10 Hours…. Yes 10 hours a week. Less than 6% of the available hours that you have each week. You get 168 hours each week. How do you spend them? What takes the most of your time? Here is a rough guess.
- 40 Hours Sleeping – 7 hours a night
- 50 Hours at work – most of us work more than 40 hours
- 15 Hours Hygiene – a little over 2 hours a day.
- 20 Hours – Eating and preparing meals.
- 125 Hours total – Now this is the bear minimum you do for the basics of life
That leaves 43 hours left each week, 6 hours each day, for what matters to you most. How do you spend those? What will give you the most bang for your buck with the 43 hours you have left? Relationships are what will matter most over the span of your life. The quality of your relationships is the real health and wealth of your life. The relationship that you have with God, yourself and your spouse is what matters most. Here are 3 things you can easily do for around 10 hours a week, that will change your marriage.
The relationship that matters most is your relationship with Christ. The primary focus of your time and energy should be directed toward that relationship. The second focus is becoming the best, fullest version of yourself. Make these your hearts desire and the three ideas below will be easy.
Prayer and an Active Faith
It is hard to pull away from someone you pray with. Invite each other into your journey with God. You were not meant to walk alone. Research actually shows that being active in your faith can strengthen your marriage – particularly when researching practicing Christians.
“People who seriously practice a traditional religious faith—whether Christian or other—have a divorce rate markedly lower than the general population.
The factor making the most difference is religious commitment and practice.
What appears intuitive is true. Couples who regularly practice any combination of serious religious behaviors and attitudes—attend church nearly every week, read their bibles and spiritual materials regularly; pray privately and together; generally take their faith seriously, living not as perfect disciples, but serious disciples—enjoy significantly lower divorce rates than mere church members, the general public, and unbelievers.
Specifically, the research shows that couples who are active in their faith are much less likely to divorce. Catholic couples were 31% less likely to divorce; Protestant couples 35% less likely; and Jewish couples 97% less likely, which in itself is quite impressive, I must say.”
This information draws from research found in Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites… and Other Lies You’ve Been Told, by Bradley Wright, as well as an article by W. Bradford Wilcox and Elizabeth Williamson in American Religions and the Family.
Sexual and Non-Sexual Touch
Marriage experts Gary and Barbara Rosberg surveyed men and women about their sexual needs in the book The 5 Sex Needs of Men and Women. Men and women have different needs around touch and sex. Here are the 5 needs.
|Responsiveness of Wife||Non Sexual Touch|
|Initiation of Wife||Spiritual Intimacy|
When you touch someone you love you are acknowledging their presence and communicating your desire for them. That’s why the most successfully married couples do this often. It is very difficult to express love without some form of action. Always include touch in your action toward your spouse. Touch is a vital important part of your connection to your mate. I have been surprised at how quickly it goes away for a couple when conflict and problems set in. Make it a point to touch often in a non-sexual way. I am not going to put a number on sexual frequency or touch, but in my experience with couples it probably needs to be more than once a week.
Stay Positive and Maintain Connection
“Happy couples aren’t just spending time together because they are happy; a big part of the reason they’re happy is that they are spending time together” – Shaunti Feldhahn
You express through words and actions how important your spouse is to you. Shared experiences and friendship are the primary ways that we show importance. C.S. Lewis said of friendship: “It is when we are doing things together that friendship springs up – painting, sailing ships, praying, philosophizing, and fighting shoulder to shoulder. Friends look in the same direction.” Friendship is built on time together not shared values, similar personalities or common backgrounds. One study said couples who divorced showed that loss of initial levels of love and affection, rather than conflict, was the biggest predictor of distress and divorce. The loss of connection sends the relationship into a downward spiral, leading to increased bickering and fighting, and to the collapse of connection leading to possible divorce.
Dr. Gary Neuman in his book Why Men Cheat says “Our culture tells us that all that men need to be happy is sex, but men are emotionally driven beings too. They want their wives to show them that they’re appreciated, and they want women to understand how hard they’re trying to get things right.” I don’t think the desire to be appreciated is unique to men, women need it also, just in different ways. Men need to know they are important and appreciated. Women need to know that they are loved, safe and wanted (not for their body but for who they are).
Every relationship has to be more positive than negative to make it last. You are drawn to people that are positive and affirming to you. You are repelled by someone that is critical. Every night as you lay your head on the pillow ask yourself, “was I more positive or more negative in the way that I showed value to my mate?” I am confident if you can’t remember the ways your were intentionally positive you were unintentionally negative. It will take effort to create the habit of being more positive. Sadly most of us become more pessimistic over time. This is worth the effort because it will nurture connection. The highest predictor of divorce in research is how negative and critical a couple is to each other. Work at being positive.
I know that we all know of exceptions. Couples that tried to do these things and still ended in an affair or divorce. I am still confident that if you will make an effort in Prayer and Active Faith, Sexual and Non-Sexual Touch and Staying Positive and Maintaining Connection, you will affair and divorce proof you marriage. Yes – 10 Hours a Week to Affair and Divorce Proof Your Marriage
What do you think? Would you add or take anything away?