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Let’s face it. Busy couples don't have some of the luxuries they had when they were single. One of the first things to go—especially when kids come along—is quality time together. But sometimes the issue isn’t finding time to be together; rather, it's having the energy to give that time.
This lack of energy is often misunderstood as a lack of love, devotion or desire when, in reality, it has more to do with biology. As you age, physical, emotional and chemical imbalances can stealthily drain your natural resources.
If you, or your spouse, find you are using the “I’m tired” excuse all too often, stop to consider what may really be going on. What you may see as deliberate unavailability from your partner may actually be a lack of bioavailability.
The slow leak
Far too many couples misdiagnose their lack of energy, low libido, difficulty sleeping and depression. They accept these feelings as “just part of life” and continue on without addressing them head-on. They allow the slow leak. They don’t respect how transformative it can be. The slow leak can deflate even the most robust relationships. Not being able to obtain that quality time together can have disastrous results. Consider the following real-life situation.
The story of Sam and Billy
“We just stopped dating each other,” Sam started. “I don’t think it was intentional. We just felt so tired at the end of the day, getting ready to go to dinner with each other felt so exhausting. We even have older kids that can watch the younger kids.” Sam felt alone and undesirable. “I sometimes thought that he wasn’t attracted to me anymore. He (Billy) would already be in bed asleep by the time I was done tucking the kids in bed for the night….at 8:30!”
The battle to restore intimacy
Sam and her husband had tried counseling which did help with communication. However, they both knew and valued the importance of spending quality time with each other. “At the end of the workday, I was just so tired," reports Billy. "I felt like I was a disappointment to my wife and wanted to go to sleep. I didn’t feel the desire to be intimate with her and that made me feel guilty. It’s not because I wasn’t attracted to her anymore. I think she is the most amazing woman out there. I didn’t know what was going on with me," he finished.
Seeking help from optimizing hormones
Simply put, there wasn’t enough energy to keep that spark alive. Sam and Billy knew it was time to see what else could be done to help salvage their relationship. Sam visited Aviva Woman—a sanctuary-like clinic for intimate care and age management—to learn about individualized, bio-identical hormone pellet therapy. She discovered that many of the symptoms that she and her husband were suffering from (lack of energy, low libido, restless nights, and some depression) could be helped from optimizing hormones. She and Billy made the choice to each start a bio-identical hormone pellet program together and see what would happen.
A fresh start
It has been a few weeks since both Sam and Billy had their individual hormones balanced with pellet therapy at Aviva Woman. Sam is waking up feeling refreshed from a full night’s sleep. She has the energy to help get the kids to school and all the after-school activities. She even finds herself taking a little extra time to get ready in the day because “I just feel so excited about being me again!” Her husband has become the man she remembers. He holds her hand, pays more attention to what she does, and looks forward to spending quality time with her after kids have gone to bed. Not only do they make a conscious effort to plan dinners with one another, they are excited to express their love for each other the way they used to before kids, soccer, Saturday games, and so forth.
The power of hormone therapy for restoring energy levels
The providers at Aviva Woman use Bio-identical hormone pellet therapy and anti-aging medications to help community members strengthen the relationships that matter to them most. Aviva Woman has been balancing hormones for individuals and couples and has seen the benefits unfold for each person.
Why put forth the effort?
The power of hormone stability for restoring energy and desire is apparent in Sam and Billy’s story, but is it really worth the effort? Is quality time with our spouse really that important? Let me answer that for you with a resounding YES! Real Simple magazine says, “Getting enough couple time builds intimacy, opens communication and strengthens your bond, which in turn strengthens your marriage. Plus, it provides your kids with a good example for their own future relationships.” Quality time is what sustains and supports our daily dispersions as we go through life’s ups and downs.
What quality time isn’t
Quality time is listed in Gary Chapman’s highly acclaimed book "The Five Love Languages," as one of the five ways many feel and communicate love. What numerous misunderstand, and what Chapman discusses in his book, is that quality time is not proximity with one another but togetherness. Togetherness occurs with focused attention. It’s not about merely being there, but being together, engaged and focused on one another.
When energy returns, take time to make time
OK, now let’s get practical. If you want to have quality time with your spouse, you have to plan it into your day and life. This is not a readjustment of your priorities but a realigning of them. When your life is aligned with your spouse you are more likely to have the kind of intersections that you are needing. A recent article published in Time magazine made this simple statement: “What produces success in life also produces success in love.” Anything good is going to take some work and effort. So, grab a pen and start taking notes.
Building couple time into your busy schedule
Making time for quality time means you have to get healthy, find balance and schedule dates. Pure and simple, right? If this seems like too much to handle at first, start out slow. Make small goals. Start with a date a month and then try to increase the frequency. Look for ways to make simple interactions into quality moments. You don’t need an elaborate activity for quality time. Remember, it is about togetherness. (The kind that does not involve a cellphone).
FamilyLife.com offers several great tips for making time for your spouse including:
- Cultivate a common interest
- Have a set date night
- Try new adventures together
- Exercise together (some gyms have built-in babysitting)
- Write love letters to each other
- Go on an overnight getaway without the kids
- Set aside a time to talk to each other without the kids
- Read a book together and set aside time to talk about it
- Be accountable to one another (goal-setting and self-improvement)
- Grow your spiritual sides with service, prayer, and worship
Need some other ideas? Set aside a time each Sunday for companionship inventory. Write things down if you need to, but talk about what your goals and needs are for that week. Plan date slots together for that week and then don’t let anything bump them off the schedule. Create a list of things you want to do together and then start assigning them a position in your week, month and year.
Eliminating fatigue and investing in quality time with your spouse will yield you amazing dividends. Your emotional and physical health enables you to succeed in the other areas of your life that you want to succeed in. If you find yourself struggling with symptoms of fatigue, lack of libido, or depression, contact Aviva Woman for a consultation. Put first things first, including you and your “other half.”