Quality Time = Shared Tasks

This one is pretty simple, but it’s amazingly effective for working with a spouse that has a Quality Time love language.

99% of the time men assume that their Quality Time loving wife, wants to just sit around together watching TV. Or go on a date and gaze into one another’s eyes. Or something else completely boring as hell to the male psyche.

Her:  “Let’s have a picnic!”

Him:  *fakes having a seizure*

So…

The solution is in fact stunningly simple and easy. Stop trying to spend Quality Time together, and start Sharing Tasks.

There’s plenty of basic everyday tasks that have more than enough space to share the load together. The most obvious one is the whole cooking dinner –> eating dinner –> cleaning up routine. While you’re both in the kitchen together, there’s plenty of time to Suffer Through Vacuous Crap  (1) Talk About Your Day, (2) Help Out Around The House, (3) Spend Quality Time Together, (4) be Cocky and Funny and (5) avoid a charge of sexual harassment through sheer hotness.

Seriously, that’s all it is. Quality Time = Shared Tasks.

Make the kids lunches together in the morning. Split the Saturday morning cleaning together. Go grocery shopping together. Anything works if that’s her love language.

I also guess you have to act like actually sharing the task isn’t some onerous burden of misery that must be suffered through. Act like you like who you’re working with.

I mean think of all the emotional and physical affairs that start off because people were working together.

Jennifer: Yes! Exactly! People are busy…don’t stress about scheduling Quality Time, just find it where the opportunities already exist.  My favorite is the occasional grocery shopping trip together, which sometimes includes a stop at Panera for a bagel and coffee before we shop.  Task completed + hanging out together = Happy Jen.

Athol: Oh yeah. There’s another type of Quality Time error I see. That’s the one where she seeks you out to offer her assistance, but you’re so amazingly awesome at the task you tell her you don’t need her help. Which naturally she internalizes into you not needing… her.

 

 

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Comments

  1. Red says:

    Quality time spent this way is a good way to meet her love language need, but when it’s the only way you meet that need or the way you meet it most of the time it ends up feeling more time and less quality. Like he’s just logging his hours. For those struggling to meet this need in any way, this is a good way to get started but it can’t be the only way you do it.

    “Or something else completely boring as hell to the male psyche.”

    She won’t like starfish quality time any more than you like starfish sex. Better to reduce the amount of QT spent with her so it feels like quality or find activities that feed that need in a way you enjoy as well. You feel it when she’s really not that into sex with you. She will feel it if you’re really not into the time with her.

  2. serenity says:

    This is so true for my husband.

    He loves doing house improvement projects and for years, we worked together on them. Then, as our boys got older, they started helping him, and I would focus on the little ones. It seemed efficient at the time, but I didn’t realize how much he was missing the time together.

    Over the summer, our big boys were all gone and we were down to the two little ones. He wanted to put a wood floor in our dining and living rooms and didn’t want to wait for the big boys to get home. We worked on it together, and it was wonderful! Just like old times.

    He told me later how much he had missed doing that with me, and how much he enjoyed having me with him…. and how much he enjoyed watching my cleavage when I bent over.

    So, kind of a combination of putting in a floor and foreplay, I guess. lol

  3. Matt says:

    Did you write this post specifically for me? Because I think you did.

  4. Pup says:

    Excellent post. I never thought of it that way. But as I reflect back through our marriage, some of the things that made us closer were the things we worked on and accomplished together. Painting a room, her helping me with a landscaping project, grocery shopping, etc.

    It always feels good to work on something with my wife, and she’s such a hard worker. Unfortunately for us, with 3 little kids, someone has to play referee 100% of the time. There really isn’t any time left for working together, because one of us is always occupied with babysitting. 4th on the way won’t make that any easier. I guess as “Red” alluded to above, the quantity goes down but the perceived quality goes up. We appreciate each others time and company more because we have less of it. The more I reflect upon my behavior of the last three months since I discovered “the red pill” the more I realize I have been trying to fix the wrong problem with the wrong tactics.

  5. Rex Little says:

    Athol, that last bit works the other way around in my marriage. I go to help her with something and she tells me she doesn’t need it, in a tone which implies I’m an idiot for thinking she did. If she does need help she won’t ask, and if I don’t offer she bitches at me for that.

  6. Random Angeleno says:

    Rex, you need to make clear to her that you can’t read her mind. If she needs help and doesn’t ask, then gets mad, that is on her, that is crap conduct and she needs to get called out for it. If you can’t do that, you’ve got issues…

  7. Boombacca says:

    I always find the irony in these blogs, Athol says he is not a Christian, but discusses the same topics we discuss in our Churches Men’s Fraternity ( How to be a better Man).
    The difference is that Athol brings much more clarity and practical application to the discussion.
    Thank You Athol.

  8. Flynn_Lives says:

    So what if I am the one looking for ANY type of quality time, and all I get is a wife asleep on the couch? I have discussed this with her and it is replied to with “I can’t help it, I’m tired.”. We have done the medical, up to PCOS (which she’s afraid of), and sleep studies and hormones are fine. She just falls asleep as soon as she sits down…..it bores me to no end. How can I keep feigning interest when there is nothing interesting?????

  9. wife says:

    I think this is true. As a woman, for me at least, it is the content of the conversation that goes on alongside whatever we are doing. Does he want to know what is in my mind and heart? Does he ask questions that show he is listening, wants to know me and what is going on in my life and that he follows up from expressed concerns? Those kind of conversations will almost always lead to sex with me. The lack thereof will make me feel distant and disconnected. And it’s also the reason for no sex the last two months and counting. Yes, he knows why. No, he doesn’t act on it.

  10. TheatreMommy says:

    @Rex, k, her behaviour is bad. BUT, quality time might not be her love language either.
    I find sharing tasks only enjoyable when it makes a practical sense. It is much more efficient for one of us to be home with the kids, cleaning, and getting stuff done while the other is doing grocery runs and gathering… it is nice to switch off too… See for me, I like acts of service… so when I’m doing something, I don’t need my partner’s company. It can be good, if I don’t feel pressured, but if he’s hovering, trying to help, being unhelpful… I’d rather he did something else. It would be a negative experience vs. a positive experience.

    My father and mother had this difficulty that was summed up by a story my mom tells: When they were first married, dad just wanted to spend time with them all. So, to get a newspaper from the gas station, he wanted to take the family. In a Canadian winter. It took longer to get the family into the car (snowsuits, children, carseats blah blah blah) than to drive to the gas station and back. Very inefficient use of time.

    So a) make sure that this is your lady’s love language and b) make sure that there is an economic sense to shared task doing. As Athol says, small negative interactions hurt the relationship over time and small positive ones help… so, for a person like me, if I am getting stuff done TO spend time with my partner, helping is important, but it doesn’t mean being in the same room… for an acts of service person, it might mean checking 2 or 3 things you know you are good at doing off of my to do list… so that I am done sooner.

  11. TheatreMommy sounds just like my wife who is in Mexico. Exact same personality. Of course I see more negative than positive in our relationship personally. I know it is indeed efficient, but it is not really helping our own relationship when were together for 6 months last year. I am back in the United States now and once again separated from my family. After training me very well on wash clothes the old fashioned way and washing dishes her way and then eventually showing me how to pick up the kids from school in Spanish, she continued her routine of I do my thing and she does her thing. I think the only real family time we had together was at church and read scriptures on Monday nights – which was a plus in my book. True, now and then we did do stuff at night while the kids were asleep but that was only once every two weeks, sometimes once per month. I mean I do understand where she is coming from during the day though as I was helping out around the house during the day while she was working. Because I was so freakin’ slow at the laundry and dishes it would last me until 7 or 8 PM before I was done. Drove my wife nuts. I am very detail oriented person. And it made her furious that I did not help the kids with their homework that was 100% in Spanish. The only homework I could help with was the math homework at the same time as washing clothes. Yes, I even cooked lunch when I brought the kids home from school. My wife trained me very well like a dog and his master. The point is there is nothing wrong with spending quality time together whenever it is available. And there is nothing wrong with helping with chores ‘together’ for once. Even though my wife would beg to differ. My son was doing dishes once and my wife insisted he do it alone. I said the hell with her and jumped in anyway and helped him out. My son was grateful for my assistance. Probably why I have more of a connection with my son than I do with my own wife.

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