I’m Too Busy for My Spouse! What Do I Do?

Have you ever been too busy to be married?  You’re busy with work, school, kids, hobbies, and all the other things, and it’s putting a serious strain on your marriage. What do you do?

Is it permanent or just temporary? For many couples there are times when things become extra busy for a short period of time.  Perhaps someone gets sick, or has an extra project at work that takes up more time.  Perhaps a child is involved in a time consuming extra curricular – or perhaps you are.

If there is an end date in sight, then don’t freak out.  Figure out how to cope until the end comes.  You might try picking up a temporary hobby or a fun new TV show until your spouse finishes their project.

If it’s permanent, then you need the advice below even more than if it’s temporary.  If you are regularly away on long business trips, or you have a hobby that takes up a tremendous amount of your time, then you must make even more effort to secure your family ties.

Plan for it. Most of the time, people know when they are going to have a busy time coming.  Many couples fail to plan what they will do with their marriage when that time comes.  Have a college finals week coming up?  Are you an accountant during tax season?  Try to throw in a quick lunch on one or two of those days in a week.  You should integrate a weekly planning session into your activities as a couple so that you know when you can fit it in.

Speak Your Spouse’s Language. If you are a Good Husband, you will regularly check in with your spouse and see how she is doing, or just let her know you love her.  When you are busy you need to be able to check in relatively quickly.  Do you know how to do that?  Sure, after you’ve been married a while you can communicate a lot in just a few words and some body language, but do you know what communicates love to your spouse most effectively?  Does she like touch, kind words, or little acts of service best?  Whichever one it is, you had better find out.

Spend 30 minutes. Even if you are regularly getting home late at night and you need some time to unwind, you owe it to your spouse to give her 30 minutes of your undivided attention.  Sit down, throw your stuff aside, and give her your full attention.  Set a timer if you need to, but do it.  Ask her about her day, listen, and then tell her about your day.  Express love.  You’ll be amazed at how much you can communicate in 30 minutes and how much better you’ll both feel if you can just focus on each other for a little while.

Be patient. When one spouse is busy with an important project they often feel guilty that they are taking so much time away from the family.  Daddy regrets those long business trips anyway.  Mom, you won’t make the situation better by complaining or pouting when he has to leave.  Give a cheerful smile and a loving kiss when your spouse leaves, and greet them with a smile when they come home.

Little Acts of Service. My wife is a pro at leaving little notes when she knows that she’s going to miss me.  She’ll write a few notes on Post Its, and then put them all over my things.  Sometimes if I’m home for just a few minutes when she’s not, I’ll clean something or take out the trash.

Remember that while you can stop the gap with these little pieces of advice, no amount of success in work, school, or otherwise can make up for failure in the home.  Your marriage is the single most important relationship that you develop in life and everything else is secondary to it.  If you are too busy for months or years on end, you can do damage to your marriage that can take years to repair.

What are your major reasons for being too busy?  Please share with the community what makes you busy and how you strive to balance your family life.

Image by: erik ERXON, Flickr. This article originally appeared at AGoodHusband.net.

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