Personal Growth

We Just Relearned Marriage Lesson #1

January 17, 2013

Today we relearned something very important.

Me, Michael, and Jude

Me, Michael, and Jude

After breakfast, Michael, Jude, and I went out for a walk around town. Walks have always been one of the best ways for Michael and I to connect. Something great happens when we get out of the house and start moving.

Our minds think clearer and we are able to work through things which only get us frustrated and discouraged while at home.

Today we stumbled, well, maybe slammed head on, into something which has been eluding us for quite a while. The revelation of quantity vs. quality.

You see, over the past 6 months, we have made our relationship a much higher priority than we have in years past. We now have scheduled date nights and have more time together through the day since becoming self-employed.

It all sounds great and lovely, right? More time spent together automatically equals a better relationship, right?

Well, yes and no. Time spent together does not automatically equal a better relationship.

One of the best times in our marriage was when I was pregnant with Jude and Michael and I walked together every morning. It was only about 45 minutes or so, but it was a wonderful time of truly connecting at a heart to heart level.

At that point in our lives, we didn’t even do a date night like we do now. (We thought we didn’t have time!) So what gives? Why do both of us look back on that time with such fond memories? Even though we spent less intentional time together?

Quality within the quantity is the key.

Quality within quantity

You see, you can drink all the water you want, but it will never sustain you as food does. It will make your belly full with liquid, but not with sustenance. We all need sustenance. Every marriage needs it too.

We realized we have been spending time together, yes, but it is not time which truly connects our hearts at the level we want, or need it to.

It was a strange realization when it dawned on us what was happening. Oh, we declared, no wonder!

For instance. We have been doing date night. But since we have a one and a half year old, instead of going away from home (which are often our best times connecting), we have gotten into the habit of doing date night at home.

And, to top it off many times have used our date night to get stuff done! It sounds even worse when I write it here! Ah, horrors! We thought because we were doing something together it would still be effective in connecting us.

We were wrong.

Quality within quantity.

So, we identified our challenges and came up with solutions. For us it looks like the following.

Our game plan

  • date nights away from home as often as possible
  • quarterly weekend get away times (we just signed up for a conference in April which we are so excited about!)
  • morning walks 3 times a week
  • continued learning together through reading and podcasts
  • being careful not to overload our schedule with projects we both love, but which have the tendency to steal precious relationship time

We truly have a great marriage, but we want an extraordinary marriage! So, we are willing to do whatever it takes to get there. We realize all other things will flow out of this core component of our lives. Without it we cannot expect to be truly effective or successful.

Question: How do you pursue quality within quantity?

 

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18 Comments

  • Reply Ann Musico January 17, 2013 at 5:42 am

    How nice to see the three of you – I’ve missed you!  I totally agree that quality is the key over quantity in every area – definitely in relationships and marriage as you beautifully illustrated, and I see it in health.  The quality of our food is much more important than the quantity – if you eat high quality “real” food most often the quantity takes care of itself because you are truly satisfied.  Great post Claudia!

    • Reply Claudia Good January 17, 2013 at 1:28 pm

      Ann!
      Thanks so much Ann!Yes, there are our smiling faces once again :)You bring up a great point about food. I have definitely found that to be true! Rather than always wanting to find a snack to munch on I DO feel truly satisfied. I’ve noticed when I increased the healthy fat intake I am less prone to eating sweets as well. Have you found this?

      • Reply Ann Musico January 17, 2013 at 1:41 pm

         Absolutely, Claudia – I know people are afraid to increase healthy fats – but the sweets are the foods that put weight on more quickly.  That’s why eating fat free is such a disaster!

  • Reply Ryan Ash January 17, 2013 at 9:59 am

    I’m proud of you both for setting a great example, and not just desiring an extraordinary marriage but truly going after it! Very, very weird these days, but so wonderful! You bring up some interesting thoughts. On the date nights…it’ll get REALLY hard if you have any more kids. 🙂 

    We’ve got some good goals for this year that I believe are going to help draw Ashley and I together even more. One of the things we’ll be doing is going to a one-day Entreleadership even in April. We’re really looking forward to that. We also plan on doing some other sort of motivational/growth type event during the year. What are you guys planning on going to?

    • Reply Claudia Good January 17, 2013 at 1:23 pm

      Ryan,
      Hey thanks! 
      Oh cool, I’m excited for you guys about the Entreleadership event! You’ll have to let us know how it is! Is is close by you guys?

      We are going to the Internet Prophets conference in Chicago. Very, very excited about it!

      • Reply Ryan Ash March 2, 2013 at 9:06 am

        I’m starting to hear about that event more often. You’ll have to let us know how it goes. Of course, I’m sure we’ll probably see a post about anyway. :p

        • Reply Claudia Good March 5, 2013 at 7:21 am

          I missed this one! Are you referring to Internet Prophets Ryan? If so, yeah, we are really excited not only to attend but to get away! 😉

          • Ryan Ash March 5, 2013 at 7:48 am

            Yes, I was, and I bet that you are. I guess Jude is going too?

          • Claudia Good March 5, 2013 at 3:51 pm

            No, he isn’t Ryan. We are looking forward to some time without the little man as dear as he is 🙂

      • Reply Ryan Ash March 2, 2013 at 9:07 am

        Oh…and Entreleadership is going to be here in Austin!

        • Reply Michael Good March 2, 2013 at 2:19 pm

          Nice, Ryan! You going?

          • Ryan Ash March 2, 2013 at 5:45 pm

            To Entreleadership, yes. 🙂

          • Michael Good March 4, 2013 at 8:43 am

            Nice! I want to hear how you like it.

  • Reply Andytraub January 20, 2013 at 10:47 am

    What conference?

    • Reply Claudia Good January 20, 2013 at 2:06 pm

      Andy,
      We’ll be going to the Internet Prophets conference in Chicago – in April. We are pumped! Will you be there?

  • Reply Michael Wright January 24, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    I can totally relate to this, especially since I’ve been working from home the past 7 years and with my wife not driving much.  It is the rare time when we are not together, and trust me, it definitely wasn’t all Quality!  It got to the point I was being encouraged to have some time alone….ha!  But you have excellent points there – it takes some getaway time, riding in the car, having a dinner (just us), etc. where we get to the soul level of our relationship.  I also found that family reading time (like a Bible study) can help draw us close and foster great discussion.  

    The thing about Quality time is that sometimes it takes Quantity of time to get to the place of Quality. 

    • Reply Claudia Good January 26, 2013 at 1:12 pm

      You are so right Michael!! It does take that extra amount of time to get back to the place where you can connect on a heart to heart level. I think especially with the constant interruptions with children… We are working out weekend getaways for this exact purpose!!

      Do you and the Queen do weekend getaways? 

      • Reply Michael Wright January 26, 2013 at 2:27 pm

        Sad to say, but no we don’t.  I’m thinking we might have gotten one 2 day away trip since CK was born.  That is for more reasons than one – first my wife just doesn’t do well on long trips traveling and secondly, she is VERY protective of CK.  In fact, only her mother has kept her, ever and that isn’t much.  So, it’s still a work in progress!

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