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Personal Interests & Expectations

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Exercises

"Get a Life" and "Make Time"

As a marriage therapist, I have spoken with hundreds of couples that tell me they just don't have as much time for one another as they would like and their marriage is suffering as a result. Two of my most frequent responses to that complaint are to "Get a life" and "Make time." Getting overworked and overburdened couples to make time for one another is not always easy. So here are some questions to consider and a few ideas to try that may help you spend some needed time together.

Questions to consider:

  1. What were the most enjoyable things you did together when you were dating?
  2. How often did you do those things while you were dating?
  3. How often do you do them now?
  4. If less, how come you slowed down or stopped doing those things?
  5. What will happen in your marriage if things stay as they are now?
  6. Is it worth making some changes?
  7. What will it take to change?

When couples honestly answer these questions they usually agree that some changes are necessary. That's because they realize that they need to make time for one another and that they have lost their life as a couple to other competing demands. "Getting a life" means to re-prioritize and structure your time so that you and your partner are building your relationship.

How to Get a Life and Make Time

Make lists of the events and rituals or traditions that you and your partner think are important to participate in together or that you would both like to do more often. Here are some examples:

Events Ritual and Traditions
  • Family picnics
  • Overnight campouts
  • Vacations
  • Special nights out
  • A play
  • A concert
  • A sporting event
  • Church attendance
  • Celebrating birthdays
  • Celebrating anniversaries
  • Family mealtimes
  • Graduations
  • Weddings
  • Funerals

Plan exactly when you will do certain things together. If you do not plan your time together it will be swallowed up by something else.

Cautiously preserve those times together and don't let other "emergencies" get in the way.

Copyright 2008, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource . admin. (2005, December 06). Personal Interests & Expectations. Retrieved January 08, 2011, from Free Online Course Materials — USU OpenCourseWare Web site: http://ocw.usu.edu/Family__Consumer____Human_Development/Marriage___Family_Relationships/Personal_Interests___Expectations_3.html. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons License