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The Simple Weekly Habit That Totally Rebooted My Marriage

Mom.me logo Mom.me 4/19/2019 Tonilyn Hornung
a man looking at the camera: Photograph by Unsplash © Provided by RockYou Media(mom.me; purpleclover.com) Photograph by Unsplash

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

My husband and I were always distracted. “Hang on a second” became my personal mantra.

We were always in the middle of something. My days were filled with tasks, child-raising and errands. My hubby got sidetracked with his myriad of manly projects. And in the rare moments of stillness, I felt our habit of distraction bleeding into our marriage.

When we finally had a moment to spare for one another, it was often a preoccupied one. Date nights by definition are supposed to be nights where our attention is focused on each other, but this wasn't always the case. Getting work done or texting friends shouldn’t have long-term effects on our connection, but it was just more missed time together.

When we finally recognized each other walking around the house, we bickered over insignificant details like how to wipe down countertops and the most effective way to load the dishwasher. Our conversations were often curt and dismissive. It was apparent we were more in the habit of coldly speaking to Siri than to each other.

Related slideshow: Mistakes All Rookie Husbands Make (Provided by Best Life)

Our connection was slipping, and I wasn’t sure we could hang on for another second.

This unsupportive way of behaving hadn’t yet trickled down to parenting our son, so I attempted to rebuild our connection. I tried engaging more when we talked, but this can only work when both parties relate in a balanced way — and we weren’t. Our conversations continued to be bristly. 

I tried leaving love notes, but the magic of the Hallmark card only lasted briefly, and our routine caught up with us. I tried talking about our lack of connection, but it was abundantly clear we were not in the habit of hearing one another because we weren’t in the habit of listening. What was left?

All of my traditional methods had flopped, so I needed something a little more unexpected. Right then, the answer walked right by me. We had joined a gym to take our son swimming, and I noticed couples walking the track together — and a lightbulb went off. I was inspired.

“Honey, would you like to walk the track with me?”

He looked up from his phone.

“OK.”

I wondered if something as simple as walking would change anything. It did.

You can’t walk and text, and our relationship needed this uninterrupted time. It reminded us that we were more important than all those petty distractions. In a sense, our time on the track forced us to engage and listen in way we had lost. This deepened our connection, and I noticed a change almost immediately — and that my husband’s eyes were blue! Who knew?

This was the reboot we needed.

Our weekly walks are making us better people and as a result, we are definitely better parents. Our time together has rebuilt the support and respect that we’d let flounder, and now we look forward to our uninterrupted walks together.

There will always be distractions, but setting aside a dedicated time without them has strengthened the bond my husband and I share. And getting exercise never hurt anyone, either.


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