We all grew up with a parent or a grandparent that has told us at least once, if not several times, to stop “adding fuel to the fire.” Typically this phrase was told to us as a warning in a negative way because our actions or our statements would do nothing but harm in making a bad situation worse. We’ve always heard this phrase in a negative connotation but last week I was sitting at work thinking about marriage after kids and how it takes more work than marriage took before kids. The statement “adding fuel to the fire” came to mind but not in a negative way. Instead this phrase was floating around in my brain in a positive way. What if we thought about adding fuel to the fire of our marriage in positive ways? Just as a plant needs water to grow I think a marriage needs some fuel, especially after kids, to ignite that fire again.
After having our first child, my husband and I went through that phase where the baby starts sleeping and entertaining themselves and you get back some of that precious time that was nonexistent for months after the baby was born. However, this time now becomes time spent away from each other because we have other errands or just things that we want to do alone instead of spending time with each other. Below I rounded up a few ways that you could start adding fuel to your fire.
Put the Phone Down
We are all guilty of this but, there have been several times where 15 or 30 minutes has passed in the car or on the couch with my husband where I am just aimlessly looking at trash on my phone instead of acknowledging my husband. Don’t worry, this is not a one-sided problem because I have caught him doing it too. I usually don’t mind when I see him do it because it justifies me being on the phone. So what do I do? I pick up my phone and start aimlessly swiping on social media or watching YouTube videos. However, it should not be like this. We have had to start calling each other out when we notice the other one doing it and actually use our time wisely by acknowledging each other. This could be just simply looking at the other person while we are talking to each other, watching TV together and commenting on it, or just being present in each other’s presence.
Just Me and You
An old song “Me and You” from Cassie came on my radio a couple of months ago and it has now become our motto when we are able to spend some time together without the toddler. It’s usually a couple of hours here and there throughout the week or the month. This time is usually going to the movies, going out to eat, grocery shopping, shopping for clothes for the child or even just sitting on the couch together, but honestly that time adds up and it becomes time spent together adding fuel to our fire.
Compare No More
We all are guilty of seeing or hearing about other couples or other marriages and relationships and having thoughts of “we don’t do that” or “I wish he/she did things like that.” No one knows what is really going on in someone’s marriage or relationship except those two people and that same principal should be applied to our own marriages and relationships. We are the only two people that know the real story behind our “fire.” It is the worst thing to compare your marriage and your spouse to another because they will never be that. Even with a child we see other families and start trying to compare and start trying to be “that.” However, “that” is something that will happen because you have your own “we” and your own “us.” I’ve definitely learned that the quickest way to dim that “fire” in your marriage is to look at other relationships and bring that into your marriage so I’m here to say to you – compare no more.