439: STOP SERVING THOSE LEFTOVERS

“Most couples make the mistake of giving each other the remains of the day. The leftover time after every other relationship and task has been attended to. This is not only backwards, but destructive. Stellar partners give each other prime time, and make each other their top priority.” — Dr. Rhoberta Shaler

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Your schedule is so busy and stressful that by the time you and your spouse are both off work, kids are in bed, the house is picked up and other obligations have been taken care of, you just don’t have much left to give to your spouse.

You’re spent at the end of the day.

That might ring true, but your perspective is backwards.

Leftovers. For a quick dinner, they are a wonderfully convenient way to fuel your family with minimal effort. We have them all the time: Alisa’s leftover chili comes in clutch on a regular basis. But it’s a horrible strategy for building a marriage.

If you expect you can have an extraordinary marriage with whatever leftovers you have after you take care of life’s other 78 daily tasks, you’re fooling yourself.

Just like when you make a special meal: you think about what your guest likes, what to pair with it, when to serve it, and you anticipate their enjoyment, we should be serving our spouses the relational equivalent.

There’s three big areas we want to cover: leftover time, leftover conversation, and leftover sex.

Don’t think we’re out of touch: we know there are bumps in the road and days that sideline you from your true priorities.

Stuff happens, of course. But when leftovers become the norm and you are serving that same lasagna for weeks or longer, it’s time to break the cycle.

Leftover Time: You have a problem with leftover time if you see your time to connect with your spouse is only after work is done, errands are completed, you’ve worked out, and satisfied all other commitments. We want to challenge you to find time in your day to be intentional about your marriage: maybe wake up 15 minutes early and sip coffee, maybe schedule in a walk before dinner, or plan for a lunch date.

Leftover Conversation: You might have a problem with leftover conversation if you spend your day speaking with colleagues, friends and family about meaningful things, dreams, passions, fears, but when you converse with your spouse it’s the same routine topics and surface level conversation. It takes a discerning person to recognize this truth. But don’t stop there, check out some of our connection questions in Connect Like You Did When You First Met: 101 Proven Questions for Couples.

Leftover Sex: You have a problem with leftover sex if you view sex as an obligation rather than an opportunity. You probably give love and affection to your kids or friends and only go through the motions with your spouse. Consider having sex at a new time of day, or if you want more ideas for spicing it up, check out Position of the Month Club.

Your spouse deserves better than leftovers.

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Other Resources:

ONE Conference

Connect Like You Did When You First Met

Position Of The Month Club

Strategic Coaching Session with Alisa

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