Marriage Advice From A Christian Perspective

Creating Routine Spontaneity in Your Marriage

  • Kym Wright Contributor
  • 2010 6 Nov
Creating Routine Spontaneity in Your Marriage

Editor's Note: This article is the fifth in a series of articles by Kym Wright on marriage's "little kindnesses."   

Spraying orange-mango air freshener in our bedroom each night enlivens our environment. The delicate sweetness adds a wonderfully titillating sensation as we settle down to sleep. One evening our eldest daughter witnessed this ritual. She looked at my husband quizzically, and he froze.

I could see the conflict in his eyes. What he wanted to say was, "Your mom often sprays this at night." But, always the respectful gentleman,  he didn't want me to feel boxed in, like this is something on our schedule that I must do.

You see, on the day of our wedding, Mr. Routine married Miss Spontaneous, and happily-ever-after was something we had to find.

My mouth always turns up in a smile. Since his mouth is covered by hair, the only way we know he's pleased is that his moustache goes straight. Yet, as a couple, we choose to make it work well for us.

A nine-to-five job doesn't work for me unless every day is different than the one before. So, based on my college degree and further training, I became my own boss and started a Wardrobe and Image Consulting business. My hours catered to the clients' needs. Morning, evening, weekdays, Saturdays. Whenever we could make it work. And I loved it.  

Spouse, on the other hand, loves the corporate world. He's at his best with the structure of knowing the rules of the game. He can then choose to live within them or knowingly expand other people's horizons. He's not a salesman, nor a visionary. But his gifts run towards making things work. What is the vision of the one in charge? And what can he do to make that happen? Where is the team headed and what are the steps to get there? These are Spouse's innate gifts, and he does them well.

So, how do we manage the joining of Mr. Routine and Miss Spontaneous? With lots of prayer and negotiation. We discuss. We try and err. And we try again. And life jumps in to help.

When the first few children came along, it tired me out to be constantly spontaneous. Like a three-ring circus, I was trying to make all of life fun! Going to the zoo, meeting friends at the park, visiting the children's museum, being in local musicals for fun.

But, alas! All of life is not enjoyable. Changing dirty diapers, cleaning the potties, washing clothes - making sure the house and meals were passable - are necessary activities, and I can have a good attitude in them. But, in and of themselves, they are not what I would classify as a good time. And, thus, life taught me that routine was the very foundation for success. Schedules, organization, planning - these became my lifeline. Avoiding mixing so much fun into our lives that we had no time for the necessary, but finding ways to fit it all in.

I studied time management books. I researched ways to organize the house and made chore lists to best utilize our time and energy. We worked out a weekly schedule - of going out and staying home, of working and playing, of family and friends. And I built in spontaneity in spurts, to refresh my soul. A day-trip to the Everglades. An overnighter to visit friends in a not-so-close city. Rising early on a Saturday to make muffins with the children or go bird-watching. 

Mr. Routine loves his dinner ready when he comes home, house clean, toys picked up, his family in a good mood. So we try very hard accommodate his wishes. However, my fun comes in when we find new locations for our meal. A picnic in the front yard. Out on the back deck. On the floor in front of a roaring fire.

The opposites are satisfied, the normalcy of life injected with fun, and we are both delighted. Spouse anchors me solidly. I add feisty spice to his life.

So, to answer that awkward situation, with Spouse fumbling with what to say to our daughter, and to make Mrs. Spontaneously Routine happy, I cheerfully responded, "Oh, your daddy loves the fresh smell of this spray, so we spritz it each night. Doesn't it smell wonderful!"

Out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of my husband -- I believe the corners of his moustache were straight.  

After 30 years of marriage, Mark & Kym Wright now have eight children, who give her much to write about speak about. You can visit her website at:  Receive once-a-week E-Couragement in Weekly Wakeup with Kym Wright, a weekly dose of support for the mom, wife, and friend inside each of us.