Counsellors and educators often talk about the importance of fun in a marriage. For those of us raising families, couple fun is one of the first casualties in the busy family schedule. Enter the Couple Project! – a great way to put fun back on the agenda with these multiple benefits:
- Time together. This is so important many marriage counsellors will demand their ‘recovering’ couples prioritise time together, up to 15 hours a week. This can be daunting to the estranged couple and here’s where a couple project can help; you don’t need to rack your brains trying to think of something to do with your couple time.
- Recreational companionship is one of the most common love needs and also one of the best divorce-proofing strategies. Too many spouses stray from their marriage because they are attracted to someone else who shares their interest at work or in a particular hobby. Being able to share a recreational interest helps protect your affections from seeking someone else’s attention.
- Projects that challenge usand throw up obstacles such that we really have to apply ourselves to succeed, help us grow in our own skills and virtues – all things that can be put to work in building a better relationship.
- Joint projects help develop our team building skills and enhance our sense of being on the same team. Like protective padding, these experiences give our relationship layers of resilience that help us resist the negative impact of future challenges.
- And at the end of the project, when we look upon our joint accomplishment with pride and satisfaction, we inherit a veritable treasure trove of stories and memories from which we can draw encouragement. These memories provide ample fodder so that we can brag about our spouse’s tenacity and cleverness with real conviction.
Finding a Joint Project
Many couples discover love through a shared interest like hiking, cooking, travelling, ball room dancing, astronomy to name a few. Some of these shared interests are difficult to sustain when children come along, but many couples have successfully translated their hobbies to family-friendly versions. Our new interest in hang gliding, for example, was surrendered for the less risky scuba diving when we began our family. Both gave us the nature fix that we love.
Similarly, some couples build their recreation around a cause or ministry. When undertaken by only one in the marriage these projects can be resented especially if they are time consuming or expensive. When a cause is shared as a couple project, not only does it bring two instead of one to the service of the community, it helps us build a truly meaningful legacy. Our work in SmartLoving over twenty years in supporting marriages has become a cause that has the added benefit of keeping us up to date with the latest tips and tricks in fostering our own marriage.
But don’t be limited by these ideas … for some outrageous examples of couple projects, read our blog on the topic. https://smartloving.org/couple-projects/