When reading Julie Klam's Love at First Bark it's easy to think of it as a "dog book." In doing so you forget the subtitle of the book -- How Saving a Dog Can Sometimes Help Save Yourself. The dogs in the book helped Klam sort through some of her own problems and her relationships with the people nearest and dearest to her.
"It was such a cliché about being married for a long time, with kids and dogs and such a busy life that you needed to make time for the two of you. We always dismissed that as a luxury we couldn't afford instead of seeing it as something vital, like our food and shelter. [...] It is frighteningly easy for a solid relationship to erode under the beatings of everyday struggles." p. 57
I think we've all had moments when the needs of a relationship have been pushed down the priority list. Maybe the kids have taken temporary priority, or the everyday struggles like work and money. It's easy to push the relationship with our partners to the bottom of the priority list because we assume they will be ok. Then one day, like Klam, we realize that we need some time to focus on us.
Klam and her husband found togetherness in working together to rescue dogs. All three of the dogs in the book helped her in that path. Dog rescue is not the only way. Sometimes it's as simple as a date night. Even if a babysitter isn't a great option for you there are ways to have a date night at home, or as Love Invents Us calls stay-at-home dates "st-ate nights."
How do you nurture your relationships? Do you have any great "st-ate night" suggestions?