WT 085: How Do I Start Dating My Husband Again?
This topic needs to stay at the forefront for moms because dating your husband can definitely get lost in the shuffle of life. Karen helps suggest date nights, explain how to better love your spouse, how to trust and ultimately how to choose LOVE!
Question 1: Karen, when my husband and I have date nights, all we do is talk about the kids or work. We both know we need to spend the time just reconnecting with each other, but it’s hard! What are your tips for having meaningful discussion that isn’t related to the kids, work or the house, etc.?
Karen’s Answer: I’m glad you are aware of the fact that you don’t need to be talking about the kids all the time. So, good for you in being aware! Here are a few ideas: Sometimes going on a date that is not a “normal” date is fun to do and it gets you out of the regular routine of going to dinner and seeing a movie. Choosing to do a different activity can be a conversation starter itself. For instance: Take a bike ride on your cities beltway, that is a lot of fun, it’s free, you are getting your exercise in and after the bike ride, you will have lots to talk about. (the scenery, different things you saw on the ride, where to go eat next, how your butt hurts)
Before your date, write down questions that are conversation starters: 1- What are you goals in 1, 5, 10 years 2- If you had $20,000 to spend on the house what would you do and why? 3- If you could buy one thing for me, what would you buy and why? 4- What are you learning in your spiritual walk right now? Are you in a growth stage or are things dry? How can I pray for you? 5- Let’s plan our next big anniversary trip together, where do we want to go? 6- Talk to me about your career. Are you happy? What are your dreams concerning your work?
Read the book 5 Love Languages and decide what each other’s love language is and then start speaking that language. Discover your different personalities and what is important for each other. Be intentional. I know it’s hard, but marriage is an investment, and you have to keep plugging away and making deposits, not just withdrawals.
Question 2: Karen, in your experience having a long marriage, what are some things you did for Greg and Greg did for you that kept each other happy? I feel like everything is a trade with me and my husband: you give the kids a bath and I’ll do the dishes… just tag-teaming work to keep the house and kids together. I want to do things for each other, just out of love.
Karen’s Answer: Well, I think in some seasons of life, tag teaming is awesome and it’s a way to survive and get through the trenches. You know, marriage isn’t always romance and violin music, it’s roll up your sleeves, get to work kind of stuff, and it sounds like to me that you and in such a season. But, to answer your question, I think writing your husband a note unexpectedly and stick it in his drawer, under his pillow, in his bag to travel is a nice way to show love. Whatever his love language is, start speaking that language. Here are some suggestions:
- physical touch– not just sex, but be more aware of how much you are touching him throughout your day: a gentle touch as you walk by, massaging his shoulders, as you sit and watch t.v. together holding his hand, or a big bear hug when he arrives home from work.
- gifts– a person that has gifts as their love language is all about the “thought” behind the gift. So, pay attention to what your husband likes: favorite coffee drink, magazine to read, show to watch, favorite candy bar, and then give those little gifts to him as a gesture of your love. What you are ultimately communicating is “I am paying attention to you and want you to know I think you are awesome!”
- acts of service– Greg is acts of service and he loves it when I “do” things for him, like clean out the car, keep the kitchen desk neat and tidy, when I iron his handkerchiefs, etc.
- words of affirmation– write your husband a letter, telling him how much he means to you, what character traits you love about him and why.
- quality time– This one is simple, just “be” with your spouse. With quality time people it is quality not quantity. So, be “all in”. Turn off your phone, put away the computer, and focus on just being with your husband. Give him your undivided attention.
Question 3: My husband accidentally made some bad financial decisions that put strain on our life and marriage. We’re recovering financially, and I truly forgive him, but I struggle to trust him having full control over our finances like he used to. How do I insert myself without hurting his pride? Or, do I just pray to trust him more? I want to move on from this and get back in a great place, we’re almost there except for me feeling like I have to be big brother over our money.
Karen’s Answer: Whew! girl I get you 100%! Here is the deal, I know our natural tendency is not to trust when we’ve been hurt, but I would lean into God and ask Him to calm your fears and give you what you need to support and love your husband through these rebuilding years. You said that you are “almost there”, so celebrate that one fact alone! Your husband has been making the right choices so focus on his right choices and not his bad choices. We all make mistakes. I know when I make a mistake, if Greg continually reminds me of my mistake, it does not draw me closer to him, but pushes me away. You have a great opportunity now to show your husband what unconditional love looks like, and what choosing trust over suspicion looks like. I do believe you will need to lean into God however, to keep you true to your goal. Left to our own human tendencies, unfortunately we usually choose suspicion.
There was a time in our marriage where Greg chose not to sell some stock to pay off a second mortgage to make improvements on our house, and he held onto the stock so long, it ended up being worthless. So, not only did we not have the money to pay off the stocks, but we also now had to pay the 2nd mortgage off. Believe me, there were so many times I wanted to “big brother” him. But, I had to lean into the Lord and ask him to cement my mouth from doing further damage. It was a daily struggle! Greg worked so hard to pay off that debt and we did. I had to realize yes he made a mistake, but how many mistakes have I made in our marriage? Both financial and in other areas. Greg was “trying” and it just went south on him. That can happen to anyone. So, give grace.
Give grace, choose trust over suspicion.
Question 4: Karen, How did you make it up to Greg when you felt like you snapped at him or were overly nagging, etc.? I know he loves me know matter what, but I want to find ways to be the cool, fun girl he married before I had children testing my patience all day.
Karen’s Answer: Ha! I LOVE this question! You know, I had to daily remind myself, “I am NOT Greg’s mom!!!” and when I say daily I mean daily! The other thing that I’ve realized over time with Greg is I can either focus on his negative attributes or focus on the positive ones. Whatever I choose to focus on it will effect our marriage. Greg tends to slurp his soup. It truly drives me crazy! But, after 31 years of marriage, and countless conversations about slurping, he still does it. He has tried to stop, but he always goes back to slurping. So, now when we have soup, I play music in the house so I will not focus on the sound of his slurping. 🙂 Listen, I KNOW I get on Greg’s nerves, and hopefully he chooses to overlook my irritations as well. You have to if you want to survive. 🙂
Focus on what you love not what you hate.
Resources Mentioned in this Episode:
- Here’s a Question by Scott Bowen
- 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
- Personality Plus by Florence Littauer
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