A Simple Tool for Marriage Enrichment
Denise and I celebrated our thirty-seventh wedding anniversary in February: married 37 years; raised 4 children; served 4 churches; lived in 3 states and 9 different homes. We have known the joys and the struggles of married life and can honestly say that it gets better with each year.
One simple thing that we started several years ago that has made a difference in our marriage is to share morning coffee, every morning. Before either of us heads out to work or to the other demands of the day, we take about 30 minutes to have coffee and share our schedules for the day, continue any conversation that was not finished the night before, talk about our expectations for the day or week, and share what we need from each other. I don’t know of any other one thing that has made a bigger impact on our life together than morning coffee.
In his book, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, John Gottman lists the number 1 principle for marriage enrichment as, “Enhancing Your Love Maps.” By “love maps,” he means a familiarity with your partner’s world. It is the task of continually being updated on what your partner is experiencing, expecting, prioritizing, feeling, and thinking. The more detail that we know about our partner’s “love maps,” the more connected we will feel. That is exactly what our coffee time has done for us.
In every marriage, the daily stresses of work, children, and life get in the way of a meaningful life together. It takes work to stay connected on an emotional level. Some recommend that you have a weekly or at least monthly date night. That is great, but I also recommend morning coffee. It has worked for us.