In a world where a trillion is a familiar world, the stress of simply surviving life can become a daunting effort. More than ever, couples need to know how to stay connected during the trials ahead.

I work with couples every week who are in total survival mode. It’s like they’re on a treadmill playing ping pong. That plastic ball keeps coming towards them from who knows which way. They push him away but he comes back. All the time they are trying to stay upright and running on the moving platform below them. Sounds like a pretty tough situation, doesn’t it? Okay, now imagine two people doing the same action while staying connected and communicating.

What I described is the typical young family in today’s culture. Somewhere in the mix of taking care of things at hand, the marriage becomes disconnected, overwhelmed, and closed.

“Stop the world, I want to get off,” becomes the frequent cry for help. Surprisingly, stopping is the first step in pushing back this sinister cloud of frenzied activity. Here are some steps that can help you reconnect your marriage.

1). Be intentional. Nothing ever happens unless you program it on purpose. You have everything else on your daily to-do list … everything from taking out the garbage to putting food in the budgie’s cage is on your to-do list … why not put your marriage on the list too ? Decide together that you are going to “meet” for ten minutes a day to reconnect. This “meeting” has to be uninterrupted, so do it when the children are in bed or before they get up. This may mean getting up 10 minutes earlier in the morning or going to bed 10 minutes later at night. Either way, this moment is one of the most precious moments of the day, so make the sacrifice.

2). Make eye contact. Sit in silence. Take 10 deep breaths. Look into each other’s eyes. Remember when you first met how you probably sat and looked at each other longingly? This is the same concept except in abbreviated form. Eye contact is a very important component of communication. Don’t let that person at work be the only one looking your partner in the eye.

3). Do you know that the average couple speaks meaningfully for only 20 minutes a week? Imagine if you spent 10 minutes a day looking into each other’s eyes and having heart-to-heart communication. You would be three times more connected than the average couple in America! So during these 10 minutes of connection, you talk about “issues of the heart.” Here are some examples of “heart subjects”.

“How are you today? Are you feeling scared, overwhelmed, angry?”

“Where is your heart today? Can you tell me what you are feeling?”

“Help me understand how you are today. Tell me where you are in your heart.”

4). As you can see above, the rules of the game mean that you will explore how your partner feel. This “subject of the heart” connection means talking about “f things” …feelings! You are not allowed to argue, try to resolve past arguments, solve a problem, or especially talk about finances! You are only allowed to look into the eyes of your partner and discover what is going on in their heart. Are you lonely, scared, overwhelmed?

Does this sound too cheesy or simple or just cheesy? Don’t hit it until you try it. I challenge you and your spouse to intentionally sit down and connect for ten minutes every day. You won’t believe the difference it will make to help you survive the crazy treadmill of life.

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