Spend Time With Your Wife
Really an article entitled “Spend Time With Your Wife”?
I have actually had a number of idiot husbands in really bad marriages tell me that they did not have any time that they could spend with their wives. Sometimes the knucklehead says this to me, right in front of his wife.
“I do not have any time for my wife.”
“I do not have four hours a week to spend with my wife.”
“I do not have time to spend 15 minutes a day, 5 days a week to talk with my wife about her day.”
“I do not have time to eat dinner with my family – even once a week.” (I was the idiot husband who said that to my wife, while we were church planting in MN).
I have heard guys in really bad marriages say those four statements above and many more statements like them.
I Do Not Have Any Time So How Can I Spend Time With My Wife?
I knew that you were going to say that. So I have already written an article entitled “Everybody Has Time.” Yep, I saw you coming.
If you are really trying to say that you do not have any time, do two things -
#1 Read www.everybodyhastime.com and
#2 Zip up your pants in the front, because this is “Big Boy Marriage” and excuses that an eight year old would try to use, do not cut it here.
You Have Time…
You have time. If you are not willing to spend time with your wife, please have the guts to set her free to find a man who values her enough to actually spend time with her.
If you have not been spending time with your wife, I hope this article is a wake up call.
Aren’t You Coming On a Little Strong There Steven?
Perhaps I am. At this point in my journey, I now know how much pain and suffering I brought to my wife’s journey by not being willing to spend time with her, and it pains me to see husbands hurting their wives the way I hurt Gayla.
Okay – Full Disclosure… I also do not like it when someone tells me that they “don’t have time.” I am just not fond of that excuse. I now return you to your original programming.
Spend Some Of Your Time With Your Wife
If you want your wife to feel cared for, you need to spend time with her each week and maybe (likely) each day.
If you are not sure whether or not you actually want your wife to feel cared for by you, read this Great Marriage article – “Do You Want Your Wife To Feel Cared For? www.doyouwantyourwifetofeelcaredfor.com
Okay I will Spend Time With My Wife, What Next?
In my professional and personal opinion, there are three specific ways that wives long for their husbands to spend time with them. It is likely that your wife will be hungrier for one of these over the other two, however, in my opinion, the sooner you spend time with your wife in each the three ways suggested below, the better!
#1 Just Listen to Her
Wives love it when you listen to them. Take 10 minutes a day, say maybe 4-5 days a week and ask her about her day. Here’s the trick – Make sure that you are ready to really listen. Put your phone down and turn off the TV and actually listen. Be interested in what she has to say.
In the Life Change classic The Road Less Traveled M. Scott Peck talks about the “Work of Attention.” I know first hand that really listening to someone is work that takes effort. Your wife is worth it! Put the work in!
#2 Just Be In Her Presence
Many times Gayla would want me to simply be around her and our kids. Being a neurotic workaholic who was very committed to Performance Based Acceptance, I would ask her “What do you want me to do?” For the longest time, her answer of “Nothing, Just be with me” did not even compute. I did not know what “just be with me” meant. I was one sick puppy.
To help the situation, sometimes when Gayla would ask me to “just be with” her, I would say, “WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO?” I have since discovered that raising your voice to your wife does not actually improve a troubled marriage.
So, if you are confused by what your wife means when she says “just spend time with me,” let me translate.
To start – once or twice a week, go find your wife and invest 15 whole minutes just hanging out where she is.
Maybe take a book or a newspaper or a magazine. Say sometime along the lines of this to her – “Hey sweetheart, can I join you? I was just wanting to spend sometime in your presence.”
If she is gardening, ask her if there is anything you can do to help her.
If she is washing the dishes, waltz into the room and say “There you are! I was looking for you. I wanted to spend a few minutes with you. How about I help you with those dishes?”
I understand, some you just laughed out loud in disgust, or derision. There was a time that I would have done the same.
Trust me, stuff like that, done regularly, consistently, (not just once) and sincerely, really pays off.
#3 Take Your Wife On a “Date”
If you have a tough marriage and if you want your wife to feel cared for, do NOT start with #3. Earn a little credibility first.
Once you wife starts to believe that you might actually want her to feel cared for by you, then it is likely that she might like your starting to regularly (Monthly? Weekly?) take her on a “date.”
Remember the purpose of this “date” is not so you can get “lucky” later that night, but so you can spend time with your wife as a way to help her feel cared for by you.
I say “date” in quotes because I am not talking about spending money. If you can afford to take your wife on a more traditional date, go for it!
If you can’t afford to take your wife on a traditional date, be creative, go with her to coffee, go for a walk with her.
Spend time with her, doing something out of the house with her, that SHE enjoys. I know that you may love spending an hour or four at Cabelas. If your wife does as well, great! If not, keep on thinking.
I am Pulling For You and Your Marriage
If I can be of any assistance or encouragement, my marriage email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.