Do you know the saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder?”
Some couples are afraid to spend time apart. They may fear that having different hobbies or interests will create a gap in their relationship or tear them apart.
This concern is not without merit. Separate activities can be enjoyed to the extreme. A partner can become so addicted to a hobby they neglect their marriage and family.
We have found that the key here is balance. Having separate hobbies and interests can bring us closer together, but only when they are encouraged and accepted by each other, with the understanding that our marriage remains the priority.
For us, spending time apart as a couple has actually made us want to be in each other’s space when we come back together. Being able to enjoy our own interests and do things that we can’t wait to tell each other about makes room for great conversation, individual growth and deeper affection for one another.
Grab your favourite drinks and watch this video about what a bi-annual skiing trip has taught us about developing close connection.
After watching the video, take turns asking and answering the following questions together. Listen actively to each other — with gentleness and humility — so you each feel heard and free to share.
- How can I encourage you to do things apart from me?
- In what ways do you think doing individual activities negatively and positively impact our relationship?
- How are we ensuring and maintaining balance in our individual activities, while still prioritizing time as a couple and as a family?
- Choose one thing that your spouse enjoys that perhaps you have never tried before or done together. Make this an activity that you do as your date. Some examples include watching your spouse’s favourite show, going to a sports game, or going for a walk.
- Look for an event that only happens during this season in your community and attend it together.
- Write letters to each other expressing the good things that you notice in your partner when they are able to take part in activities that bring life to them.
More Balanced Time With God
God is always calling us into a deeper relationship with him. In every season, the things we do and experience causes that journey of closeness with Jesus to look different. Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NLT) reminds us: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every activity under heaven.”
- What are the things you believe God is asking you to do in this season in your life that will impact your relationship with God and with others?
- How is the momentum of your relationship with God: are you moving towards him or further from him in this season of your life?