Monday, April 1, 2013

The Weekend Marriage a.k.a Be Busy, But Keep Lovin'!

Fuh. Wedding day in 4 months' time. The wedding planning is going well, and the marriage planning is, well, is consisting of me summoning up fears then trying to logically quench them one by one.

Chief amongst those fears, is the fear that the awesome relationship I have with Fiance right now, the beautiful spark that we keep between us, will die a miserable death once marriage, career, kids *shudder* take their toll. Precisely because we know that a great relationship needs a lot of time and energy, I am afraid of... what will happen when we reach a phase in life where we have neither time, nor energy..?

Well, for now, it seems my fears have been allayed by this book, "The Weekend Marriage - Abundant Love in A Time Starved World."
 Yea, I know. Difficult to say if reading a book will really help me for a future I'm not even sure about, but hey, at least it kind of gives me a game plan, AND tell me it's possible. For my readers who are currently in a busy, busy relationship (being in Singapore, if you're not in a busy, busy relationship, then there's SOMETHING WRONG >< ), below are some tips from the book that hopefully might help.

 First off, the author pleads for a change of mindset. Getting increasingly irritated at your spouse? Feeling that all there is in your relationship is anger, hurry, pressure, arguments? Wondering if the person you loved has changed? Stop short of blaming your partner and instead, understand that perhaps, not only do you have less time together, the 'bad stuff' -arguments, misunderstandings, irritability - is crowding out the good times you used to have.  It's also because, when you started out, when you have disagreements, there is time to work things out, to talk things through, to heal... but increasingly when you have no time, you'll say, "We resolve things tomorrow".. while what actually happens is that problems and resentment build up waiting for that 'one day' that never comes. The author's variation of Murphy's law: "The less time you have together, the more things go wrong in your relationship."

So then, it's not you or your partner's fault, it's a time-pressure monster you are facing together called 'The Weekend Marriage' (I kid you not, this is the concept. But hey, it's a good one, to stop blaming each other and instead gear up to face a common enemy.) 

What to do next? Here are some steps to tackle that monster:

1. The FIRST PRIORITY is to schedule time to recharge each your batteries
Take care of yourselves first, since you won't be able to give to your spouse unless you actually have something to give.

2. Create one true connection a day
Understand that, in a weekend marriage, there's too much potential for irritations and too little time to solve every problem, and most often the prevailing feeling is one of disconnection. So start making an effort to really connect every day.. just one gesture, it doesn't have to be difficult or long. Maybe slower, longer kiss before work instead of a quick peck (45 secs instead of 5 secs!), or asking "Hey, how have you been feeling these days?" and really pay attention to the answer. Realize that, couples in a weekend marriage can't afford to put off connecting until they "have time", and instead have to make each moment count.

3. Abundant sex in a time-starved world.. how to do it with no time??
. . . . this is probably the only issue I've raised that Fiance is paranoid about, when we have kids haha (For the other ones, he was able to remain calm and tell me, 'we'll think about it when the time comes.. so why this one cannot remain calm? >< ) . .well there's a whole chapter in the book, but one of the concepts that I really like is, changing your mindset about a 'quickie'.. Most often, the concept of a 'quickie' is a quick intercourse where the guy would be physically satisfied, but it could leave one/both parties physically and emotionally unsatisfied as well. (Ahem, btw, I have no experience yet, quickie or no quickie, so this is based on internet research >< ) But hey, a quickie can be an 'intimacy quickie' too.. Maybe just hugging each other, having a shower together, cuddling together.. and this will help a couple connect so that when they do manage to have sex, it creates an even deeper connection as well.

4. Train yourself to make connections even when problems are simmering, even when you are mad at each other.
For this one.. I gotta say that Fiance is better at it than me, and it is really powerful stuff. Several times, when we were arguing, even when clearly I was mad at him and said hurtful stuff, he would do things like, hug me close, or say things like, "I want to work through this with you", "If we hurt each other so deep, that's because we care so much about each other." Those times when I was mad at him were also the times I felt so, so deeply connected to him and assured of his commitment to the relationship.

Hm, still lots of -IMHO -nice relationship gems inside the book, but I'll stop writing for now. Will follow up with another article soon!