My husband and I have 3 or 4 long-standing arguments, and one of them is what exactly counts as “quality time.” My husband feels like if we’re in the same place at the same time, as long as we’re together, hey, that’s quality time. To me that’s a cop-out way of defining quality time. So we’ve butted heads about it and even though we’re still working out the kinks, I figured I should at least help the husbands out there understand what they’re wives mean when they want more quality time together.
1. Quality time is planned at least half the time. It’s great to have unexpected moments where things aren’t as crazy as usual, and you can have a conversation that’s longer than usual, or catch a show together on a whim. But the best quality time is PLANNED. It’s something that you intentionally mapped out and organized, and maybe even spent money on.
2. Quality time has a focus. This is something my husband and I have (heated) discussions about all the time. We go to church, come home and have lunch with the kids, and he counts that as quality time. To me that’s family time but not necessarily quality time with me. Going to church for a mom means I spend 2 hours getting myself and the kids ready to go, then spending a lot of time in the mother’s room giving my kids a snack, or a break from a long service. It means getting up every 40 minutes to bring my daughter to the bathroom. It’s work. So yes, my husband is there, but our focus isn’t each other during that time, it’s on the kids.
Being in the same room as your wife at the same time, even for an extended period of time, isn’t necessarily what she considers quality time. After all, the kids are playing, throwing tantrums, or pooping themselves. Even if you don’t have kids, if you’re on your phone or computer doing stuff for work, or watching highlights from the last game, your focus isn’t on your wife. So make sure that you are FULLY engaged when quality time together is happening. Put your phone (far) away so that you’re not able to check it. Some people are so used to being on their phone that picking it up every couple of minutes has become an unconscious reflex, and doing that while your wife is in the middle of telling you about her day will make her feel like you don’t really want to be there.
3. Quality time happens on a regular basis. Have a standing appointment with your wife so she knows when to get dolled up. Put it on the calendar and make sure nothing interferes with it. Schedule your other meetings around it, and if you accidentally schedule something on that same day, cancel that other thing, not your date night. If it doesn’t become a non-negotiable, then it’s always going to get pushed to the backburner, and won’t happen very often.
If quality time happens consistently, then your wife will understand the one or two legitimate emergencies you have. But if you’re inconsistent and constantly moving your dates around, she will feel like quality time just isn’t a priority to you, which wives automatically interpret to mean she’s just not important to you.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, there are still a few questions to be answered that I’d love the wives to chime in on:
Does sex count as quality time?
Does money have to be spent in order for it to be considered quality time?
Is there a minimum for how long it should be in order to be considered quality time?
Till next time!
P.S. Download your FREE copy of Love Me This Way here. It's a short read and I get really vulnerable, all for the sake of showing you the challenges you face when you say "I do."