When life has you stressed out, it’s more important than ever for couples to stay connected.
What a year 2020 was! And 2021 feels like it’s picking up right where last year left off. CRAZY!
The US is still setting coronavirus records. Lockdowns continue everywhere. Politics is a tremendous mess. Many couples have gone from barely seeing each other to being together 24/7.
Nothing is routine. Nothing feels normal. And all too often, it’s killing couples’ connection.
I often remind couples that the most important goal in marriage is intimacy in every form: physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, recreational, intellectual… There is no dimension of your marriage in which intimacy does not play a role.
Intimacy comes down to being fully known and unconditionally loved. And you need both.
Being fully known comes from bringing the fullness of yourself to your marriage, being all in 100%, fully present, and completely transparent. You can’t have fake intimacy. It’s a non-starter.
Allowing yourself to be fully known requires a great deal of vulnerability, and that’s where the second component of intimacy comes into play: being unconditionally loved. When you and your spouse get totally real with each other, each being your genuine selves, and are met with love and grace, intimacy thrives. (The opposite is also true: when vulnerability is met with judgment, criticality, or condemnation, intimacy gets squashed.)
Being fully known and unconditionally loved is what the Bible calls being “naked without shame,” and it’s how God designed marriage to operate. This is how God describes the ideal state of the first marriage of Adam and Eve back in the Garden before sin entered the world.
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.Genesis 22:24-25 (NKJ)
This is the lens through which we can best view our own marriages.
Maintaining Your Connection
Being completely known is not a one-time occurrence. It requires constant communication, investing the time it takes to understand each other, and especially understanding what love looks like to each of you as you go through the seasons of life. You will most likely each have different love needs and love languages, and these will most likely change over time.
Once you understand what love looks like to your spouse, you will want to be intentional about showing love – their way – on a daily basis.
Keeping connected requires consistent time and attention. But how do you do that when life is completely crazy?
We Can Help Each Other
For several years, I’ve had the idea for a “crowd-sourced” book, where I would collect ideas for staying connected in stressful and busy times from dozens (or maybe hundreds of couples). I feel like now is the time to act on the idea.
That’s where you come in.
Would you be willing to share the tips and tricks you and your spouse have employed to stay connected in the midst of these crazy, stress-filled times? If so, please take a few minutes to click over to our “Connecting in the Craziness” survey page. We greatly appreciate your input, as will all the couples who use your ideas to keep their connection strong.
To spur your thinking, I’ll share a few of the tips we use to stay “connected in the craziness.”
- We make an effort to do small acts of kindness for each other. For example, I’ll prepare her tea just the way she likes it. She’ll make my coffee and bring me a cup.
- We both have physical touch as a primary love language, so throughout the day we hug, kiss, hold hands, and sit close. Often when we first get in bed Jenni will put her head in my lap and I’ll run my fingers through her hair.
- Since the pandemic and lockdowns, we haven’t been very diligent about date nights. We recently recommitted to doing date nights at home, taking turns planning them.
Please note that this endeavor is not intended to be a money-making venture. I’ll be giving the resulting compilation as a free resource to any couple that wants a copy.