on planes. We would visit new places and meet new people, together. It was wonderful! If I had decided that it was his job to take care of the business and stay home, I might have resented all the time he was away, even though he was doing it to try to help take care of our family and pay for college. Instead, I joined in and went with him. We had some of the best times of our lives and we grew together as a couple! Our kids were old enough to be home alone and did not need us at every event. If they hadn’t been, we would have found a way to take them with us or have them stay with some responsible family or friends. We actually did take our youngest with us on a trip to California and we all had fun.

Speaking of children, these days there are so many extra-curricular activities for kids to be involved in, from scouting or clubs to multiple sports. Over the years, our boys were involved in different things like a youth service club, music lessons, martial arts, soccer and baseball. I have had friends who made a ‘one sport per year, per kid’ rule, which I think is wise. I also have had friends whose children were involved in every sport, year round, some of which overlapped. Not only is this stressful on the kids to be constantly running from practices to games multiple nights per week, all year (even though they love the sports), it is also stressful for the parents. Working all day and then running all night is exhausting for anyone and it also prevents people from having quality time together, not to mention the financial strain of multiple sports.

I am not saying that letting your children be involved in sports is bad, but making that the center of your existence is not going to help your marriage or your child. One day your kids will grow up and move out, and it will happen faster than you think. Trust me on this… my youngest child is already married.  When this happens, you will wish you spent more time growing your relationship with your spouse than you spent sitting in the stands at every sporting event known to man.

When our kids moved out we missed them, but we were fine because we hadn’t put our relationship on hold for 20 years so that we could let our kids have every little experience that they wanted. They had plenty to do growing up, but we did not run from event to event wondering when we would finally have time for ourselves.

If you have already found yourself in the situation where you and your spouse are constantly going different directions and seem to have no connection, it isn’t too late. Schedule a time to sit down together and discuss ways you can change your routines to have more time together. My parents were not at all of my softball, volleyball or soccer games. They dropped me off and picked me up and went home to relax together. It did not make a lick of difference to me as I was just enjoying my time with friends. Your kids will not be crushed for life if you choose to have a date night while they are at one of their games.

Your kids will not be crushed for life if you have a date night and miss one of their games. Click To Tweet

Make time for your spouse. Find ways that you can join them in their passions even if you don’t really understand. You married them for better or for worse, to have and to hold from this day forward. This does not go on pause when you have children, you must find a way to stay connected!

Find a way to help your spouse enjoy today!

-Sally

  • Sally Brown Stoneking

    Note: He found another job before quitting the one he was currently working.

    • http://happierhusband.com Troy

      True story. I always have a plan moving forward. :-)