My daughters are constantly trying new experiences. Things that are old hat to me take on a newness when they discover them for the first time on their own. We recently bought a trampoline for the back yard, and the girls love it. At first, it was fun for them to just bounce up and down on their feet, but as they become more confident, they are trying new ways to bounce. All the while, they want me to watch.
One of the things I enjoy most in life is being around my wife and family. Life just is not the same if they are not there. When it comes to my wife, finding common ground is one of the first things we did when we dated, and I find it is something we must continue to do in marriage. You see, the newness of marriage does wear off. You have shared so many experiences, that some of them become repetitious, and eventually you have to work at making the marriage work. Maybe that is why they call something you really like doing a labor of love, because you have to work at it.
I think one of the biggest mistakes couples make today is thinking that time apart will give them more to talk about when they get together again. The thinking goes something like this: “If she has her experiences and I have mine, then when we get together to talk about what we did that day, we will both have interesting stories to tell.” Really?! Try that with a movie sometime.
Let her go see her movie, and you go see your movie, and then try and have a stimulating conversation about the two movies. It doesn’t work. What does work is when you go see a movie together and talk about it afterward. Having shared the experience, you both understand what the other person it talking about. If it is true with an experience as simple as going to a movie, it is true with married life as well.
You can’t go off and have your friends and she have her friends and expect to click together in conversations talking about two totally separate and unrelated events. Of course, talking about your day is part of marriage, but there is not a lot of understanding and intimacy there. When you share experiences together though, there you have common ground and shared experiences to talk over together. Then you have understanding and intimacy because you have been through it together.
In marriage, as life brings children and jobs bring erratic work schedules, you may have to work at finding common ground. A few good ideas would be to just show up for a surprise lunch at your spouses place of business or maybe go home for lunch. Other ways would be to find activities to do together around the house. One my daughters love is firefly hunting. It is an activity the whole family can enjoy together, and watching those little tails glow in the dark is a thrill to my little girls.
In the end, it is not the activity that is important, it is the idea that you are working to spend time together and be in the company of the other person for no other reason than because you love them. Common ground may take a little work, and some effort on your part, but it is worth the dividends it pays in building a solid relationship.© 2010-2013 John Bagwell www.MenRising.com All Rights Reserved