Overscheduled Couples


Too many marriages suffer from insufficient time. In fact, it’s possibly the single biggest contributor to marriage breakdown. There might be an affair or a falling out of love, but usually, these triggers are preceded by a chronic neglect of the relationship and it’s need for time and attention from both husband and wife.

Whether it’s the demands of career or family, couples need to prioritise their marriage by protecting their time together. Here are some tips to help:

  1. Daily Connection Ritual. Craft a simple daily connection ritual that works for you. We like to take a brisk walk around the block (weather permitting). Others will take their coffee together while kids wash up the dishes. Some connect by phone several times a day to keep each other in the loop. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it helps you connect and can be done regularly.
  2. Seize the moment! We call them ‘date-claimers’ – those spur of the moment opportunities to do something together, like picking up a child from a party or dropping off the dry cleaning. We do it together and ‘claim’ the chore as a date.
  3. Date nights. It can be dinner, movies, the gym, flashy outings or simple picnics. Whatever it is, have a regular date night where the romance can flow. If childcare is a problem, there are a number of babysitting cooperatives that are an inexpensive solution.
  4. Invest in the long term. Do something intentional to strengthen your bond; go on retreat, do some marriage enrichment, read a relationship book together, do an online relationship course.
  5. Schedule it. If time together is important, don’t leave it to chance, put it in the diary and don’t let it get bumped.

Authors: Francine & Byron Pirola

SmartLoving is an organisation dedicated to providing resources for all couples over the course of their relationship, whether you are seriously dating, engaged or have been married 20 years, SmartLoving has something to boost your relationship to new heights with insights from modern relationship psychology, Theology of the Body and the practical wisdom from working with thousands of couples around the world. Check out the blog here: www.smartloving.org

This article featured in the June 2013 edition of the CathFamily eMagazine. For more, check out:

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Francine and Byron Pirola

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CathFamily is an initiative of the Parish & Marriage Resource Centre (PMRC) Australia.. The PMRC Relationship Education Foundation is a registered charity that supports marriage and relationship education activities. All donations in Australia over $2 are tax deductable. All of the administrative work of the Foundation is provided by volunteers and other support infrastructure is ‘gifted’ by other organisations.