Life Can Get Busy. How Do We Keep The Spark Alive & Make Time For Each Other?Feb 05, 2023
In today's video post, I am answering a relationship question.
Hi, my name is Jenny Morrow 17 year marriage Therapist and Relationship Coach. And today I'm here answering your relationship questions. So let's dive into this one.
"I feel like my relationship with my wife has become stale and unfulfilling. With our busy schedules, we hardly have any quality time together. Even when we're in the same room, it seems like we're both too exhausted to engage with each other. Our conversations are limited to discussing household chores and work tasks. This lack of intimacy and connection is taking a toll on our relationship. And I feel like we're growing apart.
I miss the passion and excitement we once had for each other. I long for the days when we could spend hours talking and laughing, simply enjoying each other's company. But with work and family demands, it seems like those moments are becoming few and far between. I feel like I'm losing the woman, the woman I fell in love with. And I don't know how to bring her back.
I know that life can be busy, but I don't want to lose the love of my life. How do we reignite the spark and bring back the intimacy and connection we once had?"
Okay, good question. And thanks for sending this in. And I've got a few other questions with a similar theme. So I may integrate and bring in a couple other questions as well. So I, I like to sit with questions when they come in, and see when I'm sitting with them in a more meditative presence-oriented way, what stands out to me? what pops for me?
And what stood out to me in this question is this phrase, "I know that life can be busy." And I just felt really curious. If I was coaching with this person, I would be very curious to dive into where that belief came from where it started. And I think it's something that a lot of us can relate to, and, and then find out what are you talking about here? What are the numbers here?...I know that life can be busy 10% of the time? I know that life can be busy 50% 80% 90% 99% of the time?
So a lot of us have experiences where we are modeled a certain way of living by our family. But we're also modeled it in culture and media, by other families. And we start to create these stories about how life is. And one of the stories that's very common in the culture here in the United States. For those who are here is there is very much this story that it's very normal, as an adult, to create a life that is busy.
So it's one thing to say "I know that life can be busy," And what I would do here is I would shift it and I would say "I have chosen to create a life that is busy."
And the reality is we all only have a certain amount of time, I think we have 160-Something hours a week, 168 maybe hours week. So by the time you sleep by the time you work, by the time you feed yourself or feed dependents, children, all of these things, they start to add up. And it becomes really, really important that we start to take ownership of "I am choosing how I spend my time and my energy." And you might be choosing it for a variety of reasons, you might be choosing it because it's what brings you a certain amount of financial gain. It's what brings you a certain amount of feeling like you're doing your duty, it's what brings you a certain amount of accolades in your work, or it's what brings you a certain amount of praise in your social groups.
And I'm also going to assume that there's an average level of privilege here. So as long as you're not bedridden, and sick, or as long as you have some choice over certain aspects of your life. Most of us, I would say the majority of us are choosing to live a busy life, if that's what's happening. It's not that life can just be busy and you're just stuck in this thing. It's that you're actually agreeing to a certain type of life and a certain type of story.
So the reason why that stood out is because this is a theme I get in questions and there was another question that came through that was kind of similar theme. I won't read the whole question but they asked, "How do we prioritize each other and make time for each other no matter how busy our schedules may be?"
So it's a similar type of question, which is like, how do we get this spark back? How do we create the connection we want? How do we get the intimacy we want? Not just physically, but also emotionally, right? How do we experience those things, while we continue to live these very busy lives?
And my belief is that first, you start to see that you're choosing the busyness to start to question is that what you actually value most? And if deeply connecting with someone, and doing what you would actually have to do to bring the spark back in a committed long term, monogamous relationship (which is different than the spark of a novel, short term, quick, passionate moment)...
you know, when you want to actually have that experience, it actually takes time, it actually takes attention. And in order to give someone or something attention, and receive it, we have to have space for it. And it requires that resource of time. So while you may choose that there are some things in your life that are important to do, and that you want to take time for and schedule in. This is one thing that has to be given space and time. And there's a variety of ways to hold yourself accountable to that.
Bryce, and I work with couples who will come in and see us, and part of the reason they come in and see us is because if they're paying a certain amount of money, to schedule an appointment, and be there, then holds them accountable to having this one-on-one time, where they really get to give each other attention. So that's one thing that happens when you do something like relationship coaching, or marriage therapy is that it's actually a chance to attend to each other.
And what you can do is just tell your coach or your therapist, let them know this is a part of our goal. It's not just about, or maybe it's not about crisis management at all, it might just be we want to have an hour, every other week, where we come in, and we're actually attending to each other in a deeply emotional way, in a way that's really attentive.
Scheduling date nights, hiring a babysitter, right, it's hard to back out when you actually do the prep and plan the things and make it happen. And it takes both people being committed to that, because it's a lot of work. And it can be a lot of energy, and it can cost money. And so it's important to know that it's important for both of us to be on board here.
And then to remember that you only have so much resource, you only have so much time, we all have so much money. We all have a certain amount of resources, we all have a certain amount of energy. You get to decide where your time where your energy, and where your financial resources go. And some people are going to feel like they don't have any choice over that...it's going to feel like it's just this tiny little pin dot like this is how much choice I have, and it just hardly any.
Some people are going to experience themselves as having more choice. But the key is whatever level that is, if you can come into the present moment, and say, Okay, here's what we've got. And with what we have, we get to make these choices. A lot of people say they really, really, value their marriage, but they put very little of their attention, energy, time and resources, financial resources or otherwise into their marriage, but they put a lot of their resources towards a lot of other things.
I don't believe it's really possible to bring back the spark, and the intimacy, and the connection, you once had in the early days, at later stages of a marriage, without actually taking the time, and energy, and using your resources to create experiences where you actually attend to each other, and spend time in each other's presence more deeply.
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