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family swing sets Greg built for us to all enjoy

How Do You Purposely RELAX and Focus on ENJOYING Your Family?

family swing sets Greg built for us to all enjoy
family swing sets Greg built for us to all enjoy

I talked last week about how I am much more inclined to DO things than to “relax.”

I was thinking about that. And – I may need to clarify. Greg’s definition of relaxing is to cuddle together and watch TV. Talking is not necessary. So – when I say I am not good at relaxing, I guess I mean – just sitting in front of a TV screen for extended periods of time isn’t really my thing. Sometimes Greg will say, “Come over here and relax with me for awhile.” Of course, I deeply appreciate his invitation and always take him up on it! I am happy to be with Greg. And it is good for me to rest sometimes.

The past few years, as Greg has felt so much safer with me, we have often been able to combine what we both like – sit in front of the TV together, cuddle, and do some talking. If we can do some talking – now, that is fun to me! I don’t talk as much as I used to before I understood about respect. I used to talk ALL THE TIME. But I do talk more now than when I first started on this journey. Things are much more balanced now. I still leave periods of silence – because I know that for Greg, silence is important sometimes. He has some limits to how much he can hear about certain topics. I try to respect that and not exceed his limits. (I totally understand that. I have limits about how much I can absorb about sports or my son’s favorite video games, too!)

Sometimes I will sit beside him and read. Other times, I will purposely focus on whatever he is watching and make friendly comments every once in awhile. Thankfully, he doesn’t watch horror movies! It’s usually science, history, cooking, or sports. I can get more interested in science and history kinds of things. So, that can be fun.

Turns out, some of our husbands really don’t want us to DO tons of things for them, they would really appreciate us relaxing and enjoying them and just being together. How wonderful!!!

I TRY TO PURPOSELY ENJOY GREG AND OUR CHILDREN

Sometimes, I could easily allow myself to get so caught up in blogging, praying, reading the Bible, or even cleaning up after supper – that I could miss out on sweet times of fellowship with my family if I am not cautious about my particular tendencies. So, I purposely make sure that I set aside time for fun things. I know. I’m probably really weird here!

Some things we do to connect as a family are things like:

  • going for a walk together around the neighborhood or at the Riverwalk
  • watching science shows or even just AFV together and laughing together (but if we are watching TV as a family, I like to involve the kids in some occasional brief discussions, asking them to predict what they think will happen, or what they think about what we are seeing. And, of course, if there is something that is dishonoring to God, we talk about that and try to skip it or turn it off)
  • listening to my son talk about the things he is interested in and how things are going at school
  • listening to my daughter talk about her day and her ideas
  • going to the back yard to swing on the big swings Greg built for our family a few months ago
  • playing games together at the dining room table and having hot chocolate
  • throwing a ball around together
  • watching cute animal videos together on Youtube
  • cuddling together
  • joking together
  • visiting with our children at their schools at lunch time
  • reminiscing
  • going to the zoo or museum together
  • looking at old pictures and videos
  • going on day trips sometimes to national parks in our area

 

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Husbands, how do you like to enjoy your wife and family and relax?

Wives, how does your husband like to relax?Β How do you like to relax together and enjoy each other and/or your children?

 

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19 thoughts on “How Do You Purposely RELAX and Focus on ENJOYING Your Family?

  1. April,

    My husband and I, very intentionally, do not have cable, but do enjoy watching DVD movies together once or twice a week. We also like to simply sit in the same room together doing things separately. For example, I will write on my computer and he will read or do research on something he’s preparing for resale. I was once later returning home than I expected to be, and he told me, “Even if we’re not doing anything together, I like knowing you’re here.” It’s the way we feel about just being in the same room. Sometimes we sit in front of our woodstove and talk, or on the step after supper when the weather is nice. And if we’re reading, it’s enjoyable to be able to read tidbits to each other. In this environment, it’s also easier to share whatever might be on our minds, but often we just relax and don’t talk much. So nice to have stillness, too! Elizabeth

  2. i can totally relate. my husband is similar. he would prefer i watch a game with him or play a sports board game with him. his hobby is stratomatic board games and would love for the family to play with him, but the kids have had so much of it when they were little, they’d prefer not to. sometimes i feel as if i don’t have a couple of hours to sit and watch a game. i feel like who is going to do the dishes and laundry if i spend as much time having fun as he does. but it is nice that they he likes me to just hang out with him. our kids are older and tend to go their own way and so my husband and i enjoy quiet time when everyone is out of the house. we enjoy the peacefulness together just being in the same room together while he’s playing his game and i might be reading or watching tv and we talk.

    1. Monica,

      I often come in and out at times with laundry and things. Then try to sit with Greg when I can. I try to make myself be totally available to Greg after about 9:00-9:30. He sometimes has other things going on, but I try to be free in case he is ready to cuddle together after that time.

      Thank you for sharing what y’all do. This is helpful!

  3. My husband enjoys me sitting near him while he watches tv. (I find it interesting that a lot of husbands seem to want their wife to just ‘hang out’ with them while they watch tv.)

    There’re a few shows we watch together but I read a lot. We do watch movies together on occasion and sometimes with our children, when they want to join us.

    As our children are teenagers, we kind of have a ‘catch it when you can’ philosophy in spending time with them. Talk when they want to talk, push things aside when they do show an interest in time with us and make the most of activities together. My son gravitates more toward doing things with his Dad for leisure and my daughter does the same thing with me. But that’s okay and gives us some great guy time or girl time.

  4. What if your husband does not relax? When he gets home from work, he feels compelled to go change the car oil or some house project or whatever. For him, doing manual labor outside by himself if relaxing. He has gotten up at his normal early time and noticed my sink was sluggish and fixed it. He has admitted to me that he does not know how to relax. It makes him feel uncomfortable. I have never, ever given him a to do list. I don’t have to. Of course, it has affected his health.

    1. Elizabeth,

      Is your husband still working a super stressful job and long hours? How is his health these days? Those things would definitely impact how you might approach him. Is there anything he likes to do for fun? Did he ever used to have a hobby or a favorite sport or a favorite place to visit? Does he like to go for walks? How much time does he have to spend on something relaxing?

      Praying for wisdom for you and for healing and rest for you both, my dear sister!

  5. April,

    Wow! Another light bulb… You just posted something the other day on PSG about how understanding male mentality can give us a glimpse of God. Yep!

    I want to do for Christ. I want to perform well, and always be of service to Him. Well, sometimes He may be calling me to just be in His presence. I love these times, but they do not happen as often as I would like. This is because of me, not Him. My love language is also acts of service. I show my love by doing for folks. I guess I even do that with God. Resting quietly is probably the last thing I would think to do on my own. Quality time is probably my lowest love language.

    What a great reminder for us to stop and remember to give love in the way a person accepts it, not just how we receive it. And, more importantly, a great reminder to me to just rest in His presence, and to just soak up His goodness. Sometimes I feel as if I am not reading and learning something and studying the words in different translations, or I am not worshipping with words, that I am not being the best I can. Maybe He just wants me to be still (duh! it is in His Word) sometimes.

    Man, I probably would have driven my husband a bit crazy if I were married to a man who likes quality time and quiet. I love these lessons!

    Thank you for sharing with us!

    1. Lee Ann,

      I know! How cool is it that there are so many parallels in our walk with Christ and in marriage?

      Yes, what a beautiful reminder to slow down and be still and know that He is God and to just bask in His presence and enjoy Him. πŸ™‚ LOVE THIS!

      I’m so glad this was a blessing, my sweet sister!

  6. i love the parallels of our Lord and our husbands. We as women feel good about accomplishing things and always have many things on our agenda. but if we really ran the agenda by our Lord and our husbands, they would probably say, nah this isn’t important, just sit with me for a while! haha

    1. Tricia,

      Depending on why he is spending a lot of time on the computer – it can be good to offer something fun in a pleasant way without pressuring him. But then, if he declines, I vote to spend your time doing something that blesses you. Visit with friends, do Bible study and prayer, sing praise songs in another room, do something fun with the children if you have any… I think it can be really important to share that we would love to spend time with our husbands but without being nagging or disrespectful about it. Another approach could be, “I’d love to spend some time doing X this week, Honey. Thanks!”

      When I first started this journey, Greg was either working at work, or working on projects at home, or watching TV and tuning me completely out. He was totally shut down. It took 3.5 years before he felt safe with me again.

      If a wife was being disrespectful or pressuring her husband, stopping the negative stuff can be super helpful. Giving him some space can be helpful. Then offering things in a friendly, non-pressuring way, usually just once, may be helpful.

      I am not sure what the situation is with your husband or if any of these things might apply. Praying for wisdom for you both!

      1. Thanks, Peaceful Wife – so helpful. btw – you and I sound like twins – scary! Your intensity cracks me up – I have to be so intentional about relaxing or having fun. Funny πŸ™‚

        1. Tricia,

          Yep. I am definitely intense. I know it probably sounds crazy to have to purposely set aside time to do fun things. But that does not come naturally to me. πŸ™‚

          Much love, my dear spiritual twin! πŸ™‚

  7. “I was thinking about that. And – I may need to clarify. Greg’s definition of relaxing is to cuddle together and watch TV. Talking is not necessary. So – when I say I am not good at relaxing, I guess I mean – just sitting in front of a TV screen for extended periods of time isn’t really my thing.”

    Thank you for this clarification April. I, too, don’t generally choose sitting in front of a TV screen for extend periods of time as my outlet for relaxing.

    I would say that I can relax; I just relax in different ways. And that’s ok.:)

    I doesn’t sound crazy to purposely schedule in fun things, it sounds wise to be intentional about things at can get swallowed up by the day-to-day goings on life.

    I schedule in my fun reading. This is reading that gets pushed back (for years!). So, now it’s on a schedule. Saturday’s. During my youngest’ naptime. By the way, I’m currently reading Archaeological Evidence for the Bible by Charlie Campbell. Super Fascinating. I find this to be really really fun, I love going through this book with the Lord to see all the artifacts unearthed that completely corroborate the Bible. Other people might not find it fun. And that’s ok. πŸ™‚

    Here’s the link:
    http://www.alwaysbeready.com/archaeological-evidence-for-the-bible

    One new thing we are doing is having more game nights with our kids. Apples to Apples Bible Edition, Scrabble, Qwirkle. This we all enjoy.

    Also, a good old fashioned bike ride is nice.

    Is it good to sit beside my husband and see what is interesting him (team sports, documentaries, other movies)? Of course!

    Do I find it “relaxing?”

    Of a truth? From time to time, yes.

    And sometimes, I can be there genuinely enjoying what I can just to bless him. And that’s ok.

    1. Autumn,

      Love this. Thank you so much for sharing! I understand exactly what you are saying – and there is joy in just resting in our husbands’ love and in their presence and soaking up just being together. I love your heart for Christ and for your husband. SO beautiful!!!!!

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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