I’m taking part in blogging about the 40 day Love Dare hosted by Tausha over at Tausha.O. A different blogger has taken a day of the dare and blogged about it. I’ll admit that I haven’t done all 38 days of the Dare but I have been following along with the bloggers. I picked day 38 talking about dreams because The Man and I recently attended a marriage enrichment retreat. One of the things we talked about was dreams. Not in depth and kind of in passing actually but some of what was said has stayed with me and I’d like to share it with you.
To back up a little though, the theme of the retreat was Distracted Marriage. During the weekend we talked about way to minimize distractions. We identified what our personal distractions are and then how we can minimize them so we can give our marriage the attention it deserves. Sometimes I think marriage can get so comfortable that you start to take it for granted. I remember when The Man and I were dating how much we would talk about anything and everything. One of the topics we discussed often (and I often wrote to him while he was deployed) were dreams we had, individually and as a couple. The you get married and maybe you have a kid or two and life gets in the way. Talking is often confined to things about the kids or work or the house. As we grow and change, we often stop talking with our spouse about the kinds of things we talked about while we were dating or in early marriage. Our dreams are one of those topics that often fall by the wayside.
We should keep talking about our dreams with our spouse because as we get older they tend to change. The dreams I have now are not the same as when The Man and I started dating. Some of them have been realized together, like buying a house and having kids. Others have changed, like what I want to be when I grow up. The Man’s dreams have changed too. Some of them I would have never figured out without him telling me, others aren’t hard to figure out. So the advice from the retreat? Talk about it! I know, easier said than done sometimes.
It can be hard to make time to really talk with your spouse. But scheduling a regular time to get together where you can focus and just talk the two of you are important. Maybe it’s one morning a week where you get up early and have coffee and/or breakfast together. Maybe you and your spouse can have a standing lunch date. If your kids are older, have them clear the table after dinner while you and your spouse grab 20-30 minutes to reconnect (yay for child labor!) Communication is so important and carving out time in your schedule and in your life for you and your spouse to connect and communicate are key. Having a regular date night, either by going out or staying in can help too. Just craving out that time is so, so important. Once you’re carved it out, guard it. Make sure it happens. Budget a babysitter (maybe trade babysitting with friends so you each can have a date night?!) and put away distractions while your together. Turn off the cell phone or maybe leave it at home so you’re not tempted to look at it while you’re together.
Once you have the channels of communication open, you can share those deep things, including dreams. While I like the idea of the dare, to pray for and help realize a dream that you think your spouse has, I think an even more valuable exercise would be to ask and know what your spouse dreams of doing/accomplishing/achieving. Once you know that, you can pray and map out that plan to help them reach their dream. I think working towards something you know they want is better than working towards something you think they want.