The typical stereotype of a homeschooling family doesn’t usually include parents who are madly in love with each other. Society portrays them as harried and exhausted people with no time for each other. Sadly, this picture is often true. Too few couples would describe their homeschooling marriage as “hot!”
The strength of the marriage is the foundation of the home, yet sometimes mamas with a full plate of busyness forget that. In the day-to-day responsibilities of teaching math and shopping for groceries, their role as a wife falls to the bottom of the list. And while it takes two to tango, we all know that we can only work on ourselves, right?
Here are three secrets to help move your homeschooling marriage from ho-hum to hot:
Just Say No…to Shame
Have you ever wondered why your husband reacts in anger to some small thing that you innocently said or did? Chances are, you shamed him in some way. Shame is the opposite of respect, and it can actually feel physically painful to a man. Being shamed cools his feelings of affection and creates a wall of protection. A few ways that we inadvertently shame our husbands:
- Criticizing something he has done for us
- Refusing his request for affection in the bedroom
- Disagreeing with his parenting (especially in front of the children)
Awareness is the first step in change, so step back and listen to your self. Are you accidentally causing shame to your husband?
Homeschool Goal Setting
While you’re setting goals for your children’s progress through the school year, how about three simple goals for your marriage? Too often we figure that hubby is a big boy and can take care of himself. We don’t include our relationship in the list of school priorities, and that hurts our family.
Think through three simple, measurable goals for your marriage this year. The point of goals is to give this area some thought and effort. Set simple goals like:
- Connect in some way at least twice a day: hugs, kisses, look into his eyes, talk about his work and interests
- Set a specific goal for your relationship in the bedroom. At least three times a week is a good goal. Did I hear a gasp? Oh, dear. Try it and see how it transforms your marriage….and your husband.
- Date Night once a week. If you absolutely cannot get a babysitter, declare it Date Night at Home anyway. Decent dinner, sit by each other on the couch to watch a movie, turn in early and light candles. Double bonus points on your weekly goals!
Look in the Mirror
The vast majority of husbands don’t expect their wives to be a size two and wear heels at home. But too many women use the “he should love me the way I am” card as an excuse for little or no effort on their appearance. We can’t change the fact that men are visual. It’s not their fault, and they’re not wrong. When we dress sloppy and neglect basic grooming, we send a message that his needs aren’t important. Not to mention the memories we’re creating for our children!
Yes, painful situations in a marriage could give you ammunition to disagree with each of these three secrets. But if your first reaction is “Well, he…” and “But he should…” be very careful. Certainly there are areas where he can improve. But because wives have such tremendous influence over their husbands, taking responsibility and being the first one to change could have far-reaching effects in your marriage.
Don’t allow yourself to get into overwhelm or despair about these three secrets. Remove the emotion. Sometimes overwhelm is an excuse to get out of doing something. Start small. Your family will benefit from the focus on your marriage. Try working on one secret and notice the changes. Having a hot homeschooling marriage is one of the best things you’ll ever do for your family!
How do you keep your homeschooling marriage healthy and hot?