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  • Writer's pictureDr. Shaenor Ishmael

Clear the Clutter

When you reside in a home for an extended period, you automatically begin to collect and store “stuff”. Before you know it, you have a drawer filled with stuff, “clutter”. You have accumulated items in the garage, you have an office filled with papers and documents and your closet begin to grow with clothes and shoes etc.

Marriages are the same way. When you first become married, all you have is each other and you begin to build a life together. However, as we begin to build a life together we start to collect stuff within our marriage creating clutter. These items often refocus our attention from each other. We begin to worry more about the home (purchasing a home or the value of the home you currently have), the car, life insurance policies (make sure you have one) and becoming financially stable as a couple. Eventually, children are added to the mix and now you have completely neglected each other by focusing on the clutter.

It is vital to take time to clear the clutter and refocus on each other. Refocus on the love you have for each other and the commitment you made to each other. Love must be nurtured to grow and develop.

Spend time together, building and understanding the love language of each other, discussing each other’s goals, dreams and aspirations. Spend time connecting with each other spiritually, emotionally, and physically. As time goes by, individuals within a relationship grow and develop which can foster changes within the individual. It is vital to provide each individual space and support to grow and develop. However, at the same time growing together as a couple. Do not allow the clutter to grow to such a substantial level that you both grow individually and separately.

A key component for my husband and I is “date night”. It is such a simple concept but one that is often overlooked. We met when we were both in college focusing on our studies realizing we spend very little time together…and thus “Thursday Night Date Night” was developed and has continued over the years. The rule is simple we cannot schedule anything on date night that does not involve both of us and we must both agree on whatever is scheduled. Most times we simply go out to dinner, or we spend time together at home. There are a few times in which we will go out to dinner with another couple (The importance of relationships with other couples will be addressed in another post ).

During date night we focus solely on each other, we clear the clutter. Date night provides a reminder of the commitment we made to each other. It strengthens the friendship we have built and increases our “connectiveness”.

Remember to clear the clutter.

“Love grows best in little houses, with fewer walls to separate. Where you eat and sleep so close together, you can’t help but communicate. And if we had more room between us, think of all we’d miss. Love grows best in houses just like this.” -Doug Stone

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