the study of marriage

Friday, January 13, 2006

At the end of the day

Currently, due to various circumstances, my husband drives me to and from work in our van. We almost always also have at least two of our three kids in the car with us as well; and sometimes we have all of them. (Anytime the kids are not in the car with us feels quite shocking, like there's a whole savannah of quietness around us.)

I really appreciate the time at the end of the day, when they pick me up at work, and my husband and I get to have a 20 to 30 minute conversation about the various things that we did, saw, read, heard, thought that day. We ask the kids to quiet down, and just focus on each other as much as possible. The kids do interrupt, but we briefly answer their questions (usually it's a version of "whewh Gwamma Kay?" from the 2-year-old) and then go back to our conversation. I'm sure the kids hate it, but they're just not old enough for an explanation about "this is good for mommy and daddy's marriage, and mommy and daddy's marriage is good for you" to make any sense to them.

In the past I had somewhat frequently suggested to my husband that we just go for a drive to nowhere, and talk. But he hates doing that--waste of gas and whatnot. It feels pointless to him, and he likes his activities to have a point. So I stopped suggesting it, but now I'm glad that we have this time together at the end of the day, just driving, with nothing else really to do but connect with each other.

When we get home, the spell is broken. There is dinner to be made, and all the kids are seriously demanding attention. By the time they are all in bed by 8 to 8:30 pm, we are just too exhausted and drained for coherent conversation. That makes the drive home all the more precious to me.

Do you have any rituals that help you and your spouse stay conversationally connected?


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