Chris was working hard to keep up with his kid’s sports schedules. His wife Amy was exhausted as they were both heading in different directions every weekend between basketball, soccer and swimming. Their children were trying out many different sports, some they were excellent at, others not so much.
One night Chris was sitting at home all alone while eating a microwavable dinner between gameswhen it struck him “Amy and I haven’t been on a date in seven months” he felt depressed. He was torn between ‘not’ disappointing his kids and allowing tensions to rise in his marriage. “Oh well, Amy will be fine” he convinced himself.
Amy wasn’t fine. If only Chris would have called a ‘family meeting’. If only he would have sat down with Amy and had a discussion.
The months passed by. Spring turned into summer, autumn soon became winter. Every sport had a grip on their schedule while they faded apart and didn’t realize it. Amy was really acting funny one night when Chris was trying to schedule a date. “Im busy that night” she replied. “How about the next night?” he asked politely. “No, that won’t work. We’re fine. I need to go see my sister out of town that weekend so just let it be”.
Chris was confused. Amy didn’t have a pattern of talking to her sister very often. He noticed Amy had gone cold as ice when it came to affection and every time he tried to hold her hand she would pull away.
He started to do some detective work and looked at her phone records. He noticed many calls coming in and going out to an unfamiliar number so he called it. It was a man’s voice. His heart sank. Quickly he hung up.
He soon discovered she was fully entangled in a love affair with another man.
After months of counseling their marriage was fully restored. They discovered where the train went off the tracks. They prioritized their kids wants over the marriage needs.
Marriages are demanding. If couples prioritize kids over the marriage, the marriage crumbles which damages the kids.
IF YOU REALLY WANT TO HELP YOUR CHILD focus on your marriage. As goes your marriage goes your family and it’s dreams.
THREE STEPS TO PRIORITIZE YOUR MARRIAGE
KEEP A BALANCED SCHEDULE
I get it. Your schedule is ‘crazy’. I hear it all the time. Who’s isn’t?
That which is most important to you ‘gets done’. Some how we find a way to get the stuff that matters done. Why not schedule the things that are priority. Kids actually value a parent saying “NO, we can’t come to that game because we are going on a date”. They are comforted by your marriage being a priority. You are teaching them the chain of importance.
SCHEDULE DATE NIGHTS
One date night per month can do wonders for your marriage. Making that a priority is like shouting out “MY MARRIAGE MATTERS”. They don’t have to be elaborate or costly. Simply tune out the busy life for one night and focus on each other. Use our ‘date night’ discovery cards to spice up conversation. They help you navigate into great talks when on a date. Often parents end up talking about kids and work all night, defeating the purpose of connecting with each other.
SCHEDULE ONE ‘GET AWAY’ PER YEAR
If possible try to break away from your life for one weekend or even a week to re-connect to each other. Go camping or a bed and breakfast. Often we need more than a date night to escape our phones and the pressure of our crazy lives. Find a place you both like and invest in each other. If applicable, make it a time of intimacy and romance. Map it out with detail. Prepare each other for expectations and have fun.
The bottom line: MARRIAGE IS WORK. I understand you would lay down your life for your child and often your child demands all you have. I think at times your child’s needs come before your own. The problem begins when you stay there. Your child’s wants shouldn’t come before your marriage needs. That’s where real trouble begins.
Follow these steps to a healthy marriage and your children will be blessed times 1000.
Train up a child in the way he should go;
Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Train your child about God. Train your child about the importance of marriage. Show them how to balance life. One day, they too will be married. They will most likely do what mom and dad did.
Go and be different.
Matt and Pam