Divorce to Remarriage: Stop! Couple Time!
Divorce is a crazy time in everyone’s life. Once we’re able to move forward into a new relationship and begin thinking about remarriage, life may begin to feel more comfortable. But, this is a relationship just like any relationship and it requires regular maintenance. But how do we fit that maintenance in, with everything else that needs our attention?
The answer lies in the simple truth of time. Not just “quality time”, but also in the quantity of time you invest. Why do you think it is important to carve out a quantity of time, rather than just to focus on quality time? All of us got tricked a few years back when the whole “quality time” craze hit. We were deceived into thinking that as long as the time spent was good, it didn’t matter how much of it occurred. Well let me tell you, that just doesn’t work! You need both.
The quantity of time you spend together needs to be an amount that both members of the couple are comfortable with. Typically, women require more time with their partners than men do, but not always! Make sure that you both communicate openly with one another about how much time you need. Our individual requirements may vary from time to time as well, depending on what’s going on in our lives at the time.
If you catch yourself:
- Assuming the worst about your partner
- Resenting other activities they are involved in
- Or being grumpier than usual toward your partner
Odds are your quantity of time need isn’t being met. Share that with your partner in a loving way. Don’t complain about the other things they do, but instead focus on what your needs are. It’s real easy to blow off, “You never make time for me! You’re always doing ______!” Saying “I’m finding myself really missing you, and wonder how we can change things a little so we can have more time together” is a much better approach. Now let’s take a look at the quality time issue. Just because you spend a lot of time together, doesn’t mean you feel close. Sitting on a couch watching 2 hours of TV together doesn’t necessarily increase your intimacy. Think about things that your partner has done for you in the past that really meant a lot to you. I don’t mean the $100 dollar meal and diamonds afterward, or the surprise tickets to your favorite team’s game. Think about the everyday things.
- Sending e-mails in the middle of the day to say “hi”
- That little not you find laying around the house
- Cooking together
Those are the little quiet moments that draw couples closer together and create a history all their own. Again, I caution you to be careful in discussing this with your partner. Focus on your needs again, don’t just point out what they aren’t doing. Remember the point of all of this is to draw you closer to your partner and continue strengthening your relationship. Getting into these patterns now, before the wedding, will only make your marriage stronger. Remember, once the “I Do’s” occur, it’s not just the two of you and your relationship you’ll be juggling. It’s an entire step family filled with kids, ex’s, and everyday responsibilities that will be pulling you in different directions. If you don’t have these important relationship skills in place beforehand, you’ll just be adding another stressor into the pot.
Alyssa is a Consultant & Counselor for Transitioning Moms – moms whose children are older and don’t need them as much anymore.