Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Marriage Rut

Please stick around and comment on this one, we need the infinite wisdom of the internets!

A friend and I were talking, and we have a burning question for all of you...what do you do at night with your significant other, after the kids have gone to bed (like from 9-10:30)?  We both have closely spaced children (less than 2 years apart), and it just seems like there is so little opportunity to have actual QUALITY time with our husbands.  

I think, like many things in marriage, the marriage rut in which you both feel like there's nothing to dooooooooo together comes in cycles.  Right now, I feel pretty okay with the quality of our time together.  This is what works for us:
  • Justin stopped gaming in the basement and started gaming in our bedroom and the living room.  This was pretty key for us.  I think the physical distance was causing emotional distance, and it's nice for us to hang out in the same room, even if he's playing games and I'm reading blogs or whatever.  
  • We got those dorky pillows with the armrests for our bed, and sometimes we play on our separate idevices or read or watch tv together while hanging out in bed, like the old fogeys we are.  
  • We started being more selective about the shows we watch together.  Instead of watching all the things (and at least one of us being bored 95% of the time), we pick one show at a time and watch an entire season.  Only watching shows we both really like also (mostly) prevents me from falling asleep 5 minutes in.  Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, and Orange is the New Black are all up next on our agenda.  
  • Sometimes we play mindless games like yahtzee or skipbo while watching tv, which also helps keep me awake.  
  • Now that the girls are a bit older, we pick family activities that we are all interested in.  Then even trips to the museum are kind of like dates...with our kids there.
  • We go on mini coffee dates at the mall.  There is a play area that the girls LOVE right next to a Starbucks, so we grab coffee and sit and talk while the kids play.  Every once in a while one of us has to get up to break up a fight or chase Lucia because it's HILARIOUS to make a run for it, but otherwise it's sort of like a date. 
  • We make sure to go on one ACTUAL date sans kids per month.
  • I find that having a balanced "alone time" situation is just as important in marriage satisfaction as having quality together time.  I make sure that I get to go to book club or run or go to bloggy gatherings just as often as Justin gets to go to LAN parties or golf.  If I'm thoroughly enjoying my me time, I don't feel bad about just vegging out and watching tv during married people time.  
  • Speaking of married people time...don't skip on the nookie.
So that's basically it for me.  When you look at that list, you will notice that we don't really have a lot of QUALITY time after the kids go to bed, or really much quality ALONE time at all beyond our one date a month.  During the time slot we are interested in (9-10:30 pm), hubs and I are either hanging out separately but together, or watching tv.
So what do you guys do?  I thought about how Lacey and John started an etsy shop together, or how some couples do home improvement type stuff, or the 52 dates thing Jessica is doing.  Then my ideas got really lame after that.  I actually suggested that they could do a fucking PUZZLE.  Surely you guys can do better than that.  Comment below please!!!


Pirate Flag & Island Girl said...

I don't have kiddos, of course, but Brian and I have started running together on Sundays in preparation for the race we're both running in October. It's nice because we're together(ish) on these runs and the post-exercise exhilaration of doing something nice for our bodies makes us happy (after it's over, of Then we do brunch together and it's nice to continue to spend time together.

I know it won't work exactly this way with your kids, but some kind of a weekly exercise might tire them out enough to make brunch a more favorable activity/give you an opportunity to spend some quieter kid time together! Of course my child knowledge is limited, but I figured I'd offer the thought!

Kara Keenan said...

At the risk of sounding like the "I'll make him 300 sandwiches and then he'll marry me" type of woman, I cultivated an interest in baseball. There are 162 games in a regular baseball season. It runs April- September, with playoffs into October. That gives us a lot to talk about and watch companionably. We also take home a lot of work from our jobs, and will both crash out on the living room floor working on P&Ls. It's totes romantic.

On the weekends, we try to find things to do that will get the kids out of the house and let them burn off steam, so that we can watch a Redbox movie or HBO movie of the week with minimal interruptions.

Many week nights, I'll feed the kids early, and then we'll have dinner alone later.

Also, we send our kids to Massachusetts to my Mom's house for six weeks during every summer. It's seriously a marriage saver. We can go out, or hang at the house. Even go on vacation sans children, and it is WONDERFUL.

Lacey said...

Ha! Yeah, we DID have an Etsy shop together, but we took it down once we moved into the new house. Too many house projects so no more time for that!

You guys do WAY better than us it seems. After bedtime, I lay in bed and Facebook or Candy Crush, and he usually watches TV in the living room. We used to do games like Yahtzee or Skipbo too, but he won't ever play anymore. Hmph. At most, we do the home improvement stuff together. But, we still like each other, so there's that, right?

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

In our house, sometimes it just ends at bedtime (our son is a night owl; we are not; sometimes our bedtimes all align and that's just fine with us).

On most nights, however, we plop down in front of the TV. Sweets gets to watch his junk (err, favorite sitcoms) while I put Gavin to sleep. Once I'm done with that, we flip to shows that we both like. Sometimes I'll catch up on FB during that time. Sometimes we'll fold laundry. Sometimes we both just zone out. We also try to get out without the little person once a month. And, I make it a mission to get our whole family out of the house a lot ... could be a walk to the park/playground, a romp around the forest preserve, plans with friends ... whatever, so long as we're all enjoying life a bit together.

Mama Tully said...

I'm not sure how I initially missed this post, but I find it very interesting! We are pretty good about finding time together....well, as good as we can considering we have 3 kids under aged 4. I think the last couple months of pregnancy and the first couple months of newborn-land are the hardest on us as a couple. I am just soooo tired during that time and I want to go to bed as soon as my kids are asleep. But Walker finally started going to bed at a reasonable hour and these days we have all 3 kids in bed by 7 pm (W doesn't sleep through the night - AT ALL - but at least it gives me some time at night without him literally ON ME). Aaaanyway, my husband usually doesn't get home until close to 6:30 or 7, which is when the kids go to sleep, so we usually eat dinner together after the kids are in bed. Then we watch TV together. We have a list of maybe 6 or so shows that we DVR and only watch together. Not terribly exciting time together, but hey, it's something! And just recently we are back on the date night bandwagon....woohooo!!! We have a sitter who can handle all 3 bambinos so we are going out on a date one night every weekend these days. It's awesome! And yes, of course the nookie...we try to keep that spicy and not infrequent ;)