One Truth: The habit in our marriage we commit to.

March 2, 2013

{Snapped by my sister in our first year of marriage on the way to a Braves game.}

Somehow Gabe and I are coming up on our 5th wedding anniversary in June. Its got me thinking a good deal about where we are at and how we got here. I thought I would share a simple habit we practice that has kept our relationship strong over the past few years….

Some habits are good habits. The kind of routine you start to look forward to, and realize you can’t live without them. One of those is that we made the resolution a couple years ago to go to bed every night at the same time.

It was a pretty simple thing we talked about after a few nights that ended in quarrels over someone staying up hours too late playing playstation or working on design projects (can you guess which is which??;)) We realized that after we put kids to bed, that is our ONLY time of the day to just be with each other – attention undivided.

As a result of this resolution, we have had many late night brilliant ideas, important decisions made, and hours of dream sharing…. hours I am so thankful for…..not to mention it increases intimacy (did I make you blush? Cuz I am blushing.)

Granted, this rule is bent when a baby decides to wake up for a party at 11pm or their one of us has a deadline due in the morning, but all in all we try our best to stay true to this little resolution. Gabe is usually the champ – waiting up for me while I finish up my work load from the day.

I have come to cherish this little habit so deeply, and realize how this little habit became a #1 reason our friendship and romance in marriage have flourished.

Every couple is different, with different personalities and circumstances in life, but this is what is working for us:) What about you? If you are married, what are some habits you have held onto or begun to strengthen your relationship? 

P.S. In just the first day of the encourage beauty challenge I was totally blown away by how many of you are taking action and how you are carrying it out. Keep the stories coming!

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  • I’m so proud to know you and Gabe. What a great habit! Sean and I have started a habit of weekly confession – clean souls just kind of get us “set right” for the rest of the week – I always look at him afterwards and say “hello, clean soul.” It is amazing recieving that forgiveness from God that flows into our marriage…

  • I love this! My husband and I will be married 5 years in June too! 🙂 My husband likes to stay up late, and I used to get so frustrated by going to bed alone. Our compromise? He comes to bed with me and cuddles for a bit while we visit. I fall asleep really quickly, then he gets up and does his nightowl activities (mostly video games, haha). It works well for us!

    • My husband and I do the same, Megan! I go to bed quite early and he’s more of a night owl, so he tucks me in and cuddles and chats with me for awhile, I fall asleep quickly (actually much faster than if he were in bed with me) and then joins me a few hours later.

      Anna, I imagine that when we have kids things will be a little different, because as you say, nighttime is the only alone time we’ll have together!

      Thanks for sharing this 🙂 Congratulations on almost 5 years together.

    • I love that they still go to bed at the same time even if they are night owls:) Good men! Gabe being a teacher is usually exhausted at the end of the day so it works that we are both ready to call it a night around the same time:)

  • Love this habit! We do the same in our house! We don’t have kids yet, so it’s easier, but we did start the habit when we were first married (just because we were excited to live together) and it’s stuck for almost four years now. You’re right though – so many good conversations (and other things!) happen if you have that time together 🙂 🙂 Bravo! Thanks for sharing – I’m loving this series!

  • i am so with you on this habit. it’s so important to me, and unfortunately does not happen in my relationship (unless we’re traveling?). to be fair, i’m an early bird and he’s a night owl, but i’m hoping eventually we’ll meet somewhere in the middle.

    love that you wrote about this!

  • we do this too!!! it truly makes a huge difference. we also have committed to having a “date night” – EVERY week, no matter what. even if it is just staying in and hanging out 🙂 5 years!!!?!? woot woot. congrats to you guys!!!! keep the love coming! XO

  • Hi Anna! We always eat dinner at the table together (unless one of us has a dinner obligation out). But no TV, no movies. We’ll wait until after we finish eating. We seriously have some of the best (and longest conversations) over sometimes too many glasses of wine (when I’m not pregnant…sigh), but it’s seriously my favorite time of day. 🙂 Definitely continuing this with the kids when they start staying up a little later. xo

  • Great job you guys on sticking with it. My hubby and I are both nigh owls so it was always easy. We never go to bed without thw other and I think it’s a great habit to keep. Also, whenever we are riding in the car together we always hold hands. It started when we were dating and I still love that sweet time that we share a gentle touch.

  • I’m a new reader, but I have to say I love this post. I am passionate about marriage, and this is a great little “rule” to have! My husband and I have done something similar, and it really does make all the difference in the world!

  • Five years in October over here, and we do this too!

  • That’s so sweet! We do it most of the nights, but I fall asleep a lot quicker than him. I love falling asleep on his chest while he watches TV. 🙂

  • Such a great advice! I wish we can be able to stick to rules like this in the future and really avoid all the terrible circumstances doing the opposite could bring. You are an inspiration guys 🙂

  • i love the photo and think that’s something that we should be doing in our house. it can be a point of contention BUT he’s a night owl and i’m an early-to-bed person, i get up early and he has a few extra hours. might have to test it out
    kw ladies in navy

  • Love this post!!

  • We do usually go to bed at the same time. Almost always, in fact. But, our best times is our sacrosanct morning coffee time. By ourselves, talking over dreams, problems, goals, our day’s agenda. Morning or night-I think it is vital to connect as a couple daily.

  • this is such a great tip. i never would have thought of it but i can totally see how it would be so important for a relationship. kind of like always getting tucked into bed by a parent, couples will always say goodnight! love this idea!

    xo the egg out west.

  • i think that’s a great resolution! E and i hope to do the same thing next year; i think it’s really important. it’s so easy to get distracted by other things, especially at night when you’re tired and just want to unwind from the day. but cherishing those few hours each night together can totally put you back on the same page. great advice! 🙂


  • You know what is crazy–is that my husband and I do this–have always done this and I was floored when I realized that we were not the “norm” so to speak. It has always been important to us to try to go to bed at the same time….we read together, chat, and just have time to be just us–no tv, distractions etc. I so get this…and so agree with you that it is so so important. Great encouragement and advice for couples who don’t do this–I highly recommend it too!

  • With the exception of some time when my husband was finishing up his degree at the beginning of our marriage, we’ve always gone to bed at the same time. It also helps that we wake up at the same time. 🙂 I love the opportunity for “pillow” talk at the end of the day, but it sure does make it hard to fall asleep when he’s out of town!

  • Aw I love this rule, we live by it, too! It makes me feel so special when hubs is waiting for me after a late-night feeding… it just means so much to end the day together! Totally agree- great post!

  • Oh and we’re celebrating five years in May… where has the time gone?!

  • I know this little habit is HUGE for a marriage. My husband and I are so different when it comes to sleep (night owl vs. early bird) but I am inspired to try your resolution. It really is such precious and fleeting time!

  • I would love for Mr. Kell to come to bed with me, but I go to be at 9. he likes to stay up and play a video game or watch boxing. He appreciates the quiet. Something that we like to do is during the Spring and Summer, we sit outside in the evening instead of watching TV. Plus, we never miss a Texas Ranger game.

  • Lovely picture of the 2 of you! Me and my hubby are going out one evening in the week and spend our saturdays, doing something fun just the 2 of us. No matter how difficult things are sometimes – we always do manage to had a good time!

  • We’ll be married 5 years later this year too. We now go to bed at all different times but I really like this idea…Thanks for sharing.

  • well congrats on the 5 years, i just proposed last friday actually, she said yes! this does make a lotta sense

  • Ooh, Anna…I am so glad you shared this! This is something we know is important as well. We can have amazing conversations (etc lol) when we go to bed at the same time. It’s such a little blessing! Yeh, we do have the PlayStation and the bloggy stuff that get in the way sometimes too, but we usually pull it off :).

    ps. I plan on taking part in the #encouragebeauty challenge!

  • the same time suits me and my husband too.lovely post and congrats for reaching the 5 yr milestone.

  • That is actually a brilliant idea . Because that is often how fights start .

    xo Meg<3

    Meghan Silva’s Blog

  • We do this too and it has done leaps and bounds for our marriage.

    I think the bad habit we need to break asap is either of us picking up our iphones while we’re together… happens too much lately!

    Love this series you’re doing, sister friend. And LOVE encouragebeauty. It has been so much fun and so encouraging to do so far!!

  • I LOVE this resolution! Jurgen and I usually try to stick to it as well 🙂 Sometimes it gets tricky with my study schedule, but for the most part it has been great for our relationship.

    Love this series!


  • For all of our almost-two years of marriage, my husband has either been a grad student or teaching 6 classes as an adjunct professor of English. During our engagement, we swore we’d always go to bed together, too, but with the amount of work he always has on his plate, it’s gotten really hard for us to maintain it. I’m really looking forward to a time in the future when he’ll be less busy, though teachers always have to bring work home, so it’s hard. I want it so badly! We do commit, though, to getting up together most mornings and always sitting down together for dinner.

  • Jason and I usually only go to bed together on the weekends because during the week it’s really hard. Our works schedules are completely the opposite. It’s nice when we’re able to though 🙂

  • we always try and got to bed at the same time too, i think it is so important and we always make the effort to say goodnight to each other.

    everyday we try and have a cup of tea together when we just listen to each other and don’t distract ourselves with anything else and it is such an important time to me.

  • We’ve been married 3 years, with our first baby (a girl! Congrats on your new little one!) on the way in June, and we resolved and have stuck to one date night a week, without fail. It isn’t always on the same day (usually Fridays) and we don’t always leave the house (lots of time not) but we set that time apart to eat together and be together without outside distractions. I’m sure this will require some adjusting when little girl comes but we intend to resume this as soon as we can, with her staying at her Nanna’s or coming along for the ride. 🙂

  • Such a sweet post:). Thanks for sharing!

  • This is so great! It’s funny because this is something my parents always did and I assumed it’s what I would do with my husband. But my husband is a total night owl and I am not so we very rarely end up going to sleep at the same time. But like you said, it’s what works for each couple. We spend nap times together most of the time & Hang out after the kids are asleep before I go to sleep. Going on 6 years and I still love the guy, so I guess it’s doing okay! You two are such a cute couple!

  • Totally. We’ve been married 8 years and this has always been our habit, too. Our marriage would have been so different if we didn’t do this. Even though he lives on a different coast now… sigh.

    Ps.. all my friends know you, so I think it’s time I know you. Your blog keeps showing up on my Instagram and Twitter, too! So I thought I’d come by and introduce myself and peruse this awesome blog you have.

  • This is absolutely fantastic, Anna 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing! It is funny because we have been kind of moving in this direction. I am definitely guilty of staying up WAY too late with projects & he with either work or projects of his own. We definitely need to make it official…I think it is a wonderful “rule”.

    Although we have been married for only 7 months or so, we have been together for about 14 1/2 and living together for about 9 of those (some of that off & on)….so, yes, we have definitely developed many “rules” that have helped us make it this far! My favorite is probably our way of telling each other when we are annoyed with the other person. The “annoyed” will say “It’s a good thing I love you.” And the “annoying one” will say “It’s a good thing.” And that is it. Conflict avoided!

    XO Brynn

  • Loved this post! Thank you so much for sharing. It’s really encouraging and inspiring to hear what other couples are do to keep their marriage strong.

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