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How do you stay connected w/ your dh (or dw)?


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Do you have montly or weekly date nights? Do you put the kids to bed early so you can have some time alone with him/her? I'm feeling a severe "disconnect" btwn my dh and I. We have some issues going on, but one of them is I just don't feel like we've really connected lately as a couple. We can't afford to go out AND hire a sitter. He is a morning person so evenings he is sort of just "done" by 9pm. We can't have serious conversations then b/c he's too tired. So how do you all do it? Any ideas for cheap dates? I loved the idea of going out for dessert instead of dinner (eating dinner at home and going out for coffee/dessert) that was posted on the mega dessert thread. Lately I just feel like we are 2 ships passing in the night and I need a real emotional connection before any "other" types of connection if you get my meaning. :D

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Dh and I get up about 7:30 and he leaves at 8:30. I expect to see no children during that time. If they are up, they stay in their rooms. Usually they are not up, because they stay up late.:D

 

The morning is our time. We discuss politics, local and entertainment news, who needs new shoes, etc. We have coffee together and take care of other things...

 

We also go out to eat out almost every Sat. night, but we take any children who want to go with us. Sometimes we get a separate table, but usually we all sit together.

 

Hope you find something that works for you-

Mandy

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We grab time when we can. We currently do not have a sitter; our latest and greatest moved late last year and we've been without ever since. When family comes for a visit they know they are required to at least let us run away for an hour to have coffee together without the kiddos. Sometimes that's all we can manage, but we're working on it.

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DH has REALLY been working on this lately.

Luckily, our 14yos and 11yos work well as a team to watch my younger 3, so we can go OUT for a short time.

 

How old are your kiddos?

Can you maybe barter some babysitting? Even just have a younger teen come over like a mother's helper to keep the kids away from your room for an hour? maybe make a nice little meal for her to take home?

 

I was listening to Lyndsay Lambert [THSC] this past weekend talk about the importance of date nights --"even if all we did was go out and stare at each other for an hour, that was enough for that time in our lives."

 

I'm not quite sure we are really "connecting", but dh is trying really hard to change his attitude and this is something he feels strongly about. I do think that we tend to "connect" more when there is a discussion including more than just the two of us.

 

If you have a church, you might be able to set up a double date. Or even if you don't have a church, feel free to cold call one and let them know you are looking for someone to help watch your kids while you work through some marital issues ;) network, Network, NETWORK! Friends, family, work, clubs, etc.

 

can you maybe TRY to get up super early just once a week to have that time w/ him? I'm SO not a morning person, and these 8am counseling sessions suck. my. energy. leve.l down., but they are worth it, i think. I can do that once a week, and sleep in till 10am the rest of the week, lol.

 

another thing would be activities or some sort of service project that would involve you both --even the whole family. I found that we can volunteer at the thrift store to hang clothes and organize stuff --even my 2yo can put toys in bins ! But something about getting out and giving of yourself can open the door to connecting w/ the people that help you.

 

And activities/ hobbies/ interests: does he have any? can you help in any way? I'm not a model builder or electrician, but i can find images, parts, and supplies on the computer and support him that way.

 

good luck-- it's not an easy, overnight thing ;)

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We live in a nice apartment complex and just about every evening my dh and I go for a walk around the complex. My dc's are old enough that they can be left for a few minutes without any worry. But it is these simple times that we have quiet and time to just be together or talk.

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I totally understand. DH and I just had this talk yesterday. It's been crazy! He's literally gone 6 days a week and when he's home he has so much work to do on the computer setting up outreaches for our teams that are coming and our training school that is starting in Sept. It's just insane. We are trying to come to some sort of understanding about it all and finding time to just be together.

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I talk my husband's ear off. Of course he does the same to me. He kisses me before work. I'm trying to start getting up with him in the mornings and fixing him breakfast...this gives us time together. He calls me from work at lunchtime. We talk as soon as he gets home (not a fan of Ezzo, but this is where we call "couch time" for ourselves while fixing supper). We also had the children in AWANAS this winter at Cousin's church and with Cousin working the activities. Hubby and I took this time to go up to Arby's/Subway/Chinese to eat and talk during that time.

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Unfortunately, my dh is up at the crack of dawn (5:30am and leave by 6:30am). With 2am and 4am feedings w/ my infant...I simply cannot be awake enough at that time to actually converse. Good idea, though! Keep 'em coming...great ideas so far!

 

well, w/ a little finagling you might be able to inch the baby's feeding time to 5:30 ;) it does sound like you'll need a third person to help you work in some time otherwise. Good luck w/ that!

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Do you have montly or weekly date nights? Do you put the kids to bed early so you can have some time alone with him/her? I'm feeling a severe "disconnect" btwn my dh and I. We have some issues going on, but one of them is I just don't feel like we've really connected lately as a couple. We can't afford to go out AND hire a sitter. He is a morning person so evenings he is sort of just "done" by 9pm. We can't have serious conversations then b/c he's too tired. So how do you all do it? Any ideas for cheap dates? I loved the idea of going out for dessert instead of dinner (eating dinner at home and going out for coffee/dessert) that was posted on the mega dessert thread. Lately I just feel like we are 2 ships passing in the night and I need a real emotional connection before any "other" types of connection if you get my meaning. :D

 

Dh and I have weekly dates...even if it's just supper in our room together. Sometimes it's nice just to sit in bed, eat and hang with him and not have to deal with feeding the dc,cleaning up, you know the drill. On those nights we do potluck where the dc get to pick whatever they want like cereal, pizza rolls, eggs or ice cream! Yes, I know, not very healthy, but it's just as much fun for them as it is for us. We also go out to eat and like to go walk around at Lowe's or Home Depot.

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For us, the date nights pretty much ended when baby #1 arrived. My mom was an older grandma so she couldn't handle the dc on her own but did help me a lot at our house by doing stuff with the dc when they were little so I could get some laundry done, fix a nice dinner, etc. My brother and his wife weren't interested in babysitting either...even though they didn't mind having me babysit for them when their dd was young. But I digress...

 

My answer isn't fun like a date night, but it's all I've got. If dh and I go outside to do yard work it's pretty much a sure thing that we'll be alone...just the two of us and the weeds. We also had a lot of time alone together last month when we painted a room. It's funny how the dc can make themselves scarce when there's work involved! :seeya:

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I need a real emotional connection before any "other" types of connection if you get my meaning.

 

hmm... Sometimes men can connect better emotionally if they have connected the other way first. Maybe you could try chatting and then connecting emotionally. It may not be a great chat, but it would break the cycle. Then you could feel connected emotionally and the next time the chat might be better for you both.

 

HTH-

Mandy

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My answer isn't fun like a date night, but it's all I've got. If dh and I go outside to do yard work it's pretty much a sure thing that we'll be alone...just the two of us and the weeds. We also had a lot of time alone together last month when we painted a room. It's funny how the dc can make themselves scarce when there's work involved! :seeya:

 

Oh so true. But ya gotta love em, right?

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We don't go out as much as we used to (free sitting from grandparents/aunts), but that is a nice break, to get out of the house together and try and talk about non-child centered things.

 

Our kids are in bed by 8pm or so and then we have a couple of hours to watch a video together or chat if we're feeling like it. Having TV shows we like to watch together (The Office) is fun.

 

I like to talk once we're in bed, but he's usually out pretty quick. I find that we stay more emotionally connected when we're physically intimate on a regular basis. :blushing: At least I'm wired that way.

 

We also chat or email some off and on during the day. Could you do that? Does your dh have a non-work email account you could use or MSN Messenger or something like that? Sending quick funny notes through the day about crazy things the kids do or how I'm feeling seem to make me feel like he's connected to my life better.

 

I hope you guys find some good solutions that work for you! I know I hate that feeling of disconnect.

 

Jami

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How big is your house, Sue?

Do you have enough space that you could hire a sitter to keep the kids at one end of the house, and have an in-home date night at the other?

Banish all children and the sitter from the family room, for example, and have a romantic movie night.

Or let the sitter keep them out of the kitchen/dining room so you can have a candle-lit dinner at your own dining room table. I do this every year for my husband's birthday. He prefers a home-cooked meal to a restaurant setting every time.

Turn off the phones and set some strict, one-night-only boundaries.

 

It's so hard to have little ones and a husband who is gone all the time. I remember feeling so alone and resentful when I was in the same situation.

Know that you are not alone, and remember that this, too, will pass.

 

It's a wonderful sign that you are working to make the situation better for both of you.

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hmm... Sometimes men can connect better emotionally if they have connected the other way first. Maybe you could try chatting and then connecting emotionally. It may not be a great chat, but it would break the cycle. Then you could feel connected emotionally and the next time the chat might be better for you both.

 

HTH-

Mandy

 

I agree with this advice. I know it's hard to "feel like it" when you don't feel like it, or when you're already emotionally distant, but I think Mandy's right that even if it's not great, it might spark better things for the next time.

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We have date night every night (have a snack together and talk, play games, read,) starting at about 8 p.m. during the school year and 9 p.m in the summer. That wouldn't work for your situtation, but when we couldn't have time every night (when dh was in grad school,) we did Friday and Saturday date nights at home, which were nice. I fed the kiddos early and put them to bed and we ate dinner together late.

 

We used to have the same situation here as in your last sentence. Like others have said already, I found that when I started connecting in the way that he needed to *ahem*, whether I felt like I had gotten my type of connection first (talking, etc.) or not, it did wonders for his desire to give me what I wanted.

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I agree with this advice. I know it's hard to "feel like it" when you don't feel like it, or when you're already emotionally distant, but I think Mandy's right that even if it's not great, it might spark better things for the next time.

 

Oh, don't worry. We chat even when I don't feel like it. And, it does sort of reconnect us in some way. But, all chatting and no, um *chatting* :lol: does not a marriage make, KWIM? Don't you just love the lingo on this board? :lol: Anyway, you all have some great suggestions. Love the yard work suggestion. My kids would surely make themselves scarce for that. As for the size of our home...cozy is a word that comes to mind. No way we could do a date night in. Now, I do have a wonderful neigbor who loves for my kids to come over and visit. So, there are times when we could sneak some time while they are visiting her. She will also babysit whenever we want (and she says she doesn't want money). But, her financial situation is not any better than ours and I feel obligated to pay her *something* for watching all my kids, KWIM? Her time is worth something.

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Dh and I meet almost everyday in our living room at 6:00 am. We sit and talk for a good hour...usually 1 1/2 hours!

 

The children are not allowed to sit on the sofa w/ us. They are to play quietly, or sit at the table and read (this is if they are out of bed at that early hour). Most days our kids are up by 7:00, so that gives us plenty of quiet discussion time.

 

Sometimes we are too tired to talk, so we just sit and sip our coffee or read. We usually have the radio on, with the volume down to catch up on the news or weather.

 

This is our treasured time and we wouldn't give it up for anything! It's great to talk about schedules, budget (groan), or anything that is on our minds.

 

Blessings,

 

Camy

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Now, I do have a wonderful neigbor who loves for my kids to come over and visit. So, there are times when we could sneak some time while they are visiting her. She will also babysit whenever we want (and she says she doesn't want money). But, her financial situation is not any better than ours and I feel obligated to pay her *something* for watching all my kids, KWIM? Her time is worth something.

 

How about bartering for her help. Two hours of babysitting in exchange for...

Your best lasagna dinner? Your fabulous apple pie? A straight across babysitting exchange?

Get creative. Surely there is something you do that would be of value to her family. Maybe she and her husband need a date night as much as you do. :D

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We try to have a "date" night every week. We can't afford a sitter so we feed the boys early and put on a video for them. One of us will p/u dinner someplace while the other sets the table nicely. We have dinner and then put the boys to bed...under no circumstances (except for blood or fire) are they to come out of their room. Then we will watch a movie, play games, look at pictures, dream, or whatever we feel.

 

Also, we have been reading a chapter from a selected book every other night or so after the boys go to bed. The books have been about how to improve our marriage, communication, finances, ect. We just went through The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman and now we are going through Now Your Speaking My Language by the same author. I must add, this was Dh's idea. We have a great marriage, but he wants a fantastic marriage. How can I argue with that?! The only cost involved for us is the purchase of 2 copies of the book. We like to make notes.

 

I hope you are able to find a time that will work for both of you. I am sure you will get some great ideas here!

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Do you have montly or weekly date nights? Do you put the kids to bed early so you can have some time alone with him/her? I'm feeling a severe "disconnect" btwn my dh and I. We have some issues going on, but one of them is I just don't feel like we've really connected lately as a couple. We can't afford to go out AND hire a sitter. He is a morning person so evenings he is sort of just "done" by 9pm. We can't have serious conversations then b/c he's too tired. So how do you all do it? Any ideas for cheap dates? I loved the idea of going out for dessert instead of dinner (eating dinner at home and going out for coffee/dessert) that was posted on the mega dessert thread. Lately I just feel like we are 2 ships passing in the night and I need a real emotional connection before any "other" types of connection if you get my meaning. :D

 

One of the ways I connect with DH is through text message. We bounce messages back and forth all day. He's not a phone guy, so it's one way that we get to communicate and if he can't answer right away, it's no big deal. He's a words of encouragement guy and I am NOT, so it's a good way for me to send him little encouraging notes that would feel lame if I had to say them out loud. I also send naughty messages sometimes, just to keep it fresh ;-)

 

We try to do things that we loved when we were dating. Our biggest love is concerts, especially old bands, which are pretty cheap tickets.

 

Dates seem to be feast or famine. Right now, they're famine, but we still send the kids to bed early and watch movie rentals in bed.

 

Sometimes we do mid-day weekend dates instead of evening.

 

Favorite cheap dates-

 

Go to the mall, sit in the massage chairs at Brookstone.

Go to Borders and browse the aisles.

coffee and desert.

Go on a motorcycle ride (you'd probably need a bike for that one ; )

 

hth,

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I find this is so very true for us. In other words, when one of us is not trying that hard, connection of all kinds happens less. I just try very hard to keep this in mind. We don't have sitting family, but my oldest occasionally is called on to fill this need, though truth be told I don't like to do it often. We get up before they do, stay up after they do, chat while getting dressed in the morning, etc.

 

While they are swimming, we sit beside the pool and talk. But, I realize that my situation is different from many, because our youngest is 7 now. While I had very small children, I was much closer to "the edge" and felt strapped for time and energy all the time. I don't know what to recommend, except to keep searching for those little chances to connect. We have "code words" and phrases that remind us of times past, or secrets we have just between us, that kind of thing.

I'll be thinking of you. I am very sympathetic!

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Do you have montly or weekly date nights? Do you put the kids to bed early so you can have some time alone with him/her? I'm feeling a severe "disconnect" btwn my dh and I. We have some issues going on, but one of them is I just don't feel like we've really connected lately as a couple. We can't afford to go out AND hire a sitter. He is a morning person so evenings he is sort of just "done" by 9pm. We can't have serious conversations then b/c he's too tired. So how do you all do it? Any ideas for cheap dates? I loved the idea of going out for dessert instead of dinner (eating dinner at home and going out for coffee/dessert) that was posted on the mega dessert thread. Lately I just feel like we are 2 ships passing in the night and I need a real emotional connection before any "other" types of connection if you get my meaning. :D

 

 

 

Well, due to our current situation, we can't do what we normally do. (He's in NJ, I am in NC.) We have a date night every week and some weeks that date night consists of simply sitting on the front porch with coffee and talking for an hour.

 

I can honestly say that I feel most disconnected from my husband when we have not been intimate. The longer we go "without" the more distanced I feel from him. Maybe you guys need to schedule some "intimate time." We have friends who actually write it on the calendar! That seems to structured for me, I like the spontanity of it. Three days is the longest that we normally go. Something happens after three days where I begin getting annoyed with him over nothing and we bicker like 6 year olds.;)

 

I hope you find that balance and I apologize for the TMI.;)

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Well, due to our current situation, we can't do what we normally do. (He's in NJ, I am in NC.) We have a date night every week and some weeks that date night consists of simply sitting on the front porch with coffee and talking for an hour.

 

I can honestly say that I feel most disconnected from my husband when we have not been intimate. The longer we go "without" the more distanced I feel from him. Maybe you guys need to schedule some "intimate time." We have friends who actually write it on the calendar! That seems to structured for me, I like the spontanity of it. Three days is the longest that we normally go. Something happens after three days where I begin getting annoyed with him over nothing and we bicker like 6 year olds.;)

 

I hope you find that balance and I apologize for the TMI.;)

 

I think there really is something to this, Elaine. When we fail to connect on an intimate level, everything else goes haywire.

 

We feel too distant. Like friends living together. Friends who bicker.

:confused:

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My dh and I are trying to incorporate more walking in our lives. We strap the 2 littles into the stroller, shoo the middle boy ahead on a run, send the girls out on the horses and get our fannies moving. My dh tends to converse more when we are side by side. I used to resent this and only felt satisfied with eye contact, but I am mellower (older;)) now and delight in making it easier for him to verbalize. We just got back from a walk and it felt great!

 

Not exactly date night, but it meets a need.

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DH and I, until last month, have had season tickets to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for 3 years. We averaged about 1 concert a month. We would usually drop the kids off at my parents' house (1 1/2 hours from where we live), then drive into the city to have dinner and catch our show. After, we would pop into Starbucks or a bookstore and have a coffee and read in peace for a few minutes, then go get the kids.

 

However, with the increase in gas prices, parking in downtown, and symphony tickets going up, we're going to opt for a couple of concerts in the coming year and maybe just catch a movie together from time to time.

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Now, I do have a wonderful neigbor who loves for my kids to come over and visit. So, there are times when we could sneak some time while they are visiting her. She will also babysit whenever we want (and she says she doesn't want money). But, her financial situation is not any better than ours and I feel obligated to pay her *something* for watching all my kids, KWIM? Her time is worth something.

 

Remember also that you might be able to repay her in a very important way later on. Go ahead and take a weekly hour. Something will present itself as a suitable reimbursement for both of you --just be patient!

 

and just fyi --it's taken us 14 years to get around to scheduling a weekly date night, so don't feel too bad!

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We've never done the date night thing, even before we had children. Now it's a mixture of early mornings, which neither of us are fond of, and stolen moments.

 

During spring and fall we go for an evening walk. That allows us to talk while I enjoy a cigar.

 

My father-in-law lives with us for the time being so we can occasionally slip out for 45 minutes or an hour: grab an ice cream or browse at Barnes & Noble. We did get out once for sushi, but everyone was a wreck by the time we got home.

 

We've both found that being more direct is the solution. Saying, "I want/need this..." has prevented more fights than either of us can count. Even if the request is simply for undivided attention or five minutes peace for a conversation. Making the request known makes all the difference.

 

It has been my experience that many women assume their husbands are aware of their needs. I'm sure most of you realize this is an error. Tell us what you need and want, in plain, direct language -- no circumlocution or euphemism -- and see if that doesn't make a difference.

 

Regarding timing: if your kids stay up late, like ours do, and your spouse is on a diurnal schedule, you'll need to adjust to finding time in the early morning. You may need to schedule discussions and "chats" while you two establish a rhythm that works.

 

I'm not sure that I'm adding anything that hasn't been said, so that's all from me for now.

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It's not exactly a date night, but I agree with those who've mentioned walking--even with the kids. We put the littles in the stroller and send the olders ahead of us on bikes or scooters. We've also done a front carrier or backpack carrier, depending on the size/age/mood of the babies. The big kids stay about 20 feet ahead and are doing their own thing, so DH and I can at least have a conversation.:D It's not perfect, but it's pretty relaxing. I love a good "walk-and-talk.":)

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We have gone through some challenging times of disconnect. Once when we had a newborn and dh was teaching at a college full time while getting his MBA we barely saw each other. That was our cell phone phase of life. :D He would call between classes and when he was eating. We snatched time when we could. We were also dirt, dirt poor and never got babysitters. We would have "in-house dates" that consisted of putting on the fireplace or candles and have dinner and conversation after the kids were in bed (we often had a baby swing going in the background). We took walks with the kids.

 

One other suggestion might be that you start writing each other quick notes. Just little encouragements. When dh is at sea those emails and letters, no matter how brief, keep us going.

 

Sometimes the imperfect results of honest effort is enough to connect. ;)

 

Jo

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We don't have a regular sitter or date night, but try to find places where our kids can play and we can have time to talk, or play a board game (connecting for me is talking, for dh it's playing a game):001_smile:. I don't know the ages of all your kids, but one way is to have a coffee at the park, if the weather is nice. Or find an indoor McDonald's play lot and just get coffee there while the kids play. Other times we have had at home dates on our balcony. We put a movie on for the boys and make them very happy with juice and popcorn. Sometimes we put the movie on the laptop and they watch it in their room. They love this treat and we get our talk time. We live in a small apartment so there is not a lot of privacy, but if the kids are busy then we do have some quiet space for our at home date. Some months are better than others in the frequency of our dates though :001_smile:

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We go to dinner once a week while the kids are at AWANAs or Youth Group at the church. Sometimes it is a nice dinner, but other times it is a quicker dinner at a pub or taco restaurant, and then we sit and linger chatting over a beer. We try to alternate to keep the cost down. It is hard to spend the extra money sometimes but I figure it is an investment into our marriage. When the baby was still small we would take her with us, but now that she is a toddler we are going a little less often since we now need to pay for a sitter too.

 

The one thing I really like about a set date night, is that even if one of us isn't in the mood to go out, the other one has been looking forward to it all day and makes the less interested one go anyways. It is also really nice to look forward to having a date!

 

There have been times when we have also had a date night at home and let the kids go to church or to friend's houses for a few hours. We put the baby to bed and enjoy some quiet time with no interruptions. The only problem I have with this, is that it is easy to slip into regular routines when you are at home, like checking email, watching the news and such. If you do an at home date night, I suggest that you make a 'lights out rule'. You can't use any lights except candles, and no electric appliances like TVs or computers (a little music would be the only exception and for that I would try to adhere by the rules and use a battery operated player).

 

There have been times when we met earlier in the afternoon and hit happy hour at a bar. Even if you don't drink, bars can be nice because there are no kids! Happy hour here is usually from 2-4 or 4-6 depending on where it is, so you may be able to find a sitter easier and the meal of orderves cheaper than going out for a full meal! (Bars here are all non-smoking so I may feel different if yours allow smoking.)

 

Packing a picknick (even just a snack of cheese/crackers/fruit)and having it at a quiet park is another way to have an afternoon date without the kids and keep the cost down.

 

If you live in a hot climate, maybe a trip to the art museum, art gallery, boat showroom (if you like to daydream) or any another place that is primarily adults would be a welcome change.

 

 

 

I hope you figure out something,

it really makes a huge difference if you can reconnect!

 

Tap

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We had a friend who we exchanged babysitting with. We babysat for them so they could go out and then they did the same for us. That helped with the cost. We've also done a similar thing where the kids went to a friend's house and then we went back home and just had dinner alone...and then we did the same thing for that friend.

 

For cheap dates: Walks, Go to bookstores and walk around together, Rent a video and watch it on a laptop somewhere (we've gone to dh's office which is close to our house but I've also thought it would be fun to do this in the mini-van at a park when the weather is nice...sort of like a private drive-in).

 

I think for me, the dates are not such a big deal but it's the conversation that is the big thing. I've realized for dh if we are physically together (and that isn't a euphaism for something else, I just mean when we're in the same room) he's satisfied. The talking isn't that important to him. But for me I don't feel connected if we aren't really talking. One thing I've found that helps is to specifally ask him questions about things that matter to him even if it's not something I care about that much. For example, he has been researching obsessively what kind of car to buy next (we have an old car on it's last legs) so I asked him what he was thinking about the car. I really don't care, I trust him and we'll get whatever. But he appreciated me asking and then we talked about other stuff. Or I'll make a point of asking him SPECIFIC questions about work. If I say "How was work?" I'll get "OK" back. But if I say "Hey, how is the design going for that church you are working on?" he'll start to open up and then we end up having a good conversation.

 

I totally understand about the time. I get up at 5 am every day and am really tired by 9. He gets up later and usually stays up later. We both work part-time and stay home when the other one is working. Often I can feel like our conversations have diminished to "Ok, C. ate this for lunch, H. pooped twice, H. had a nap, there are clothes in the dryer, don't forget to pick up milk, Love you, Goodbye" But I find if we both really make an effort to spend that little bit of time connecting at the beginning or end of the day and it makes a world of difference. Sometimes he gets up a little early or I stay up a little later, it just has to be a priority.

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A book suggestion....

 

"How Can We Light A Other Fire when the Kids are driving us crazy?"

by Ellen Kreidman

 

It addresses lots of 'connecting' questions of all kinds with some great ideas for you to try out.

 

Hang in there. The children get older and can stay by themselves eventually.

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We have found a place to talk to each other and our kids won't come in and bother us... the shower. Seriously, we try to catch an evening shower together once every two weeks or so. Sometimes we just literally chat and other times it leads to *chatting*.

 

Other than that, we tend to watch movies together about once or twice a week. During primetime tv season - we have a few shows we tape for when the kids are in bed.

 

We could do a date night every week if we wanted since we have lots of family to babysit, but we don't do it all that often. Sometimes we just run some errands together on the weekend and maybe grab lunch.

 

Back when we were first married, I remember getting Checkers and a video for a date night at home. Then we would just cuddle and watch a movie.

 

Oh the other thing I do is set two alarms in the morning. The first one, I wake up and cuddle with him. The second one goes off about 20 minutes later to wake up. This is by far our favorite time of the day.

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He is a morning person so evenings he is sort of just "done" by 9pm. We can't have serious conversations then b/c he's too tired. So how do you all do it?

 

I haven't read the other replies, but you answered it for yourself. Mornings. My dh is just like you described yours...he comes in at night and seems just...done! Even if something big is going on at work, I'm very likely not to hear the details until the next morning. So that is our 'time' together. Coffee on the patio. Or I sit in our bathroom (it is a big bathroom. :)) while he gets ready. Better yet, lately we've been going for about 2.5 miles walk in the morning. We get out of bed at 5:30 to do that. He talks my fool head off at that time of day.

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How big is your house, Sue?

Do you have enough space that you could hire a sitter to keep the kids at one end of the house, and have an in-home date night at the other?

 

We do this a lot. We've been trying to do something together once a week for about 6 months now. Sometimes we go out, sometimes we stay home. We usually have a sitter, but you could trade off week to week with a friend who would also like to go out. Sometimes we just rent a movie, put the kids down early, and have a late-night date upstairs.

 

My parents said they used to get a sitter and just go out for a cup of coffee and a piece of pie, because they couldn't afford dinner. But at least they got to talk.They would do it once a week.

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Sue,

I read through most of the responses and I can relate b/c I feel we (dh and I) go through major hills and valleys with this same problem. Here are my suggestions:

- leave a note by the coffee maker or in his car complimenting him for something or something sweet (or dirty is fine too)

- call him at work at lunch (or break?) and ask him how his day/night is going and just listen, don't add in about your day, make it about him

- drop your expectations of a deeper connection with him at this time, there are too many factors going on for you to have a strong connection right now, too many things working against you both. Celebrate and be happy for what you do have right now, a happy wife will make him want to be closer to you.

 

You know, the normal things...greet him at the door with a smile and kiss, give him time to exhale before laying your day at his feet (or the baby in his arms for a diaper change). You are both working very hard right now, just do what you can.

 

Fake it till you make it- it's hard at times but it does make a difference. At least in my experience :)

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Nothing could have "saved" my former marriage. But.....

 

I remember one defininging moment in which I admitted that my marriage was completely, irretrievably, totally dead. The kids were all at other homes for the night. I asked xh if he wanted to "go to dinner and a meeting". AA meetings and food were about the only thing in common we had left. He declined, on the basis that "it was too late". (It was 5:00 pm). It was a heart-breaking moment.

 

I did learn a few things from that situation that I think are vital.

 

1) Keep *my* core self together, independent, healthy and vibrant. That includes hygiene, weight, sleep, invidividual interests, make up/hair styling.

 

2) Be more than "mom" and "wife". Something! Anything that is *not* child or wife related.

 

3) Touch playfully whenever you can. Rub feet while watching tv. Back rubs, both public type and private. Bottom taps while cleaning the kitchen.

 

4) Kiss often. Romantically.

 

5) We leave sticky notes on our bathroom mirror. We've covered, clearned and covered it a couple of times in our year of marriage.

 

6) Email. We email about stuff; details of our day, interesting links, ideas for family time, um....private stuff, funny stuff, questions about dinner.

 

7) Family game nights.

 

8) We play Texas Hold Em together.

 

9) We work together when we can. I've assisted him with Process Serving, home repair (a side job), marketing for when he sold replacement windows. He's taught Texas History in my homeschool.

 

10) Sex. Often.

 

I realize that this post is written by a still newlywed without infants/toddlers or even the possibility of them. However, it's *also* written by a woman who is 42, married to a 56 year old. Between us, we have many years of marriage experience that assisted with the development of the need for the above.

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I always greet him at the door after work. We play Dungeons & Dragons together every Saturday night. We watch BBC's "Robin Hood" together (and he rolls his eyes while I swoon over Guy of Gisbourne). We have sex pretty much every night. At least once a week, we have a stay-up-talking-way-too-late night (sometimes until 1 or 2 a.m.).

 

We listen to what each other says. We debate politics (he's moderately conservative, I'm moderately liberal). We debate religion (he's very liberal Christian, sort of, and I'm Neo-Pagan). We basically just communicate affectionately, open-mindedly, and often!

 

And of course we talk about parenting and homeschooling!

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We have an outdoor spa, and we use it most of the year, twice a day- no kids allowed. Currently, the spa is off because its mid winter and the cost of running it at this time of year is very high. So we agree to have at least a walk around the block together, otherwise we do tend to disconnect.

 

Ds works from home but the issue is still there. So I invited him into the schoolroom to do jigsaw puzzles- which he loves to do- while we do our schoolwork. It can be annoying at times when he makes comments or disagrees with me, but it does keep him in contact with us. its very easy for me to get into my little world with th kids, and for dh to feel on the outer, and this way he feels more involved. It has also brought up some issues that he can help with- for example self worth in our son, who still thinks he is stupid from the 2.5 years he spent at school. Having dh talk to him helps so much- he just doesnt believe me that he is a smart kid who has some learning difficulties.

 

We don't do date nights because dh works evenings. We do go out together at times, like for motorbike rides when the weather is nice. Our kids have been left alone for a while, for years now.

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He is a morning person so evenings he is sort of just "done" by 9pm. We can't have serious conversations then b/c he's too tired. So how do you all do it?

 

We drive places. We are in the SCA, but don't have a group in our town so attending anything requires an hour or two in the car. Strapped into the passenger seat, he has nothing to do but talk or listen to me. Mwahahahhaa! He comes to SCA stuff more as boyfriend duty than because he's really that interested. Still, it does give us some common ground. In return, I play RPGs with him and the guys each Saturday.

It does get hard. I wait all week for a proper conversation that isn't about work or RPG's. He waits all week so he can stay home and not think about anything important. The car seems to be the best way for us. That way, he actually has time to remember that he likes hanging out with me. He seems to forget. Eventually the tot in the back will crack it, but singing "The Wild Rover" loudly together to pacifier her is such a bonding experience.

:)

Rosie

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