My husband and I are really good at signing up for marriage challenges. We download the apps and register for the challenges, and then…nothing. We watch Star Trek instead as the phones ding with updates and the challenge e-mails go unread…Oops. We always think this time we will follow through, but then Captain Picard says something insightful* and we find ourselves cuddling on the couch listening to his wisdom. Most likely marriage advice from a starship captain is not a good idea. Anyways, I digress…
Currently, we are supposed to be doing a 30 Day Challenge from Amazing Life Together. (They have a 15 day challenge now that would probably fit our schedules better, so I encourage you to look into that one too!) This challenge is unique in that it is a mixture of small daily challenges and conversation topics. One day might be “Do a small surprise for your spouse” and the next day might be “Reminisce about your honeymoon.” The best part about this challenge is every Sunday, a weekly round up is sent out. On Sunday, I write down all the challenges in a notebook that Trae and I can look at. We realize that we aren’t going to finish the challenge within the the 30 day deadline, and you know what, that is okay. More than okay in fact. Marriage challenges are about strengthening your marriage, and if a 30 day challenge doesn’t fit the needs of your marriage, then it won’t help.
Do not be afraid to change the rules of a challenge so the challenges or apps will strengthen your marriage. The purpose of a challenge is to help a couple work on their weak spots and right now our weak spot is communication. By the time I get home from a day filled with work and play practices, I am all talked out. I just want to hear Jeah-Luc Picard solve the Federation’s problems in one hour while Trae rubs my feet. I am not normally in the mood to reminisce about on how I knew he was the man I was going to marry…heck, as long as he rubs my feet he will remain the man I am married to.
I know this is a sign we should communicate more. This is why we have learned to manipulate the challenge to fit us as a couple. Make sure you do what is best for your marriage. If you find that you do not have time to complete a challenge, then do not feel guilty. The app doesn’t know if you finished within the deadline. For example, I am going to end this blog because Trae and I are going to eat dinner and then head to a music jam. Captain Picard will save the federation another night, but tonight on the drive, maybe we will discuss one of the challenge topics….Maybe. Maybe we will talk about how his hockey team won their first game. All I know is we don’t have to finish this helpful challenge in 30 days.
UPDATE: Oops. We got lazy and watched two episodes of Star Trek. My foot rub was phenomenal!
*One of my favorite Picard quotes: “Buried deep within you, beneath all the years of pain and anger, there is something that has never been nurtured: the potential to make yourself a better man. And that is what it is to be human. To make yourself more than you are. Oh, yes — I know you. There was a time you looked at the stars and dreamed of what might be.”