Making Your Time Together Enjoyable
• Make appreciative comments about your spouse spending this time with you, even if you feel he or she should be doing it.
• Resist the urge to use time together to express pain or anger that you feel your partner caused you.
• Start by talking about something you think your partner will be interested in.
• Use your old "dating" techniques for making pleasant conversation.
• When you expect to spend time together, you'll naturally start thinking about the things that happen during your day to share later on.
• Remember that the better this time feels for both of you, the more motivation you will have to spend more time together.

When a couple decides to start spending time together daily, that is a gift of kindness and love. You want to be with your partner more than you want to do other things, and that means you love and value each other and find each other interesting and attractive. The only way to make the time together engaging and fun is to spend more and more time on making it so. If you just sit there and expect your partner to entertain you, I hope he or she has got a lot of material prepared. If you want to enjoy your time together, consider what will make it enjoyable for you. I'm not suggesting you sit at a table for an hour a night and expect to have so much fun or so much to talk about after the first few times. Consider what you bring to the table. When you were dating and getting this person to love you, I'll bet you had some ideas prepared for making your time together pleasant. I'll bet you spend some time on thinking about how to manage work or the kids. Your relationship deserves no less. Your partner might be more than happy to spend some of the time engaged in an activity that you enjoy, as long as it engages both of you.

Talk about what both of you like to do, and see what works for you. Perhaps you want to have a drink together and chat about your days, play backgammon as a backdrop for conversation, read to each other from that day's paper or a book you're currently enjoying. And naturally, there is nothing wrong with cuddling and offering a massage or something enjoyable to your mate with no agenda other than connecting emotionally.

Sadly, when couples don't spend time, they don't even think about what to tell each other from their day, which lends itself to gross detachment and a sense of independent living. Knowing that you're spending time together most nights, you'll begin to tag stuff in your head that you want to remember to share later, whether it's a fascinating news column, a funny event, a child-related issue or troubling news at work. Now, not only are you spending time reconnecting at night, but you are also far less detached by day because you are stopping yourself to grab moments to share with your spouse. This is the attachment that successful couples develop, which is constantly building. The more we spend time, the more we remember stuff to share. The more we share, the more we understand about our spouse. The more we understand about our spouse, the richer our experiences sharing with our spouse become. It just gets better and better. And it all begins with the commitment to finding regular time.
Reprinted by permission of the publisher, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., from Connect to Love: The Keys to Transforming Your Relationship, by M. Gary Neuman. Copyright ©2010 by M. Gary Neuman.


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