Keeping Your Marriage Strong Through Hard Times

familyAs we finish our first month of social distancing I have asked myself many times, to quote The Office, “Why are you the way that you are?” to my spouse. As I’m sure he has thought the same thing about me! 
There are so many resources with ideas for entertaining our children but not necessarily how to work together as spouses in this season. 
My husband and I both work from home and we have a three-year-old and one-year-old. He currently is working out of our basement full-time and I have stationed my work upstairs in our playroom.

After a few days of us all being home, I knew for my own well-being we had to put some really intentional guidelines around our days. There was no separation between work and play. It was all molding into the same thing making me exhausted and craving time alone.

My husband knows what triggers my anxious heart and I am so thankful for the foresight he had in creating wonderful connection points for us throughout our days. I had a season of grief with COVID-19. A season where I mourned all of the normal routines, things, and people. My husband starting asking me every day three things that really help me to process. 

3 Questions to Ask Daily

How was your workday?

Although we’re spending so much time together, we don’t necessarily have time to chat about our workdays. It is so helpful for each of us to talk about what we worked on, what we anticipate work looking like the next few days. 

How did we work as a family today?

This question helps us talk about solutions to little frustrations, whether it’s who’s making lunch or if kids were loud during a phone call. We talk about all the little things so that nothing builds up to a bigger problem. 

How are you feeling about COVID-19?

This helps us to communicate information we see during the day, our fears, and processing the lack of control we have over our daily lives. 

These questions have made me feel valued and also have helped me process my feelings and emotions in a healthy way during a very challenging season. 

We also have changed our daily routine and not necessarily adding more things. We know we can only give so much to our kids before we feel there is nothing left for one another. Here are some changes we’ve made to keep our time and marriage a priority.

How to be Intentional

We use a wake-up clock for our children. I am getting up earlier so I can have coffee and my quiet time before the chaos ensues. I am a person who thrives having productive alone time and my husband makes this a priority for me. We both know I am a better mom and wife having this time. 

Instead of falling into a TV routine at night, we have been working on house projects in the evening or sitting on our front step reading. Both of those things are life-giving to us and something we enjoy doing together.

He and I are working out alone each day. My husband runs in the morning, I go out during nap time. 

We work together to take care of the kids and house equally. Whether it is Zoom calls or projects no one’s work is more important than the others’. We communicate about the workday schedule and when we need uninterrupted time. 

We eat lunch together during quiet/nap time. Then we watch a quick show or just sit together working. 

We put our kids to bed and we have a date night in. We grill or pick up to-go from our favorite places. This creates time that isn’t about providing for our kids or working. 

There are no expectations around entertaining our kids constantly. We try to provide 1-2 engaging things for our children out of the normal right now. 

Consistently, we have held this season with an open hand and we have continued to manage our expectations for not only ourselves but also our kids. Grace and patience have been key as really we are doing things we have never done before. Every marriage and family is different and will always need different growth to make it through challenging seasons.

I want look back on these days and know we poured into each other so we could take the best care of our family we could. 

How are you keeping your marriage strong? 

Social Distancing Family Photo by Lindsey Prescott Photography



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