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March 27, 2007 / missknowitall

Keeping The Spark Alive

Dear Little Miss,

My husband is in his last term of graduate school and is very busy with work, school, and family.  Money is tight because we are living off students loans. We have two young daughters and don’t have a lot of time for us. Any advice on inexpensive ways to keep that “spark” alive. Thanks a million.

Love,
Tired but Happy!

Dear Tired But Happy,

I know exactly where you are coming from.  When my husband was in grad school he would leave at 7am and get home at 8pm.  There was just enough time for dinner, 15 minutes playing with the kids and putting them to bed, then he would kiss me good night and promptly fall asleep.  You are exactly right that you need to keep the “spark” alive.  My husband and I found a solution by starting what we call “The Two Minute Rule”.  If at any time during the day/evening we feel that we need some undivided attention we call “two minutes”.  Upon calling two minutes EVERYTHING must stop or be put on hold while we escape to a quiet room (or at least close the door and let the kids scream for a bit) and we hold each other and just focus on each other.  If the other person has things they need to get back to they can do so at the end of the two minutes and the one who called the two minutes is not allowed to try and make it last longer.  We still use this to this day and it has seen us through tough days at work, and times when I’ve been overly involved in my personal projects.  I am very careful not to abuse this privilege and only use it when I really need it.  This works because two minutes is really nothing, it’s the same amount of time as a potty break.  Everyone stops for potty breaks no matter how stressed or busy they are, so of course they can take that time to hold their marriage together.  It is also great because there are wonderful times when the two minutes turn into ten minutes, or half an hour.   

Other things you can do to keep the spark alive:

Slip a little love note into his wallet before he leaves the house.  Send love notes to his email.  Do him special favors now and then that show him you care (suprise him with an ironed shirt, take out the garbage for him, take his suit to the cleaners, let him sleep in on Saturday, etc.).   Wake up early with him and see him out the door with a kiss.  Have the kids ready to meet him with excitement, hugs, and kisses when he comes home. 

Keep that “spark” alive so you can enjoy the moments of “raging inferno” =) 

Miss Knowitall 

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