A Wife’s Secret to Happiness (book club) – Creating a Safe Haven in Your Marriage

When we brought home our second baby, our firstborn was only 16 months old. That meant that our lives had been officially turned upside down. If one baby doesn’t do it, two babies in less than two years most certainly will.

We realized with my husband’s demanding job, my pursuit a Master’s degree, and having two kids in less than two years, that most of our interaction had dwindled into that of roommates.  We were really good at high-fiving at the door, passing babies off to each other, and eating dinner in a hurry in order to squeeze everything in.
But we felt our connection slipping.

With a tiny baby girl in our arms, and dark circles under our eyes, we sat on the back porch of our little house and had a conversation that changed everything. We acknowledged to each other that we had to fight for our connection, or it would be forfeited. Emotional, physical, and spiritual intimacy, trust, connection, mutual enjoyment, healthy communication – none of that just happens on its own.

To get those gems of marriage, we committed to dig a little deeper, to go past default mode and to intentionally make our marriage a safe place. A place where we would grow up and grow together instead of growing apart.

The only way we knew to do this was to prioritize time together.  So that night, we decided that every night from 8 to 9pm we would “date” each other.

Enter: “Date-night, Every-night”

Nothing formal and nothing that would require planning or a sitter or money.  We would simply put our phones away, put laundry, chores or work away, and just BE TOGETHER; on purpose. To enjoy each other. To be present to each other.  To talk, to laugh, to rest, to watch a movie, to read books, to sit on the porch, to enjoy a glass of wine, to listen to a sermon, to take an online class, to play a game. It didn’t matter what we did. We just needed to do it together. (Here are 10 simple ways to enjoy quality time in your marriage)

 

In Jen Weaver’s book, “A Wife’s Secret to Happiness”, she talks about the gift of creating a safe haven within your marriage. One of the greatest distractions from this goal for us has been busyness and exhaustion. But because we put a stake in the ground eight years ago, we can see clearly when life’s demands are pulling us apart, even before we drift too far.  We know how each other needs to be loved, or pursued, or listened to, because of the time we have spent investing intentionally each night in our marriage.

As a result, we have experienced first hand this gift of a “safe haven” in our marriage.

Not because things have not been hard, or we haven’t royally messed up at times, but because we have had a consistent space to work through those hard things. A space to enjoy the seasons of sweetness, a space to cry together during times of loss, a space to process hard things at work, a space to laugh at the beautiful chaos of life…a space to simply love and be loved.

Our “8-9 time” is unquestionably the best thing we’ve done and continue to do for our marriage.  

We look forward to it, knowing that with the very colorful, beautiful, crazy chaos of five kids, homeschool and an increasingly demanding job, we have a haven to run into at the end of each day.

Growing a safe-haven within your marriage is a gift to yourself, your family, and to the community at large because of the God-designed goodness and power of a strong marriage that lays the foundation for a strong family unit.

In her book, Jenn talks about several other ideas that allow to your marriage to grow into a safe place. Those include knowing the power of words, forgiveness, adjusting our expectations, and communicating desires in an honoring way.

Growing a safe-haven within your marriage is a gift to yourself, your family, and to the community at large because of the God-designed goodness and power of a strong family unit.

But it is not easy.  It requires both parties to invest.  It means getting vulnerable and as Jenn says, “bringing our dirt into the light”.  It means being ok when things are uncomfortable.  Because in those harder seasons, we grow in deeper ways.

We just have to be willing to show up.  To lean in.  To say yes again, and again, and again.  And to trust that God is indeed growing us together as we grow up in Him.

I encourage you to check out the blog tour  and join in the conversation on Jenn’s book and the pursuit of more for our marriages!

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Questions for you:

What is the biggest challenge for “connection”and enjoying a “safe haven” in your marriage?
What are things that build up the core of your marriage?
What would be something (forgiveness, communicating desires in an honoring way, time to just be together) that you may like to weave deeper into the fabric of your marriage?
What could regular connection time look like in your season of marriage?