In the past, we have shared about some shifts we have made to our evening routine to feel better connected in our marriage. We thought it’s about time we talk about better connecting in the morning as well!
The mornings are such an important part of the day for married couples. If the day starts off on a strong foundation, it’s often easier to connect throughout the day. But it’s not uncommon for couples to feel like they are working against each other in the morning trying to get everything done and prepare for what their individual days hold.
We recently were coaching a couple when they shared that the mornings are always a point of frustration between them. Between getting the kids ready, packing lunches, getting themselves ready for work, and so much more, they both felt like they weren’t being helped by their partner. With a simple shift of incorporating a holding hug in the morning before getting the kids up and starting their morning routine, they started to feel much more aligned to each other’s needs.
Jill has recently been reading Atomic Habits by James Clear. A huge takeaway from that book is the idea of habit stacking. In a recent blog post, Clear says, “One of the best ways to build a new habit is to identify a current habit you already do each day and then stack your new behavior on top. This is called habit stacking.” In our marriage, we have implemented habit stacking by adding exercise and prayer together to our individual morning routines, which has been huge for our connection!
So what about you? Do you currently have strategies to connect with your spouse in the morning? Do you find that these times are a point of connection or a point of contention in your day?
Being married doesn’t automatically mean we’re growing closer and closer to one another. You may have heard us say before, “In marriage, if you’re not rowing, you’re drifting.” That is so true. From thoughtful conversation to planned time away together, intentionality goes a long way.
Here are a few shifts to consider in your morning routine:
1) Talk and pray together.
When we pray, we have the opportunity to align our own desires to God’s. We also have the opportunity to talk directly to God lifting up to Him whatever is on our heart. By taking time to talk and pray together in the mornings, we have built-in space to share with our spouse what’s on or mind for the day, what they need to know, and anything that’s causing us worry or anxiety. If it works to fit this in as a way to connect before the day begins, this is a great way to communicate to your spouse that their needs are a top priority for you.
If you choose to talk and not just pray, you have to leave defensiveness out of the conversation. Your spouse needs to be able to share what’s on their heart and you listen to understand, not defend. Some good connecting questions are “What’s weighing heaving on you right now? How can I pray for you today? How can I serve you best this week?
“Thank you for sharing that.” or “That’s important for me to know.” are the best kinds of responses.
Read More: 10 Prayers for Your Spouse
2) Exercise together.
For us, daily exercise has been one of the best shifts in our daily connection. Not only are we prioritizing our physical health together, and able to keep each other accountable, it gives us time spent together as well. Even if it’s not spent talking about something specific, togetherness is a simple way to connect to one another.
(By the way, we do our exercise at home using YouTube. We usually do 20 minutes of Holy Yoga and then 20 minutes of exercise.)
3) Don’t count out morning sex.
Did you know that, for most people, mornings are the times when our bodies are most responsive to sex? Rather than waiting until the evening, what if a couple times a week you made it part of your routine to connect in the bedroom at the start of the day? How might that improve your connection to one another? Even if it includes waking up a little earlier than normal, connectedness in your marriage this way may be well worth the sacrifice.
4) Plan for the morning the night before, or have a coffee date first thing in the morning.
Many couples find it helpful to have a “team meeting” at the end of each day to plan out what they need tomorrow. On the other hand, taking time for a quick coffee date in the morning can serve the same purpose. Talk through some of these questions: What will the day look like tomorrow and what do we need from each other? Is there anything that either of you need to adjust about your schedule or expectations to make the day a success?
5) Take time for a holding hug and kiss.
This is the simple shift that the couple we coached made that made a huge difference in their connection. (Here are some details about what this can look like.) Taking the time to just hold one another doesn’t take much time and is such a meaningful way to connect your hearts before the day unfolds. Where could you fit a holding hug and kiss in your morning?
Most of all, we want to encourage you to simply make it a priority to connect to one another in the mornings rather than just letting them unfold without intention. By making our marriages a priority in our routine, we can cut back on frustration, view each other as partners, and increase connection in our relationship.
What about you? How do you connect in the mornings in your marriage? What do you plan to implement from this list?
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