Would you describe your marriage as strong? How about healthy? Or, what about sexy? I think for most of us married folks our hope when we took our vows on our wedding day was that we would have a strong, healthy, and sexy marriage for a long time.
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But the reality is that when you throw kids into the mix, you can easily lose focus for each other. You’re both so busy focusing on the little humans you created while having that sexy marriage that you forget to keep at least a little bit of that focus for each other.
My husband and I are totally guilty of allowing this to happen in our marriage. We celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary this month. We went out to dinner and had what we lovingly refer to as our “annual review.” I always tell my husband in a mock serious tone that we need to determine whether we will be renewing our contract for another year. So far, we’ve renewed it every time!
But this year, we decided to set some serious goals for our marriage. We both felt that we have not been spending enough time focused on each other. I’ll talk more about the goals we set a little later on.
But in all seriousness, our marriages are so dependent on intentionally making time for each other. Ladies, we need to seriously spend time focused on building up the strength of our marriages if we want them to last for the long haul.
Our marriage is the relationship that we hope will see us into old age or whatever it is that life throws our way. Our spouse is the person who we will look at us when we’re old and wrinkly at 80 but who will remember us when we were young and vibrant at 30.
It’s no joke that time does speed up once you have kids. I feel as though my husband and I spent more time together during the first three years of our childless marriage than we have during the last six years of our child-filled marriage. There are many reasons for that but a huge factor, of course, is that much of our non-work time is devoted to taking care of our two
little rugrats adorable children.
But, if you’re like me, and you yearn for that strong, healthy, and, yes, sexy marriage, you have to be intentional about making time for each other before it’s too late. Because before you know it, a whole decade or two or three will have flown by and you somehow never found that time to invest in each other.
So that brings me back to the goals my husband and I set for each other for this tenth year of our marriage.
I’m a big fan of having a review system for nearly everything. My life is busy and full and hectic and to avoid getting lost in the day-to-day tasks I prefer to have clear, written goals on everything that is important to me. Although my husband likes to tease me about all of my checklists and worksheets, he agrees with me on the basic goals we’ve set for our marriage.
A Review System For A Healthy Marriage
I lovingly refer to these goals as our Review System for A Healthy Marriage. If you’ve read my series on creating an Evernote Review System, then the idea of a review system may sound familiar.
This “review system” for a healthy marriage includes four essential parts: a daily review, a weekly review, a monthly review, and an annual review.
The Daily Review
Connecting with your spouse each day is probably the most important part of this review system. I’ve even included a section in the Daily Inspiration Planner I created (you can download it using the form below) where you can reflect on whether you’ve connected with your husband each day. This daily check-in on the health of your marriage will help you to be more intentional about connecting with your spouse.
This daily connection can include different things, but it means that you had a meaningful communication with your spouse. That communication may have been a simple but heartfelt hug and kiss, a compliment, time spent talking with each other, watching a movie or, that’s right, having sex.
The Weekly Review
So my husband isn’t that excited when I use terms like “review” or “system” because he thinks it sounds too corporate. And I get that, but I’m a small business owner, and I have to admit that I have a hard time not thinking and speaking like a business owner. But to appease my husband, I came up with a different name for our weekly review. We now call it our “Beer and Budget” meeting. He’s much happier with this name change.
We have it calendared as a recurring event on our shared family calendar (we use Google Calendar). This weekly review is where we check in with each other to see how we can support each other for the week, check our calendars to make sure they align, talk about our meal plan for the week, and discuss how we’re doing with our budget.
This weekly business meeting is critical, so we don’t run into any unwelcome surprises during the week. But it’s also nice to be able to work together towards a common goal — the health of our family.
The Monthly Review
The monthly review (AKA Date Night) is the time where we get to relax and have fun with each other. I have to admit that we haven’t always done a great job of keeping our date night, but we’re getting better at it.
I’ve added this date night as a recurring event on our shared family calendar, so I can be reminded to talk to my husband about what we’d like to do and make reservations.
Honestly, I’m not a fan of the term “date night.” We all have our quirks, right? But I just don’t think of this as dating. I’ve already dated my husband. I think of this night more as relationship-building, but there’s no way my husband is going to let me call our date night a “relationship-building night.”
If you have any bright ideas on a better name for date night, I’d love to hear from you below!
The Annual Review
This brings me to what I like to call our annual review. The annual review is the time to set goals for your marriage for the year.
Once my husband and I have established our goals, we can account for them in our daily, weekly, and monthly review – connect with each other daily, have a weekly business meeting, and go on monthly date nights.
But this year we’ve also decided to take at least a 2-day vacation without the kids. A vacation without the kids is a really big deal for us. And, truthfully, we haven’t put it on the calendar yet. We’re not quite sure who will watch the kids. But I think this might be a job for the grandparents. We just need to convince them that it’s a good idea. Any suggestions?
What are some ways you are keeping your marriage strong, healthy, and sexy? Even though you may not call it a review system, I’d love to hear your ideas on how you connect with your spouse in the comments section below.