Thursday, March 31, 2016

First Marriage Trap--The Time Trap

***Disclosure there are affiliate links in this article. By clicking on them I do earn a commission, or you can just go to whatever website you want and I don't earn anything. Totally up to you!***

I started reading the book Twelve Traps In Today's Marriage and How To Avoid Them by Brent A Barlow. I am going to once a week talk about a trap that he talks about in his book.

The first trap talked about is the time trap. How often do we complain about not having enough time to accomplish everything? Yet we all have the same amount of time in a day or week. We often can find time for the things we want to do the most, the things we value the most.

We worry about spending enough time with the kids. We talk about quality vs quantity. Which is more important? But do we worry about if we are spending enough time with our spouses?

Building a family is not the same as building a marriage. Both require different activities. We need to to strengthen our bond between ourselves and our spouse. We need to spend time together as a couple.

What counts as time together with our spouse? Does watching TV together count? Puttering around the house? Eating meals together? Sleeping at night? Any family outing? Or does it need to be more quality time?

I feel like we need to have time together just the two of us to talk without any distractions. No TV, kids, or cell phones allowed!

We need to spend time talking about more than just the mundane daily tasks and the kids. We need to be able to open up to each other and talk about our feelings, emotions, goals, dreams, and ideas. And we need to talk about each other and our relationship and how to make it stronger.

In the book he has a chart called the time test. Where basically you fill in how many hours a week you spend on various activities. 17 hours a week equates to about 10% of your week.

Most people spend 80% of their week in necessary activities like sleeping, job, household management, eating, child care, etc.

Most people will then spend 15% of the week on individual and recreational activities like sports/hobbies, exercise/healthcare, education/study, church/community, reading, TV, etc.

That leaves 5% to accomplish family activities and activities with our spouses. Granted some of the recreation time is being done with our families or spouses. But is it enough?

Most people will spend less than 2% of their week in marriage maintenance.

Are we as a married couple our own worst enemy? Much like delaying regular car maintenance can seriously ruin our cars, are we ruining our marriage by not doing the regular marriage maintenance necessary to keep it strong?

We demand and expect more of our marriage but the constant daily grind and routine wears us down. We end up losing patience as our expectations aren't met. We end up getting on each others nerves and tempers flare.

Weekly dates are good but what are we doing daily?

We need to take time each day to talk to each other without the kids, TV, or cell phones around as distractions.

We need to give occasional gifts, a weekend getaway, a vacation just the two of you to reconnect and show each other that we care. These things do take time and money but just like regular oil changes cost less than a new engine, these things cost less than a divorce does both financially and emotionally.

If you don't take enough time weekly as couple you will fall into the time trap. A time trap is 2% or less of your week spent as time as a couple. That's 2-3 hours a week or less!

If we can take 20 minutes a day talking we will already be at 2 hours and 3 minutes a week!

We need to use the 3 T's - Time, talk, and touch. When you are using your 20 minutes a day to talk hold hands or have your arms around each other or hug.

By doing the 3 T's everyday you will grow closer as a couple and your marriage will strengthen and your family life will be strengthened.

Twelve Traps in Today's Marriage and How to Avoid Them


  1. Good tips. I agree, communication is key in a marriage!

    1. Thanks Tom! Communication really is the key to a successful marriage as well as any relationship!

  2. Ugh, I need to get this post tattooed somewhere!

    1. I definitely needed the reminder!