Even if we wanted to, two people can’t be together 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And some say that bits of time apart are healthy.

Those times apart may mean working during the day. It may mean separate work shifts, or one may work while the other takes care of things at home. There may be travel, separate hobbies or activities, different friends. Without great care, too much time apart can erode the connections between husband and wife.

Regardless of how much time you spend together, the moments when you go apart and the moments when you come together again are especially important. How you handle those moments can do much to keep you strongly connected. Don’t waste them!

When I come home from a shift at the hospital I know what will be waiting for me: a hug, a kiss, a smile, and an “I love you!” My husband and I trust that we are important to each other all the time, but we find those comings and goings often set the tone for the rest of our time together.

Here are some ways to cement the connection between you with the comings and goings:

  1. Kiss before you leave and when you return. And not just a peck on the cheek, but the kind of kiss that’s reserved just for your spouse. It says, “You’re mine. You’re special to me.”
  2. Leave notes for each other. If you’re going to be gone for a time, leave a note where your spouse will find it while you’re away. My husband says he still keeps the notes I leave him when I have to go out of town.
  3. Give undivided attention. Don’t do anything but focus on each other when you do come together, even if for just a few moments. Even if you’ve only been apart for a few hours, give your spouse the gift of your focused attention. Let problems with kids, money, the house, or anything else wait for later.
  4. Say it: “I love you!” We can’t ever hear it enough. Even if you’re mad at him or her, say it! Make it the last thing they hear before you leave, and the first thing they hear when you come back. And keep up the habit regardless of how long you’ve been married. You can have conflict conversations later, but not at the coming and going moments.

The moments when you leave and when you come together again are important. Be intentional about making them count!

Your turn: What do you do when you say Goodbye or Hello? How do you make it special? Leave a comment below. 

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