A fast paced way to kill the love



May 4, 2011 – In this fast paced competitive world our lives are crowded. We are always busy with work, school and family tasks.

The newest craze in social networks (Twitter and Facebook) has not made it easier.

We are putting in as much emphasis on our careers as possible to remain relevant and competitive. Extra classes, an extra job or extended working hours to meet sales targets fill our lives. 

As we channel extra efforts, time and attention to our jobs and education our relationships have become the biggest casualties.

It is sad that even our free time is often taken over by the boys and the girls’ nights out, to catch up or network with business associates or prospective clients.

With all these, our relationships (especially for the married) have no place in our busy schedules besides meeting at the dinner table (for the few who have dinner together) and sharing the bed. 

I look at my life and I sometimes get worried. After a whole day of work I have a class to catch in the evening, meaning I get pretty late. At times there is a business deal to follow-up or an article to write, all in one day. At times I wonder how bad it can get. 

The weekends are not any better. If it is not the class, it is a church activity (for those who are church goers) an extended family function or a weekend away for a company event or with friends.

I got challenged by a friend of mine recently when she shared her weekend plan: “I plan to drop my children at my mum’s place and proceed to have a great weekend with my husband out of the city,” she told me.

That got me thinking on how often I put everything aside to be with the most important person in my life, my wife. Work has always been there and will never end. Friends and families have their lives to build while chasing of money will never end.

One of my sobering truths is: “after I get the extra degree and my bank account grows, will I find my family to enjoy these with?”

It so sad that when things are not working at work, school, business or in the family. We all run to our spouses, and yet when it comes to attention he/she gets the least.

Relationships don’t just grow, they are built. There is no shortcut to getting close to your spouse: you will have to spend quality time together to get there.

It requires us to be committed, put aside other life tasks and responsibilities and give attention to those we love.

I have discovered that when I go through a crowded week without going the extra mile to have quality time with my wife, our relationship is affected. We feel disconnected, far from each other.

It does not have to be expensive you could do as my friend did, send the house help away, the children to a relative and just be the two of you in the house.

Family devotion has also been found to work. A friend of mine tells me that despite his busy working and studying schedule he always allocates a few minutes in the evening to read the bible and pray with his family. He tells me it brings them closer.

When we take time to reflect on a common source of inspiration, guidance and help we tend to get closer.

Another secret of getting ‘us time’ with your partner is identifying one or two common hobbies and doing them together. Go swimming together, learn a new recipe, take an evening walk or watch a movie. You could also choose to learn something new together, like a sport.

A walk in the morning works for us. A ten minute morning walk to the stage with my wife is ‘catching up time’ that I have come to treasure.

Even if you have two cars try using one to work. The time spent in the traffic in the morning and in the evening has a way of bringing you two closer. You will find something to talk about including assessing the status of your relationship. Having to wait for her/him in the evening means you do something little for them, this has a way of reminding you that they are special to you.

In cognizance of the importance of quality ‘us time’ a friend of mine decided to delay his masters’ classes by taking lesser courses. Instead of taking up six courses he has taken four. This leaves him free for at least two evenings in a week, which he uses to catch up with his young wife and child.

I believe sparing a few moments with those we love gives us the fulfillment we need to re-energize for other things in life!

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