Is Your Marriage Time Starved?

February 1, 2016

in Uncategorized

I’ve become convinced a lack of time together is the root cause of most marriage problems and a strong contributing factor in most divorces.

Wedding ring and watch © utoimage|

We are too busy. Most of us are way, way too busy. We hurt our health because of the stress and lack of sleep causef by our busyness, and we hurt the health of our marriages because we don’t have time to connect the way we should.

This is not a gender issue because men are every bit as guilty of it as women are. However, in my experience, women are worse about this than men. Maybe it’s the whole multi-tasking thing, maybe it’s being a mother. 

Regardless of why, how you spend your time is the surest sign of your priorities. If you routinely short your husband on time you’re telling him he’s less important to you than the places you’re spending more time. You can tell yourself this isn’t the case, but I assure you he’s not buying that story.

As I will say to the men on The Generous Husband tomorrow, this problem is created one piece at a time over months and years and fixing it requires tearing it down one piece at a time. In most marriages both spouses have contributed to the problem. If both spouses decide to fix it and work together, it’s difficult. If only one spouse works for change it’s very difficult. Still, given the cost of not fixing it, someone needs to make a move. Are you ready to be someone?

~ Paul – I’m XY and I value every second I spend with my Wonderful Lori! 

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah February 1, 2016 at 5:04 am

We find that we argue less if we control how much time we spend together. Our communication problems that despite years of work are as bad as they ever were crop out the more we talk. We do more harm than good. Our time together ends in him angry and frustrated whole I’m in tears. The whole idea of spending happy time together sounds wnderful,


Paul Byerly February 1, 2016 at 1:21 pm

@Sarah – So sorry! Have you tried to get help? Will he go?
Paul Byerly recently posted…A Good Marriage Takes TimeMy Profile


Sarah February 2, 2016 at 10:34 am

I’m not blaming him. We are both very strong willed. We hate it when the other gives up, but also need to compromise. It creates a nearly impossible situation. When he backs down, I don’t respect him, and he’s the same with me and gets crabby if I am even close to submissive, but if one of us doesn’t give in, we can’t resolve anything.

My best friend told me when I got married, “We never wanted to say it to you, but we always thought you’d never get married or else need a powerful man that you would never meet because with your intelligence, wit, and strength, you’d kill him.” At that moment, my husband came in. I told him we were going to do something. His reply was “Oh, no, you’re not. Not at this time of night. Argue and I’ll deflate your tires. Order a pizza and watch pride and prejudice.” My friend laughed until she cried as he and I stared unflinchingly at each other until he crossed the room and kissed me.


Paul Byerly February 3, 2016 at 9:48 am

@Sarah – Ah, I misunderstood.
I suppose the issue then is both of you learning to be able to say “Yes, you’re way/idea is better” and for both of you to be okay with that.
I used to argue my wife’s ideas to death. She was unwilling or unable to stand up for her ideas, and in my mind, this proved the ideas were not worth following. I was, of course wrong. She’s not willing to engage me the way you engage your husband, but this does not make her wrong. I’ve learned to look at what she says more fairly, and I regularly find what she suggests has merit. Either I like her way better, or it helps me see yet another way to go.
Paul Byerly recently posted…If Time is Money…My Profile


Rebecca Watson February 4, 2016 at 7:53 am

You are so right. Most couples I know are time-deprived.

And as Sarah points out, it’s not only quantity that’s a problem, it’s also quality. If the time you spend together is either boring or filled with conflict, why bother?

So much of couple time is spent on the mundane business of running a family. Which is absolutely necessary, of course, but we also need other types of time together … fun, exciting times where we build attraction … and close, connected times where we build intimacy and attachment.

Great topic!
Rebecca Watson recently posted…Try This One Simple Habit to Bring Your Wife CloserMy Profile


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