Marriage Monday: Stop Making Excuses

Last Monday we talked about the value of “checking in” based upon the book Your Spouse Isn’t The Person You Married by Paul and Teri Reisser.  Today’s Marriage Monday is about the need to stop making excuses and start doing the things we need to do in our marriage.

Jill says…
Last Fall Mark and I were given the gift of a portable rental hot tub to use for a couple of months. (We didn’t even know you could rent hot tubs…but you can!) We were determined to use it every night since we would only have it for a limited time.

Mark says…
Each night after our boys would go to bed, Jill and I would head out to the hot tub to talk and talk and talk.  We began to look forward to our nightly conversations that took us away from listening ears, away from the television and the computer.

Jill says…
When we went to the Blessing Ranch last November for a week, each day we processed life and the upcoming ministry change we were navigating with John Walker, our counselor for the week.  Throughout the week Mark and I kept referring to conversations we’d had in the hot tub that fall.  After our fourth or fifth reference to a hot tub conversation, John finally said, “Hey guys, I know that a hot tub seems like a luxury, but I’m thinking for you guys it just may be a necessity.”

Mark says…
We laughed at the thought, especially in light of our upcoming transition where we would lose 75% of our income.  Throughout this past year Jill and I continued our talk time to the best of our ability, but mid-year we both said, “I miss our hot tub time.”

Jill says…
We felt there was no way we could ever consider a hot tub in our current economic situation, but we knew what we had experienced last fall had strengthened our marriage in huge ways.  We decided to start praying about a hot tub and Mark began earnestly searching the internet…we just couldn’t imagine that we could find something we could actually afford.

Mark says…
One day I was checking on Craig’s List and I found a hot tub for $200.  It was located in Southern Wisconsin (we live in Central IL) so it was about 5 hours from our home.  A friend and I made a road trip to get it.  Once we got it home, I was able to build a base mostly from wood we already had. It’s an older model that’s not fancy at all, but it works just fine for us!

Jill says…
Now every night, Mark and I have our “checking in” time to download what we are thinking and feeling out under the stars…even in 20 degree weather!  We love it!

Mark says...
Jill and I do a lot of marriage mentoring and in doing so, we hear a lot of excuses: we can’t date because we don’t have the time, we can’t be intimate because the kids sleep in our bed, we can’t talk because we’re too tired, we can’t….because…you fill in the blanks.

We almost fell into that ourselves…”We can’t have our talk time outside because we can’t afford a hot tub.”  And certainly that might still be the excuse we were using if we didn’t find what we longed for in our price range.  However, even if we didn’t ever find a hot tub that we could afford, we might still be making excuses for not having our much-needed “checking in” time rather than finding a way to make it happen.

Jill says…
We all make excuses and those excuses keep us from moving forward.  It’s time for all of us to stop making excuses and start doing the things we need to do to nurture our marriage.  For some of us that means making an appointment with a counselor to get the help we need.  For others it means setting a regular date night that we plan for and protect.  And some of us need to figure out how to have a weekly “check in” time to talk and share and stay connected to our spouse.

What about you?  What are you willing to stop making excuses for in order to start moving forward in your marriage? 

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3 Responses to Marriage Monday: Stop Making Excuses

  1. Anonymous says:

    I enjoyed it very much! I'm gonna send this article to my husband:)

  2. Erin says:

    ouch! you are right – it's 'easier' to make excuses – though it DEFINITELY doesn't actually help anything. Thanks for this post!

  3. Llama Momma says:

    This is such great advice, Jill!! When we begin to really desire intimacy with our spouse, and pray for God to help us with it, it's amazing how He provides.

    Last year, right around this time, our neighbor was killed in a car accident. His wife is left with two young children, and a heavy load of grief. In our conversations this past year, I asked her if she had any regrets. Only one: that she and her husband didn't carve out more time for eachother. They always thought they'd do it "later" when the kids got older…they'd date then.

    Her words hit home with me. My husband and I work at having a date every week. It's a priority, instead of a luxury. Sometimes it's a coffee date, or breakfast, or just a walk. Our kids are still young, so we do babysitting swaps with friends and even occasionally pay a sitter to go out.

    I used to think we could never do it, but we're doing it. And it's paying off in so many ways. :-)

    One of my boys even said, "When I grow up and get married, I want to live close to you so you can watch my kids while I go out with my wife." (He's only 8, by the way.)