Be honest with yourself and me. This is the part of the article you don’t even read. Most of you, like me, skip straight to the parts that have a bold header.
So I’ll spare you my unpacking of the tensions that are happening with the collision of marriage and coronavirus. You’re living it. Let’s just jump to the bold stuff, before you have to put a tranquilizer dart in your spouse’s neck for doing that gargantuanly annoying, “thing” again.
1. You can be hard to live with, too
Like you, your spouse is under all sorts of stressors. From working from home to homeschooling to the economy to lack of hand-sanitizer to having to live with you, the struggle is real.
When they mess up, ease up. Don’t care quite so much about the way they deal with the kids, their towels on the floor, their way of managing to slurp through every bite of their cereal. Give them the grace you need now or are going to need soon.
2. You don’t like mean people either
Shaunti Feldhaun—Harvard graduate, social researcher, speaker, and best- selling author—revealed in a massive study that the most important thing in a marriage is kindness.
In her 30-Day Kindness Challenge, we are instructed to say something kind and do something kind for 30 days. Now that you aren’t wasting all your kindness on your co-workers and strangers, give it all to your spouse and expect nothing in return.
You know how to be kind, you do it every day. You may be surprised how staggering helpful small doses of kindness can be for your marriage.
3. You’re weird, too
Some couples have a lot of differences. Every couple has some differences.
Some of you are stressed your spouse is not stressed enough about the coronavirus.
Some of you are stressed because your spouse is too stressed.
Some of you hate this time has messed-up your structure.
Others are thrilled daily hygiene is optional.
Don’t roll your eyes at your spouse. Look at their face. It’s harder to be frustrated with your person when you re-see the face you promised to love. They may be a LOT to deal with, but so are you.
There’s no better way to draw your spouse to you than accepting them, all of them. They need your acceptance now more than ever.
4. You can be NOT FUN, too
I fully understand the coronavirus is serious. How in the world could we ever forget? The reminders are everywhere. But too much news causes too much stress. Too much stress weakens your immune system.
So, for the sake of doing your part, try to be at least semi-fun. You don’t have to do stand-up, but at least tell a few dad jokes. Lock your spouse out of the house and make her dance to get back in. Walk behind the couch and pretend you are walking down non-existent steps.
And for all that is holy, if your spouse does or says something remotely funny, laugh!
5. You are not GOD either
Instead of trying to convince your spouse to stop being or doing that thing they are doing, or asking them to give you that thing they are withholding, step back, step away, and just pray.
When we spend time with Him, we become more like Him. Plus, it takes a whole lot of pressure off our spouse to be God-size. They are having a tough enough time being human-size.
I don’t know how God speaks to you, but ever since this cluster started, I’ve had this song stuck in my head, “He’s got the whole world in His hands.” And He does. Period. No matter what. Spend time with Him. Talk to Him. He is crazy about you. Don’t forget it. When we don’t forget, the people around us will always benefit.
We can do this married people! I promise. How are you protecting your marriage from the Coronavirus?
For an inexpensive date, this is something you could prepare for your spouse. (I think it works best as a surprise prepared by one person for the other, but I’m sure you could adjust it so the surprises are shared.)
BEFORE DATE NIGHT
Choose a sense (taste, hearing, seeing, touch, smell) that you’d like to focus on.
Choose five locations to have a different activity – it might be different rooms in your house, outside your house, parks, shopping centre cafes, etc.
Pick a particular activity for each place, and prepare it.
Hide it in that location, or in the car boot, or on your person somewhere.
Decide how much you need to tell them so they can be prepared (eg right clothing, right equipment, right shoes, etc)
ON DATE NIGHT
Announce there are five activities (mention the type of activity if you want), and ask them to spin the dice to see what order they are to be done in.
Example 1: For the sense of hearing, we choose five rooms in which we dressed up in different crazes of our life (eg sixties leather jackets, reggae, chubby checker, etc) and did a different karaoke rendition in each room – for an extra giggle, we dressed up for each period (everyone has some of their old clothes right right back in the cupboard, right?) Have a look at our intro video for this one!! – see below.
Example 2: One of us put different board games in different rooms, hid them so they weren’t obvious but quickly bought out, rolled the dice, and let the evening roll where it may.
Example 3: For the sense of taste, try a new different food the other hasn’t tried, with mood lighting included, in each room.
All content copyright 2018 Greg & Kathy Weller
Many, many, years ago Anne and I went to the same primary school at Shorncliffe. I knew of her but didn’t know her, as she was much older than I, being in the class above. We also lived in adjacent suburbs, only about 1.5kms away. We attended the same church, but she was in a different Sunday school class, as she was much, much older than I. So I didn’t really acknowledge her, after all she was a girl.
However once we were older and in youth group and then young adults, well… I sure noticed her, but she didn’t notice me because I was much, much younger than her. I thought Anne was the most beautiful creature on earth, however why would she be interested in me I was a Junior Forestry Trainee with a clapped out Datsun 1600 and she was going out with many many older guys from Young adults who all had promising careers, with great big beautiful cars…or so it seemed to me!
Then one weekend, we all went to a church camp, and at that camp we had a disco at night.
Well my best mate, his sister happened to be Anne, and I said to him shyly, “Hey mate, do you think I could ask Anne up for a dance?” He laughed and said, “Don’t ask me, go ask her.” So I plucked up the courage, because she really was so much more sophisticated than I and older (one year) and so I swallowed hard and asked her to dance. She said YES what a surprise! Well, as soon as we got up to dance, unbeknownst to me, one of my mates put on a slow romantic waltz and so, once I got this beautiful young woman in my arms, the rest is history.
This month we have been married for 45 years. I must say, my beautiful Annie is “my Special Angel sent from God above.”
That’s how we met!
Keith & Anne
If you enjoyed Keith & Anne’s story, why not email in your story, so we can paste it here??
All content copyright Keith and Anne 2018
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