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5 Ways to Get Your Spouse to Spend Time with You

Unfortunately, whining seldom works. Neither does asking why your spouse has too little time for you or talking about what other couples are doing together. So, how can you get some more quality time together?

  1. Make your request specific. Suggest a particular event or activity at a particular time. "I would like to hike around the lake on Saturday morning, and I would love for you to join me; are you available then?

  2. Choose something you both are likely to enjoy. Save the things you want your mate to try for a period when you spend lots of time together.

  3. Make it a Strengths Date. Choose something that brings out your best self and your spouse's best self. For an avid learner, make it a museum or lecture or tour. Skydiving or spelunking work for someone with lots of curiosity and courage. Go to a party or a gala with a mate with really high social intelligence. Make it an art opening if one of you thrives on appreciating beautiful things. Invite a courageous mate with a love of life for some white water rafting, Suggest a volunteer activity like housebuilding, feeding the poor, or playing with hospitalized kids for a big-hearted spouse or a natural leader.

  4. Be completely present in whatever you do. Leave your cell phone with someone who can handle any emergencies. Don't discuss bills or childcare issues. Be fully there, listening, affirming, encouraging, and enjoying your beloved.

  5. Savor the good times. Take photos, record sounds, make a sketch, or pick up a souvenir, and put your reminders somewhere where they will lead the two of you to recall the great time you had together. If there were bad times, too, let them fade away as you recall the good ones.

Spending time together matters. It weaves the threads that make you a couple. It makes you happier, and happier spouses last longer. If quality time is the primary Love Language for either of you, it is so satisfying. If it's not, it still reminds you what a wonderful person you married.

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Patty Newbold is a widow who got it right the second time...

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