Today’s Marriage Monday is about the importance of daily dates. No, we’re not talking about dinner and a movie everyday, we’re just talking about intentional times that we connect everyday with our spouse.

Mark says…

I can tend to get really immersed in my day and forget the value of communication. While there are days that communication during the day isn’t practical, most of the time, I’m able to at least connect with a quick call during lunch. This helps Jill and I have a quick, but valuable connection in the middle of the day.

We also have found that 15 minutes before or after dinner is important talk time for us. In the winter, we call it “kitchen island time” because we sit at the island and connect. In the summer we call it “porch time” because we sit on the porch swing and talk.

Our 15 minutes really helps us debrief from our day, but more importantly it helps us get on the same page for the evening agenda. Too many times I’ve come home with an idea of what I want my evening to look like and Jill didn’t have the same idea…so there was conflict. Once we started taking 15 minutes to talk around dinnertime, our conflict decreased.

Oh and one more important thing…we first tried to do this 15-minute talk time after the kids were in bed, but we found that wasn’t a good time because a) we were tired and b) we weren’t talking about our evening expectations and we were finding ourselves frustrated with one another.

Jill says…

Our phone call in the middle of the afternoon is usually just 1 or 2 minutes. Not a long conversation, just an effort to connect.  It’s nice to just say hello and touch base in the middle of the day.

Our 15 minutes in the evening is really helpful and great communication time. We usually talk about two things: 1) Tell me about your day, and 2) What’s your plans for tonight?

When we take the time to talk through our day, it helps us debrief.  If I’ve been home with the kids, I catch him up on any behavior issues or attitudes I’ve been dealing with.  We both briefly share about our days.  And when we talk about our evening expectations, it really allows us to help each other out! If Mark tells me that he wants to get yard work done in the evening, it means I’m on homework duty with the boys in the house. If I communicate to Mark that my evening agenda is to go to Wal-Mart without children, then that means he’ll need to do kid duty sometime during the evening. If he wants to do yard work and I want to go to Walmart alone in the same evening, we’re able to compromise.

We tell the kids that our 15 minutes is to be uninterrupted. It took them a while to understand that we were serious about needing uninterrupted time (the kitchen timer helped them know when they could interrupt), but eventually they began to respect our need for this short, but important period of talk time. When the kids were little, we’d let them play at our feet while we were talking, but we wouldn’t let them sit on our laps during that 15 minutes. Our goal was to teach them marital respect and that mommy and daddy need time to talk everyday.

It’s amazing what an intentional 15 minutes a day can do for your marriage!

What about you? Do you do a daily date? How do you and your spouse stay connected during the day?

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