Posted on June 23 2020
30 Minutes. That was her advice. It felt too simple. It felt like not enough. That’s it? Just 30 minutes? You’re gonna have to give me something more to work on! I need details. I need facts! I need a list to check off. But that was it, just 30 minutes.
Things were strained, jobs were stressful, the kids were a handful, pregnancy hormones were at their high, and we became two ships passing in the night. We interacted more like roommates than partners and our relationship went to the back burner. After we lost Briar, it was highly encouraged that we go to counseling. What we thought was going to be grief counseling opened the lines of communication again to find our way back to each other. We sat down and exchanged some pleasantries, talked about our experience, and then she asked about us and our interactions. It was embarrassing to admit just had rough things had gotten. Being really honest for once with ourselves of our failings and what we had allowed to become priorities over each other.
When you’re growing up, you always think about what you’re going to do in your own marriage, and definitely what you’re NOT going to do. You have all these grandiose ideas of how your marriage is going to be one to model after and then when you’re in the thick of it, you allow pride and stubbornness to get in the way of happiness.
So she said two words that have been the most important two words we’ve heard our entire marriage, 30 minutes. She said everyday take 30 minutes just for the two of you. Carve out time together in the morning before work, after dinner when the kids are occupied, or at bedtime. Put your phones down and have 30 straight minutes of uninterrupted time where you talk about life and not the kids. I’ll be honest, I was like this isn’t going to work. We have issues. We need to get to the core of them. We need to know how to communicate better, we need tools and graphs and charts. I need validation that he’s wrong and I’m right. 😊 However, we took her advice and went to dinner after and we just started talking. It was amazing what those 30 minutes opened up. It opened up dialog, and insight, empathy, and warmth that we hadn’t felt in a while. It brought us to a new chapter in our relationship to see each other in a different light.