My friend and coworker started off our premarried class by proclaiming to a room full of optimistic but naïve engaged and dating couples, “MARRIAGE IS HARD, AND YOU’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!” While the chances of death for each of us continues to clock in at a solid 100 percent, all married couples know the truth of this statement and the challenges marriage brings with it.
Time is short, and the demands of life and marriage (i.e., laundry, dishes, bills, kids’ sports) pull us away from one another instead of toward each other. One thing that has helped my wife and me cultivate a healthier, more intimate marriage in the midst of the chaos is by looking for ways to maximize our time together. We serve together, do house projects together, and have even learned to write together.
Kristen would tell you she’s not a writer and doesn’t want to be, but no other person is more important or influential in my writing process than my wife. Based on our experience, I’d like to share five ways you can invite your “nonwriting spouse” into your writing process.
- Invite your spouse on the journey. If you haven’t already, start by having a conversation in which you let your spouse know how much you’d love for them to be more involved with your writing. Engage with each other about your hobbies and work life. Don’t expect your spouse to have the same passion and gusto for writing that you do, but look for ways to partner better together. The more you communicate and are aware of each other’s lives, the stronger your relationship will be. For example, every Sunday night Kristen and I hold a weekly schedule meeting. In this meeting we discuss schedule, expectations, commitments for work and the kids, and much more. This small investment every week builds our marriage and grows our writing partnership in the process.
- Ask your spouse to write a guest post. Your spouse has a perspective about whatever you’re doing on your blog, and you might be surprised how interested your readers would be to hear about it. Here’s another idea: Write an article from your perspective and then ask your spouse to write their own post on the same subject. Or your spouse could write a response to a post you’ve recently published. Two takes on the same subject can be very helpful for readers.
- Ask your spouse for creative input. Maybe your spouse is intimidated by or simply not interested in writing but is happy to give you input on your blog post ideas, your blog post titles, or on how you’re planning to structure a post. Maybe your spouse has a gift for finding and creating images or has technical skills to make your website load faster. These are essential nonwriting tasks. What if your spouse was able to help with them?
- Involve them in social media. Is your spouse active on social media? Can they help you by sharing your posts? Kristen does a great job of sharing whenever I write something new. This doesn’t take long, but every time she does it I know she supports my writing! Another idea: would your spouse feel comfortable commenting on your blog posts now and then?
- Ask your spouse to hold you accountable and give perspective. There are times when writing consumes me. I lose sleep; sacrifice time with my wife, kids, and friends; and I obsess over shares, likes, and traffic. Can you relate? One of the best ways Kristen helps me is she gives me perspective and reminds me of what’s really important. Yes, writing is a big part of who we are, but it’s not the whole picture.
This will look different for every couple and is not a one-size-fits-all prescription. Some significant others want to be very involved in the process, others are less interested. Simply and regularly opening up the lines of communication about your writing can be significant for you and your spouse.
Here’s a challenge for you. Sometime this week or next week, have a conversation with your spouse about your writing. Thank them for the ways they already help you, ask if they would be willing to help you with your writing, and discuss ways you can help them in their areas of interest. (Pro tip: Share this article with them and ask for their thoughts about it.)
A Special Gift for Chad’s Readers
One of the best ways to strengthen your relationship or marriage is to continue to date and pursue each other. While we probably did a great job pursuing our spouses while dating or as newlyweds, once we’re further down the road, we often get stuck in ruts or routines. To help, I put together a guide called 124 Killer Date Night Ideas. It’s full of ways you and your spouse can have fun together, including adventures, outdoor activities, challenges, and many other entertaining ideas. It’s been a big help to many couples, and I’d love to give it to you for free. To download it, click here.
Question: What’s one way you could ask your spouse to be more involved with your writing? How could you be more involved in one of their interests? You can leave a comment by clicking here.