Guest article by Christine Wilke

The lazy days of summer are over and crazy-busy fall is upon us.

Job commitments, soccer practices, back to school night all clamor for attention. Life becomes a whirlwind of to-do’s.

But where does your marriage fit into all of this? Is it even on the calendar?

With all these other commitments competing for attention, it’s easy for your relationship to morph into those “two ships,” passing in the night. You begin to feel like roommates instead of the loving partners you once were.

Sadly, your relationship usually doesn’t get much attention until the signs of neglect become too hard to ignore.

You might begin to feel distant and closed off from each other. Or you may find that you’re bickering more often. You can’t remember the last time you had fun together.

Your relationship is too important to neglect. It’s not meant to run on auto-pilot.

It’s important to be conscious and intentional about creating the relationship you really want to have. This starts with creating healthier habits for your relationship.

To make sure your relationship doesn’t get lost in the shuffle, take these 3 easy steps to start creating those healthy habits.

1. Create Rituals of Connection

A ritual is defined as a deliberate action or behavior performed over time in a customary way. Some couples have a Sunday evening ritual of ordering take-out and then going for a long walk together. Others make a Wednesday night card game a part of their regular routine.

My husband and I have crazy schedules and don’t get to spend much quality time together during the week. We’ve developed the habit of going to our favorite restaurant every Friday night. It’s a special time to fortify our relationship after a long and hectic week.

2. Schedule Quality Time Together

When you get those calendars out to schedule basketball practices and PTA meetings, make sure to block out some quality time for your marriage. This could mean dinner and a movie, a night on the town, or just some quiet time on the patio with no distractions.

3. Plan Ahead

Preplanning will help make things run more smoothly. Decide ahead of time who will arrange the activity, who will get the babysitter if you need one, etc. You might even agree to take turns with this. This will help you relax and enjoy your special time together.

Just like anything else that’s important in your life, the effort you expend can morph into meaningful rewards; most especially, a close and loving relationship with your spouse.

So get your marriage on the top of that to-do list and start reaping the harvest of a healthy and vibrant relationship this fall.

Christine Wilke, Ed.S is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Certified Imago Relationship Therapist who teaches busy professionals how to build supportive, passionate marriages one loving step at a time, Contact her on her website

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