Last week we wrote about wasting time in our relationship. It occurred to us this week that it might be good to think about what we do that could look like wasting time, but isn’t, and directly addressing issues so that we don’t waste time.
Sometimes it might appear that we are wasting time in our relationship when we really aren’t. We sometimes think that if we aren’t together 24/7 or joined at the hip we are wasting time. We have found that that isn’t always the case. We have found that having a discussion about what needs to be done for the day, week or in preparing for visitors allows us to divide tasks gives us time in the end to spend with each other. I don’t need to go to the big box home repair store with Bob every time he goes. Some times I do go, just to be with him, or if he wants my opinion on something. Preparing for the holidays falls a lot on me. We have discussions and Bob supports me in the shopping but it seems to go faster if I work on them. He helps with the wrapping and the last couple of years he has helped me with a few baking projects. Separating to work on things that need to be done doesn’t necessarily mean we are wasting time in our relationship.
At times we do car trips to Ohio to visit our extended family. Our children used to refer to to Indiana as East Nowhere. (we’re not disparaging Indiana, it just got in the way of getting to see their grandparents or aunts and uncles and cousins.) We now make that trip alone but at times we find that we can use the East Nowhere time as time to do things that we enjoy. We sing along to music, I have read to Bob and we’ve had some great discussions, we’ve worked on blogs etc. We’ve also found that silence on those trips isn’t wasting time. It gives us each time to think and then use time to talk about our relationship and where we want it to go.
Bob isn’t a big TV watcher. He would rather read or surf the net than watch TV. We do on occasion watch it together. Bob has made more of an effort recently to watch even a program he isn’t interested in just to spend time with me. Having the ability to record things we watch little live TV. We can stop it if one of us has something to say speed through commercials so watching the program takes less time, or enjoy a program together as we’ve been doing recently with the PBS series on the Roosevelts. Bob has laughed when this history major has discovered things I hadn’t studied or the scientist has been drawn into history in ways he never thought he would be.
Even though we are retired, many of our days are quite busy with projects we individually and together are working on. We still think that maintaining physical contact is good. Bob is very good at stopping to give me a hug or kiss when he is in the room with me, gets the mail or makes his lunch. I often stop by his den or when he is outside to give him a pat on the shoulder or kiss the top of his head as he sits at the computer. We still hold hands when we shop or in the car. The physical contact is good for us and encourages us to not waste time.
One of the biggest ways couples waste time is the avoidance technique. Something bothers one person but they go over and over in their minds what the other has done or failed to do, said or didn’t say. We try to avoid this and just face what doesn’t seem to be right. The same is true in a sexual relationship. One can wait for a cue from the other that indicates that the time is right rather than making suggestions or taking actions.
Take a look this week at where you do good things in your marriage. Life is indeed too short to waste time. Knowing what you do to enjoy each other and then doing that more often is a great way to make good use of time.
Enjoy some “wasted” time together this week.
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Today’s scripture readings, reflection and prayer:
Living Together in the Word
Bob & Rita’s book: Forever and Day: An Invitation to Create a Marriage That Lasts a Lifetime is available on Amazon.com or by contacting us. Also available for Kindle and Nook. Make a retreat with your spouse, at home, on your time. Readings, relationship tips, questions for discussion.