- 17 Things to Do with Your Spouse to Reconnect (Cheap & Effective)
- Things to Do with Your Spouse to Reconnect
- Figure Something Out Together
- Consume Something Together
- Create No-Phone-Couple-Zones
- Take an Online Marriage Class Together
- Share Your Dreams Together
- Do a Couple’s Relationship Challenge Together
- Choose Dates to Specifically Help You Reconnect with Your Spouse
- Bite-Sized Reconnectors (10 Minutes or Less)
- Soul Gaze One Another
- Send an Article with Commentary
- Give Some Post-It Note Love
- Be More than Crossing Ships in the Night
- 14 Little Ways To Feel More Connected To Your Partner
- 1. Get up a little earlier to have coffee or breakfast together
- 2. Create a healthy (and funny) morning ritual
- 3. Kiss hello and goodbye, no matter what
- 4. Leave each other notes hidden around the house
- 5. Carve out “we” time after the kids are asleep
- 6. Name specific reasons you’re thankful for each other
- 7. Plan a special Saturday night dinner at home
- 8. Commit to unplugged Sunday mornings
- 9. Celebrate the little things
- 10. Make up goofy songs for the heck of it
- 11. Play a slideshow of old family photos on the TV and bask in the memories
- 12. Take genuine interest in each other’s work, hobbies or passions
- 13. Meditate together
- 14. Bring each other a snack, just because
- 10 Ways to Connect with Your Partner When You’re Both Busy AF
- Keep the Lines of Communication Open
- Express Appreciation
- Use Technology for Good
- Build Trust
- Make Time for Date Night
- Make Each Other Laugh
- Connect Physically
- Run Errands Together
- Share a Hobby/Routine Together
- Be Willing to Make Sacrifices to Connect with Your Partner
- How to Connect With Your Partner: 7 Sweet + Simple Tricks for When You’re Busy or Tired
- How to Connect With Your Partner: 7 Ways to Rekindle the Romance in 7 Minutes or Less
- 1. Give It 6 Seconds
- 2. Get Visual
- 3. Ask the Right Question
- 4. Check It At the Door
- 5. Do It With Words
- 6. Get Some New Material
- 7. Shhh
- Get Your Free Cheat Sheet
- Your Turn
- 15 Ways to Connect with Your Spouse — Even When Life Gets Crazy!
- Simple Ways to Connect with Your Spouse
- 1. Establish your marriage as the primary relationship in your family
- 2. Control your family’s schedule, rather than letting it control you
- 3. Make time to talk every day
- 4. Go to bed at the same time
- 5. Make love regularly
- 6. Let go of small things that interfere with your connection
- 7. Plan at least one face-to-face activity (which many women prefer) and one side-by-side activity (which many men prefer) every week
- 8. Work on projects together
- 9. Exercise together
- 10. Spend some unplugged time together every day
- 11. Kiss him you mean it
- 12. Touch base during the day
- 13. Crank up your sexual energy
- 14. Speak your spouse’s love language
- 15. Step out in faith together
17 Things to Do with Your Spouse to Reconnect (Cheap & Effective)
I am not a couple's therapist. I'm just a woman, married to a man, who has needed to figure out how to reconnect with my spouse from time to time over the past 10 years.
, after we had a baby. And after we drifted apart here and there. And after things got a little stagnant.
An important question to ask yourself when you feel unconnected to your spouse is:
What’s different now than when you felt connected? You can make a mental list.
- Are you spending less time together?
- Is the quality of time spent together not so good?
- Did you have a baby, and there’s less energy for one another?
- Did you stop having fun together?
- Has your engagement with each other turned completely logistical in nature (you know, revolving around things who is going to pick up an ingredient at the store, where to eat next, and planning for your parent’s anniversary party)?
- Is work or another external stressor causing distress on your relationship?
For example, one thing I noticed for us during a stint of feeling emotionally unconnected was we had stopped actually doing engaging things together.
Which is huge, by the way.
I mean, we were still doing things together. But they were logistical in nature – dividing up night duty with our baby, filing taxes, and conquering the laundry pile.
If you don’t do things together – fun or at least experiential things, when you first dated one another – then your well of commonness goes dry.
This is okay here and there – having personal hobbies and such, which is a pretty healthy thing to do.
But if you’re never doing common things together? It eventually erodes that connection.
And then you end up googling something “things to do with your spouse to reconnect.” (Just sayin’).
While you’re thinking about exactly what is different now than when you felt connected with your spouse or partner, let me dive into some ideas for how to get that connection back. Ideas for how to reconnect with your husband.
Things to Do with Your Spouse to Reconnect
Great news – things to do with your spouse when you need to reconnect need not be complicated, nor expensive. In fact, most of these are free!
The point is to choose something that gets you even a little excited, and to commit to doing it.
After all – what is a marriage, if not a series of small and large commitments to someone you love?
Figure Something Out Together
This doesn’t have to be a huge problem to solve – where to move to next, or how to find a different job, etc.
This can be something that’s small, but meaningful.
It makes the two of you “in it together”, even if only for a little task. And when you find some sort of success (or make a few mistakes, which can be quite funny)?
You will have that new connection point.
Example from our own marriage: I needed to redo my go-to breakfast for both health and convenience sake, and had always wanted to figure out an iced coffee latte-type drink I could quickly make myself.
When I told my husband, Paul, that I wanted to try cold brew because it can keep in the fridge for a week or so, he jumped right in.
We spent about 20 minutes researching and then creating our first cold-brew together, flirting the entire time. What a delightful memory!
Consume Something Together
When you both consume something together, it gives you a shared reference point to leap into conversations about.
I’ll give you a few ideas.
- Read scripture together
- Read an article together throughout the day, and then talk about it
- Read a book together, a couple’s book club
- Watch a TV series together*
*My husband and I just love our TV series that we watch together. However, I think that most couples do this! SO, I challenge you to get your comfort zone and find a different thing to consume together on top of your TV show so that you can engage with each other in a different way.
Example from Our Own Marriage: We both read The 5 Love Languages, and then took the quiz at the end so that we could talk about what our love languages were. Something else we love to share are articles on Japanese culture that pop up here and there – that’s where we met one another. It helps to keep that specific connection between the two of us alive!
You need to establish what I to call “no-phone-couple-zones”. What do I mean by this?
Places AND times where phones are the picture, and the two of you are spending time with one another.
Times to cut out the phone:
- During dinner
- During family date nights
- During couple date nights
- After X:XX p.m. at night
- During church
Places to cut out the phone:
- In the dining room/at the kitchen table
- During shared TV shows
- In the car when you’re the passenger
- The bedroom
- At church
When you cut out the phone from specific times and places in your life, you open up space for more communication, spontaneous sharing with each other, and getting reconnected.
Example from Our Own Marriage: We chose Wednesday nights to be no-phone time, and the dining room table to be no-phone zones for us. And honestly…Wednesday nights have crept back into normal phone use night (with everything going on in the world – we both browse news apps while sitting together). I think we need to reinstate this!
Take an Online Marriage Class Together
I’ve detailed out 11 free online marriage classes in this article, and you’ll definitely want to take a look.
This is the perfect way to work on something new together, that has everything to do with working on your connection as a couple!
Example from our Own Marriage: Paul and I have taken several marriage classes together, including the Divorce Proof Your Marriage mini-course – it’s how we got started doing consistent, at-home date nights as a couple – and an in-person marriage class taught at our church.
Psst: check out all these date night ideas for married couples!
Share Your Dreams Together
I’m talking about your actual dreams – when you first both wake up in the morning, take a few minutes to simply share with each other the crazy, whacky, scary, soothing, awesome dream tidbits you can remember from the night before.
What’s even more fun? Is then trying to interpret them for each other. You actually gain some pretty interesting insight into your partner this way, and you grow in emotional intimacy.
Example from our Own Marriage: I won’t bore you with the details of our own dreams. However, I will mention that sometimes we do this at 2:00 in the morning! If I wake up and remember a crazy point from a dream I just had, and Paul turns over, I’ll whisper it to him.
Do a Couple’s Relationship Challenge Together
One of my favorite activities for married couples to do together? Is a relationship challenge.
In fact, I’ve written a whole article on 41 relationship challenges for couples to do together that keep helping couples connect over something fun to do together.
A few other resources:
Example from Our Own Marriage: When we first got engaged, we combined our $25,000 in remaining debts and declared we would challenge ourselves to pay them off before our wedding 10 months later (on top of paying for the wedding, putting a down payment on a home, and saving about $2,500 towards our honeymoon). It ended up taking us 5 extra months…but we DID it. Not only that, but what an awesome way to start our marriage off – working on a debt payoff challenge together.
Choose Dates to Specifically Help You Reconnect with Your Spouse
My husband and I have gone on many, many dates together (mostly at home date nights in the last 5 years).
And there are some dates that really inspire reconnection over others.
These kinds of dates include things around at least one partner’s Love Language, teach you something about each other (but through self-discovery – so it just naturally pops up during the date activity), and exploring something new together.
Three engaging date ideas for you:
Bite-Sized Reconnectors (10 Minutes or Less)
Alright, alright – so did you read through that list and think that there’s no way you can fit those reconnection activities into your schedule (or your husband’s)?
No worries. I’ve got you covered with these bite-sized ways to emotionally reconnect with your spouse.
If you guys have just 10 minutes or less, then check one of these out.
Psst: you might be wondering Is it possible to reconnect with your spouse when you have such little time together? I have to say from experience, that YES, you can. But you have to be diligent and committed.
Soul Gaze One Another
Soul gazing – a fancy-schmancy way of saying, “take 4 minutes or so and do nothing but stare into each other’s eyes” — soul gazing is actually quite effective in reconnecting or connecting two people.
I mean, when was the last time you stared into your partner’s eyes?
Example from our own marriage: This was awkward at first for us to do, and we giggled a lot. But then…something magical happened. Aside from really nailing down my husband’s eye color, I really started to feel connected with him. It was pretty great.
Send an Article with Commentary
If I’m reading a magazine article and have something to share with Paul – but we have no time to read it together or talk right now – I simply rip it out, highlight the area I’m talking about with a highlighter or underline it in pen, then write in a comment or two on the margins.
Then, I put it in his lunch, or on top of his keyboard, or wherever else I know he’ll see it and get to it as soon as he can.
We’ve had some really interesting conversations that started this way!
Give Some Post-It Note Love
Post-It Notes are the poster-boy for bite-sized writing.
You’re forced to share something short, sweet, and simple.
Which is what my husband did while we were at home working on two separate floors of our house (he’s working from home mostly for the last 4 months).
We had gotten into some small arguments, mostly stress-related, and things were a little tense.
The next thing I knew, our 4-year-old came into my office and handed me a post-it note from Paul. It read, “I love you!”
That post-it note turned it all around, and instantly reconnected us.
In fact, it’s been on our fridge ever since.
Be More than Crossing Ships in the Night
Perhaps the two of you are not in the same spot long enough to reconnect. This was the case for us when Paul was working night shift and going to college at the same time (he graduated just a few years ago!).
So what did we do to connect with each other some, even though we hardly ever saw one another awake?
We started writing shower notes to each other.
I had gotten this pad of shower notes from a Mastermind I was part of, and Paul was the first one to write a little note of encouragement on it. The next time I took a shower (I shower at night, so he was already at work), I was SO SURPRISED to find it.
I responded, which he got to read when getting home and showering (before nodding off to sleep). We kept this up for a while, and it’s been a secret weapon of ours to stay connected.
*funny story – we moved last year, with movers paid for by Paul’s new employer. When we unpacked our shower note we realized that:
- a) it still had the last note we had written to each other, which was to say things “we’ve GOT this!”, and
- b) one of the nice mover boys had written a note on it saying that we were awesome! We were SO touched.
Is it possible to reconnect with your spouse? Absolutely. I mean, I can’t guarantee it, but I CAN tell you my husband and I have been through this and come out much better for it.
When you’ve been married for years (we’ve been married for 10 years), you understand that the relationship balance can waddle from very engaged to not-so-engaged…and back again.
I’m happy to share the resources we’ve used and our own marriage examples for things to do with your spouse to reconnect the next time you feel the two of you emotionally drifting apart.
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14 Little Ways To Feel More Connected To Your Partner
It’s not uncommon for couples to go through periods where they feel a little distant or out-of-sync. Maybe they’ve been consumed with work, focused on the kids or just in a rut. What matters, though, is what you do when the drifting happens: Do you ignore the issue and hope it resolves itself? Or do you make — and keep making — a conscious effort to reconnect?
We asked couples to share the small, simple things they do on a regular basis to feel closer to each other. You just might want to try some of their ideas.
1. Get up a little earlier to have coffee or breakfast together
“When you both work from home, it can be easy to wake up and hit the work tasks first thing. We take time, even if that means getting up a little earlier, to connect before we divide and conquer the day. Sometimes we spend time cooking and talking, or just keep it simple — cereal or toast — and have more time to chat undistracted.” — Christina Litke
2. Create a healthy (and funny) morning ritual
“Every morning, I thaw out a little chlorophyll beverage for us to split and when we cheers we say, ‘To your health!’ Then, we do a second cheers with our daily probiotic and say, ‘To your butt!’ It makes us laugh, which is a great way to start off the day together.” — Bronwyn Lundberg
3. Kiss hello and goodbye, no matter what
“We greet one another with a kiss when we are heading out and coming back home. We also toast before eating by tapping our forks.
I can’t even remember when that tradition started but that’s the signal for us to start eating when we eat together. We also text each other ‘Good night and sweet dreams.
I love you,’ if we are not with one another that night before going to bed.” — Jan-Kristòf Louis-Mansano
Keep the spark alive by always kissing hello and goodbye.
4. Leave each other notes hidden around the house
“I have a set of postcards that I color in and then write a message for my wife. I leave them in places where she won’t expect to find them.
The combination of surprise, positive intention and thoughtful message fosters connection in an often digital message world.
I’ve had one sent to her workplace, hidden in her sock drawer, in her car glove compartment and at the end of her favorite [sneakers].” — Lee Chambers
5. Carve out “we” time after the kids are asleep
“We reserve two nights a week just for us. Since we became parents, my wife and I have made sure to set aside this time every week. It might sound monotonous to some, but with kids around, we both crave that time together. It gives us a chance to catch up and reconnect.” — Sham P.
6. Name specific reasons you’re thankful for each other
“Before falling asleep, we thank each other for everything we did for each other throughout the day that made us feel loved, taken care of and seen. We do this before bed every day. It has just become a nice habit, it makes us feel appreciated and loved.” — Amanda Oleander
7. Plan a special Saturday night dinner at home
“My husband, Jack, is our resident cook, and he’ll spend time during the day thinking about what to make, looking at recipes, etc. He’ll ask me for input and it becomes this big plan. Then later I either help him prepare the food, or if he doesn’t need help, I sit and talk to him while he cooks.” — Adrienne Hedger
8. Commit to unplugged Sunday mornings
“We’ve made a commitment to spend Sunday mornings in bed. We call it our Sunday morning ‘lie-in.’ No screens allowed while we read the paper, drink our morning beverages and just connect.
Being slightly Type A, doing ‘nothing’ for four or five hours was a tall order for me at first.
But it didn’t take long for me to start looking forward to turning off the outside world and just disappearing into him for the entire morning.” — Laura Cathcart Robbins
To bond, spend Sunday morning in bed with coffee, something to read and no phones.
9. Celebrate the little things
“We’ve done ‘monthiversaries’ where we would do a small celebration on the 5th every few months — our dating anniversary is Nov. 5 — and that could be with a spa or a special dinner or something special at home.” — Louis-Mansano
10. Make up goofy songs for the heck of it
“We have a breakfast and dinner song we sing to our dog every morning and night. We also have a walking song we sing to him when we go out, and a bye-bye song when we go for a ride.” — Dan Regan
11. Play a slideshow of old family photos on the TV and bask in the memories
“We have an Apple TV, and we can set it up to display random photos from our phones, either from selected albums or just photos in general. So these photos just appear on the TV as we go about our business during the day, afternoon or evening. It’s fun to see old pictures pop up, and it can lead to fun memories and stories.” — Hedger
12. Take genuine interest in each other’s work, hobbies or passions
“My husband and I have very different interests and our jobs are also quite different in the sense that mine is very creative and his is more corporate. But we always talk about our days, our projects and the things that are happening no matter how unfamiliar it may seem to each other. I think that’s an important part of our marriage.” — Debbie Tung
Showing interest in your partner's passions goes a long way.
13. Meditate together
“It sounds hokey — actually, it probably would have made me gag a few years ago — but Scott and I meditating together.
Even though we work from our home, sometimes our days are so hectic that we literally have to schedule time to eat lunch together.
Taking time in the morning to meditate is a really nice way to prepare for an over-scheduled day and I always feel more connected to him afterward.” — Cathcart Robbins
14. Bring each other a snack, just because
“We both work from home and really get into our work and sometimes forget to eat or drink for hours. So we bring each other water and snacks throughout the day accompanied with a kiss, of course.” — Oleander
Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length.
10 Ways to Connect with Your Partner When You’re Both Busy AF
Research shows that couples experience greater happiness and less stress while spending quality time together. But if your schedules are jam-packed with travel, classes, work, or raising kids, how can couples maintain a happy, healthy relationship? There are ways to connect with your partner, so read on.
Travel is an amazing way to broaden your mind and experience new cultures and foods. But if your partner isn’t traveling with you, all that time spent apart can take a real toll on your relationship.
Ask any couple who is raising children, working full-time, or traveling on a regular basis and they’ll tell you: making time for your spouse isn’t always easy. Don’t sacrifice your love of travel or quality time with your partner – you can have it all!
Keep the Lines of Communication Open
There is no secret that open, honest communication is the foundation of a great relationship. You and your partner should be able to talk to each other about anything under the sun if you want your relationship to continue to grow.
You can keep communication open by talking about the problems you’re having before they have the chance to spiral control. Being an open-book regarding your personal schedule is another great way to keep tabs on one another.
You can keep communication open by talking about the problems you’re having before they have the chance to spiral control. Or by having a serious heart to heart conversations with your partner. No idea how to start? Head on over to Her Norm to learn more about deep conversation starters to naturally kickstart the habit.
Marriages where partners regularly express gratitude for one another have a greater sense of relationship satisfaction, commitment, intimacy, and support for goal pursuit. You can express gratitude by complimenting your partner and continuing to use basic manners.
Use Technology for Good
Studies often point to “phone snubbing/phubbing” resulting in a decline in marital satisfaction, but the truth is when it comes to staying close through your busy schedule – technology is going to be your best friend.
Text messaging is a great way to keep in touch throughout the day.
Use Skype or Facetime to have a “face-to-face” chat (or intimate time – we won’t judge) with your partner when you can’t be together IRL.
Email and social media are also great avenues for sending each other cute photo or tagging your spouse in something funny to keep your connection alive until you can see each other in person again.
A study done by Northwestern University found that couples who have deep trust often report more fulfilling relationships than couples who don’t. Building this kind of trust is important in any relationship, especially the one where you’re both spending a lot of time apart.
Having trust in your spouse will help you feel comfortable and supported in your relationship. Not to mention, give you peace of mind about what your spouse is up to while you’re not around.
Make Time for Date Night
Dating is a huge way that you and your spouse can stay connected. Research on the importance of a regular date night shows that couples who spend quality time together are less ly to separate and experience a boost in excitement, passionate love, and relationship communication.
Choose one night a week and designate it as your date night. This will give you the chance to connect and romance one another away from the stress of work or raising children.
Research shows that the standby of “dinner and a movie” just isn’t going to cut it. In order to reap the benefits of quality time, you and your spouse need to do something you wouldn’t normally do.
Make Each Other Laugh
One way you and your spouse can strengthen your bond is by cracking jokes together. Studies show that couples who laugh together are happier, more supported, and more ly to stay together for the long haul. Sometimes you might be so busy that you only have time for a joke. This is still a great way to connect with your partner!
Touch is a huge way that couples connect, and we’re not just talking about what goes on behind closed doors.
The oxytocin hormone released during intimate moments has been shown to heighten emotional intimacy between couples, reduce stress, and make couples more ly to say “I love you“.
This powerful hormone can help keep you and your spouse feeling connected, even when you have to be apart during travels.
This physical intimacy doesn’t have to take place in the bedroom, either. Physical affection such as cuddling, holding hands, hugging, giving a massage, caressing, or kissing on the lips or face have also been strongly related to partner satisfaction.
Run Errands Together
This isn’t exactly the most romantic thing you can do with your spouse, but if you’re truly strapped for time, why not run your errands together? Make a date picking up your groceries and running around town. Use this precious alone time as an opportunity to get to know each other on a deeper level or to joke and play around together.
Share a Hobby/Routine Together
Being adaptable is one of the top qualities of a lasting relationship. One way you can be adaptable with your schedule is by working your S.O. into your everyday routine.
When your partner is already a regular part of your day (be it working out, going on lunch dates, playing an instrument/sharing a hobby together etc.) it makes it a lot easier to have meaningful moments amidst an otherwise chaotic schedule.
Be Willing to Make Sacrifices to Connect with Your Partner
If you have a busy AF schedule, that last thing you want is to add another item to your to-do list. But the bottom line is this: If it’s important to you, you’ll make time for it. It’s as simple as that!
Making time for your partner means making sacrifices. This might mean sacrificing family time, time at work, with friends or even sacrificing a few hours of sleep to spend quality time together as a couple.
Relationships aren’t always convenient, but making your loving partner a priority in your life is always worth it. Keep that in mind when you’re having a 7 AM coffee date with your sweetheart (even though you thought you’d rather hit the snooze button.) In order to connect with your partner, you have to make them a priority.
You don’t have to abandon connecting with your partner. Nurturing a partnership is a rewarding and exciting endeavor, so why can it feel so impossible to achieve? By opening the lines of communication, being deliberate with your schedule, and not forgetting about the little things in life, you and your spouse will be able to keep the fire alive in your relationship.
Author Bio: Rachael Pace is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. She is a featured writer for Marriage.com, a reliable resource to support healthy happy marriages.
How to Connect With Your Partner: 7 Sweet + Simple Tricks for When You’re Busy or Tired
As parents, my husband and I spend our days taking turns dealing with the emotional tempests of a toddler, coaching the bigger kids to resolve their latest kerfuffle, and executing on a bedtime “routine” that involves the kids getting bed 72 billion times every night.
Not to mention the never-ending cycle of figuring out what to feed the kids, convincing them to sit down long enough to eat, and getting everything cleaned up before we have to start all over at the next meal.
In the midst of all that, we barely have time for a single uninterrupted grown-up conversation, let alone to make sure we stay connected as a couple. So it’s all too easy to lose sight of how lucky we are to have each other.
But I know we can’t let that happen. In our former lives, my husband and I have both been through divorce. We know the consequences of not making time to connect as a couple – and we’re fierce in our resolve to keep our relationship strong.
Bonus: As a bonus for joining my weekly newsletter, get a free cheat sheet of 60 simple ideas for how to connect with your partner right now.
Unfortunately, my husband and I don’t do date nights very often. Because with no family in town, “date night” becomes synonymous with “hire a babysitter,” and that can get awfully expensive.
You can always do an at-home date night – even if it’s just trying out a new recipe or enjoying a movie after the kids go to bed.
We’re too tired.
After spending every day wrangling four kids and trying to keep up with the endless dishes and laundry and vacuuming, we consider it a success if we both manage to stay awake past 8:00 pm.
So how do you keep the spark alive without an official date night?
How to Connect With Your Partner: 7 Ways to Rekindle the Romance in 7 Minutes or Less
To keep our marriage strong, I decided to research the best science-backed hacks for how to connect with your partner – even when you’re tired and busy – and I compiled it into a list to share with you.
The best part? Every idea in this list will take you 7 minutes or less.
1. Give It 6 Seconds
I’ve heard this advice from several happy couples, and it works for me and Ty too.
Hug and kiss every morning and every night. But make sure they’re long ones, especially the hug.
According to The Happiness Project†, you should hold a hug for at least six seconds to get the happy chemicals oxytocin and serotonin flowing. They’re good stuff because they boost your mood and promote bonding. Ever since we tried this hugging technique, I now fully support to the six-second advice.
When you get caught up in the day-to-day routine, it’s too easy to make it through a whole day (or more) without sharing that simple physical affection that keeps partners feeling close. Don’t skimp on this one.
2. Get Visual
If you’re feeling disconnected from your partner, look back through your photos on your phone to remind yourself of your favorite memories of being together – trips, holiday celebrations, those four hundred pictures you took the day you closed on your first house.
These are times when you felt most connected, and reliving those memories can help you rekindle that spark.
After you find a photo that makes you smile, text it to your partner.
3. Ask the Right Question
Research shows that couples who have engaging conversations every day – real uninterrupted grown-up conversations – are better able to handle the stress of parenting life and stay connected.
But when you’re tired, it’s hard to come up with ideas for what to talk about aside from what you need at the grocery store and who’s due for their annual well-check.
So I set out on a quest to find out which conversation topics for couples will make you feel closer, according to the latest research on happy relationships that stand the test of time.
And over the course of several months, I compiled a collection of the 150 best conversation starters for couples. Not according to me, some random mom.
But according to the experts who study successful and happy relationships.
My husband and I have been using these questions for couples throughout the last couple years, ever since our youngest was born. Anytime we want to connect quickly, we’ll grab a question and ask it. Instant connection, every time.
The questions force us to slow down, look each other in the eye, and really listen to each other.
Sure, sometimes we have to kick the kids outside or sneak away to the bedroom for a few minutes just to have a chance of being able to hear each other’s answers.
But that’s a small price to pay for keeping our relationship healthy and strong.
4. Check It At the Door
When I’m driving home after an appointment, my mind wanders back through my day and tends to get stuck on the things that didn’t go so well.
So when I walk in the door and see Ty, it feels natural to transition straight from a quick greeting to venting about my day.
But this doesn’t make for a good start to your evening together. From the book Wellbeing:
Emotions spread quickly from one person to the next. When you see a friend who is happy, this often causes you to smile, and as a result, you feel better.
Or if you have a frustrating meeting late in the day, your emotional state is ly to transfer to your spouse when you get home.
Because we tend to synchronize our moods with the people around us, our emotions influence one another throughout the day.
Before you walk in the door at the end of the day (or before your partner walks in the door), take five minutes to think about something good that happened to you. If nothing good happened to you, think of something you love about your partner so that’s on your mind when you see them.
Then after you get the evening off to a good start with a positive perspective for both of you, you can circle back and vent about the not-so-great stuff.
Photo by Jessica Garro
5. Do It With Words
Ty and I text each other constantly about how our day is going – How was your meeting this morning? What time are you heading home? Would it be bad to have pizza for dinner 5 nights in a row? But sometimes he’ll surprise me with a special message the blue. He tells me he misses me or that he can’t wait to see me, or just sends a simple “I love you.”
One day back when I had a corporate desk job, my cube neighbor and I were walking to a meeting when she got a text from her husband thanking her for everything she does for their family. Even though it was YEARS ago, I still remember the look on her face – an infectious mixture of surprise, joy, validation, and love. That text totally made her day.
Research shows that in strong, loving relationships that stand the test of time, the partners share more positive statements than critical ones. In fact, you need a ratio of at least five positive comments to every critical one.
If texts aren’t your thing, here are a few other ideas for sharing what you appreciate about your partner:
- Send a funny e-card.
- Stick a colorful Post-It Note somewhere they’re sure to see it, on their nightstand, on their pillow, in their underwear drawer, next to their toothbrush, and so on.
- Write a message on the bathroom mirror with washable window markers.
- Write a letter, then leave it in their work bag or car to find later.
- Fill out a postcard and mail it to them.
6. Get Some New Material
Research by psychologist John Gottman has shown that sharing humor with your partner is one of the best ways you can strengthen your relationship.
Learn a new joke, find a funny news story online, or make a mental note to share something from your day that made you laugh. If you’re short on time for looking around, do what I do: check a funny person’s account for good one-liners. My faves:
We’ve made a promise to each other. We always try to go to bed at the same time.
Sometimes it’s hard to drag myself away from a marathon binge of Brooklyn Nine Nine reruns, but I’m always glad after I do.
Because when you turn off the lights and climb into bed next to each other, magic happens.
With no distractions, your body and mind start to unwind from the day. You’ll remember something cute one of the kids said earlier in the day, whisper your hopes for tomorrow, fantasize about your next vacation. Or maybe you’ll both just take a deep breath and pass out from sheer exhaustion.
(By the way, if you thought I was talking about a different kind of “magic,” try going to bed naked. Ahem.)
Get Your Free Cheat Sheet
When you need ideas for how to connect with your partner even when you’re busy and tired, use this cheat sheet of 60 simple ways to reconnect.
- Get the free cheat sheet. Join my weekly-ish newsletter and as a bonus, you’ll get the printable! Just click here to get it and subscribe.
- Print. Any paper will do the trick, but card stock would be ideal.
- Tuck your cheat sheet somewhere handy your purse or wallet. Or if your spouse is in on it, hang it on your fridge. Then when you need an idea for connecting, pick a random idea and do it.
Here’s a sneak peek of your printable cheat sheet:
What’s your best advice for how to connect with your partner, even when you’re busy and tired? Share your tip in a comment below!
15 Ways to Connect with Your Spouse — Even When Life Gets Crazy!
If you’re most busy wives and moms, one of the hardest battles you face is the struggle to connect with your spouse and build a strong marriage in the midst of life’s chaos. Staying connected shouldn’t be something you have to “battle” or “fight,” but more often than not that’s exactly what happens.
When your job is demanding, your children are needy, your house is cluttered, and your schedule is crazy, it becomes incredibly hard to connect with your spouse, keep a positive focus, and build a strong marriage.
Honestly, sometimes it just seems easier to let the marriage slide until tomorrow or next week or when things slow down, or even “when the children are older.” And most of the time, we don’t even realize what’s happening, that we’re essentially putting off enjoying and caring for our marriage until “another day.’ (Includes affiliate links)
Simple Ways to Connect with Your Spouse
So I encourage you not to let that “slide” happen.
Don’t risk looking back a month, a year or 5 years from now and thinking, “Why didn’t I invest more in my husband and my marriage?” Instead, determine to connect with your spouse regularly and make your marriage a high priority, even if that means making other relationships or some activities a lower priority. Here are 15 simple ways to do it:
1. Establish your marriage as the primary relationship in your family
Have you and your husband talked about and established priorities for your family? If you value your marriage and want to keep it strong – in spite of a hectic schedule – set a priority to establish your marriage as the center of your family life.
Trust me, you won’t be taking anything away from your children. Instead, you’ll be adding to their sense of security and helping them understand what it takes to create a lasting marriage.
2. Control your family’s schedule, rather than letting it control you
In many families, the wife, husband and children take on activities and commitments without much thought or discussion. And everyone ends up running from one activity to another and feeling exhausted most of the time – leaving little time or energy for you and your spouse to connect emotionally, physically, sexually or in any other way..
Don’t buy into this mindset. Your children don’t have to do every activity and you don’t have to say yes to every request for your time. This doesn’t mean your children shouldn’t be involved in activities, but it does mean you and your husband should decide which activities are reasonable in terms of your family’s goals, time and energy.
And if one of your goals is to connect with your spouse regularly, you may have to cut some activities or let go of some commitments.
3. Make time to talk every day
When things get busy, it’s easy to go for days without talking about anything other than schedules, carpools, pick-up times and errands. So be intentional about taking at least 15-20 minutes every day to really talk with your husband about what’s going on in both of your lives.
Put it on your schedule, if that’s what it takes to make it happen. You can do it in the morning, right after work, before bed – whatever works for the two of you.
For example, my husband and I drink coffee in bed for about 20 minutes every morning and talk while we’re waking up. It gives us time to connect and sets us up to face the day.
4. Go to bed at the same time
Every night if possible, but at least several times a week. Put away your devices and be intentional about using the time to connect. Going to bed together allows you to talk and unwind and paves the way for sex and intimacy. Speaking of which…
5. Make love regularly
Yes, it takes time, and you’re often tired. But it’s critical if you want to connect with your spouse, stay close as a couple and build a strong marriage.
And it doesn’t always have to take a lot of time – while a long romantic interlude is great, sometimes a quick romp provides all the connection you need! (And remember that this isn’t just for your husband – sex is for you too!)
6. Let go of small things that interfere with your connection
Do you hang onto small annoyances, things your husband says or does that really bug you? I try not to, but sometimes it requires putting mind over emotions, making a conscious choice to let it go.
It’s hard to maintain a positive connection if you feel annoyed with him frequently, so consider making the choice to let some things go. I’m not talking about serious issues in your marriage (those need to be addressed), but rather the small things that just aren’t worth the anger or frustration you invest in them.
7. Plan at least one face-to-face activity (which many women prefer) and one side-by-side activity (which many men prefer) every week
This way, each of you gets to connect in the ways that’s most comfortable for him or her.
So, for example, you might enjoy a cup of coffee and some conversation at the kitchen table on Saturday morning, then paint a room together on Saturday afternoon. Or maybe the two of your prefer other ways of connecting. Just be sure to do something that “speaks” to each of you at least once a week.
8. Work on projects together
Rather than always focusing on your own projects, change things up sometimes and work on projects together. If he always does the yard work and outside projects, for example, work together outside one Saturday.
Or if you do all of the interior painting, ask him to work with you one weekend to paint a room. Or work on a project you both enjoy ( gardening) or share the “pain” of a project you both hate ( cleaning out the garage).
9. Exercise together
Walk, jog or bike together. Train together for a charity walk or race. Take a hike. Dance. If you have small children, let them play outside while you walk where you can see them. My husband and I used to walk around the yard and talk while our boys played outside. Do anything you both enjoy that gets you moving together.
10. Spend some unplugged time together every day
You can’t connect with your husband, or anyone else in your life, in a meaningful way if you’re plugged in all the time. So put away your phone, tablet and computer and spend some time together without the electronic distractions.
11. Kiss him you mean it
After a few years of marriage, the ‘hot and heavy’ kissing we once enjoyed often disappears. Add a couple of kids and a busy schedule to the mix, and kissing tends to be relegated to a pathetic peck on the lips a couple of times a day! One way to stay connected to your husband is to kiss him you mean it – every day! Try it every day for a week and see what happens.
12. Touch base during the day
If your schedules allow it, connect with your spouse by talking on the phone at least once a day, just to see how things are going for both of you. If talking isn’t feasible, send a brief email or text, just to let him know you’re thinking of him.
13. Crank up your sexual energy
I’m not talking about having more sex, but rather about infusing your marriage with sexual energy – the communications and actions that say “I want you.” Sexual energy “boosters” come in many forms – sexy texts, sexy nicknames, code words, quick-but-steamy kisses or touches, and planning and anticipating sexual activities.
Or it can include using scents or oils that increase libido, giving and receiving a sensual massage, trying something outside your comfort zone, or anything else that keeps you connected sexually. (This is the sensual essential oil blend I love – (affiliate link) – Whisper sensual essential oil blend for women).
14. Speak your spouse’s love language
You probably know about the 5 love languages, but are you speaking your husband’s language consistently? When your schedule gets crazy, maximize your connection by showing him love in the way God designed him to receive it – it’s an easy but powerful way to connect with your husband in the midst of a very busy life.
15. Step out in faith together
It’s easy to get stuck in our daily routines and miss the needs all around us, needs God is often calling His people to meet. But maybe God is calling us and our husbands to break our routines once in a while and do something for Him. Stepping out in faith to do God’s work is a great way to stay connected, while meeting real needs in our communities. I
f you have young children it could be something simple, serving together at a soup kitchen once a quarter. If you have no children or older children it might be something bigger, working regularly in a homeless ministry or taking a mission trip together.
(Get more resources to help you connect with your husband and enjoy your marriage in the CalmHealthySexy shop.)
Looking for fun, marriage-positive t-shirts and hoodies that aren’t goofy or mushy? Check out Married is Great, a line of shirts, sweatshirts, and fun accessories for married couples. All of their items promote positive messages about exploring, adventuring, relaxing, and generally enjoying life together.
Are you feeling frustrated with your libido and your level of interest in sex? Do you feel something might be wrong? Do you wonder if you’ll ever be able to boost your sexual energy and enjoy intimacy more? If you’re feeling any of those things, check out the 10-video Boost Your Libido ecourse from Sheila Gregoire, the leading sex writer for married women.
This course can help you figure out why your libido or your sex life have gone way off track – and get them back on track.
It can help you answer the question, “Is there something wrong with me?” (I’ll give you a hint – the answer is no! But you may need some new information and strategies to get things going again.
) I’m working my way through the course now and really love how practical the content is for busy wives and moms.