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Strengthening Strengths: Time

In this series, Strengthening Strengths, we'll take a look at positive aspects of a relationship and how you can go about increasing them in your own relationship.

In today's segment, we'll look at time. Most people wish they had more time to do things they really enjoy. As a hat tip to the Tony Awards this upcoming Sunday, sometimes we ask like the character Eliza in the final song of Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton: What would you do if you had more time?

Dr. Bill Doherty, a professor in the Department of Family Social Science and director of the Marriage and Family program at the University of Minnesota, writes in Putting Family First that as households get busier and busier, families spend less and less time together.

He proposes several ways for couples to prioritize a marriage while raising children. These include planning marital time (actually scheduling it in a calendar), carving out private space (a bedroom, for instance, letting children know that when the door is closed, they should knock before entering), scheduling 15-20 minutes a day for a regular talk ritual (The Talk Ritual is another strength--more to come on them in a separate blog post), and making a big deal of your anniversary (whether 25 years or 1 year--a reason to celebrate).

Your time is important. Make sure you give yourself--and relationship--more of it.


Doherty, W. J., & Carlson, B. Z. (2002). Putting family first: Successful strategies for reclaming family life in a hurry-up world. New York, NY: Henry Holt.