Combating the Threat of Overscheduling

November 3rd, 2011

Between school, work, children, hobbies, Facebook-ing, church activities, and so much more, there are not a lot of hours left in the day. In this day and age, we live in a world that is constantly staying busy and moving fast. Time is what we always need more of. And time is what can end up threatening our marriages.

William Doherty, in the book “Take Back Your Marriage,” says time is one of the biggest issues that can be a risk in our relationships. We are involved in so many things that we sometimes don’t leave enough time for our partners. We are overscheduled.

Doherty also says that each of our activities may all be good. They are healthy, worthwhile activities that are all great to be a part of. It’s good to have hobbies, it’s good to be involved in church, and it’s obviously good to spend time with your children. However, the problem lies when there is no counterbalance between all of our activities and time with our spouse. Even if we are really busy with school or work, we should still always make time to spend with one another.

Sometimes there literally are just not enough hours in the day. Especially if you are feeling like you need to always be having extravagant dates to make up for not being with each other. But even if we take the time to spend 10 minutes with our partner, it can do a world of good!

Doherty says to use the extra time you do have to be better! Instead of sitting down and watching T.V. after a stressful day, maybe invite your partner to watch a favorite show with you. Or share a bowl of ice cream and relax. Just do something together!

Another tip to combat overscheduling is to be emotionally and mentally home instead of just physically home. What I mean by this is, when you get home from a long day at work or studying, it is easy to come home and remain stressed and not think about spending time with your spouse. Instead, try to leave your work and school stresses at the door and prepare yourself to give your spouse and family the time they need to emotionally connect with them at the end of the day.

As my husband is finishing up school, it is really easy for him to bring his work home. In fact, he always brings work home hence the term “homework.” His master’s program isn’t easy and he can easily be stressed out. However, we have tried to create a stress-free atmosphere when he comes home so that we can more easily connect at the end of the day. We have our own rituals of eating dinner together, watching our favorite T.V. shows, playing with our son, giving our son his nightly bath, and then enjoying some ice cream together. This routine changes depending on the day but the basics remain the same. We take the time to be together, even if it’s just sitting with one another on the couch for 30 minutes. That small token is enough to recharge our emotional intimacy and draw closer to one another.

What are some things that vie for your attention away from your partner? How do you reconnect with each other at the end of the day?