Married couple swears by the '3-Hour Night' as a relationship game changer
"If you’re stuck in a rut with your evenings — try this!"
Almost every long term relationship suffers from a rut eventually. That goes especially for married partners who become parents and have the added responsibility of raising kids. Maintaining a connection is hard enough in this busy, fast paced world. Top it off with making sure kids are awake, dressed, entertained, well fed, oh yeah, and alive…and you best believe all you have energy for at the end of the day is sitting on the couch barely making it through one episode on Netflix.
And yet, we know how important it is to maintain a connection with our spouses. Many of us just don’t know how to make that happen while juggling a million other things.
According to one mom, a “three-hour night” could be just the thing to tick off multiple boxes on the to-do list while rekindling romance at the same time. Talk about the ultimate marriage hack.
The three-hour night was something that Rachel Higgins and her husband began incorporating into their lives at the beginning of this year. And so far, “it's been so fun and such like a game changer for how our evenings go,” she says in a clip posted to TikTok.
Before using the three-hour night, the evening would look a bit like this: their daughter would go to bed, they would lounge on the couch, scroll through social media, then fall asleep. Sound familiar?
But with a three hour night, Higgins and her husband divvy up the time before bed into three section, each for a different focus.
In the first hour, starting around 7 p.m., is what Higgins calls “productive time,” during which the couple sees to any household chores that might need to be done.
“So start with like a quick cleanup of the kitchen or just like things that accumulated throughout the day, and then we try to do something that either ... has been being put off or cleaning the bathroom or like organizing the pantry or hall closet or something like, super random like sharpening the knives. Anything that's productive for the household,” she explains.
@rachelleehiggins if you’re stuck in a rut with your evenings try this! i saw someone do something similar to this a while ago but can’t remember who! #marriage #1sttimeparents #newyearsgoals ♬ original sound - Rachel Higgins
Next, the second hour is geared towards re-establishing a physical or emotional connection in their marriage. The phones go away, and they focus only on enjoying one another.
“So, that could be things like showering together or ‘having fun’ together, playing a game together, or just like anything that's gonna get you guys talking and connecting or like debriefing from the day or just like talking about what you're doing and like the plans for tomorrow or like how works going or whatever. So, anything that's gonna connect and strengthen and build your marriage,” Higgins says.
Lastly, the final hour of the night is dedicated towards anything Higgins and her husband individually want to do, any sort of personal recharge activity.
Since this is a judgment free time, Higgins states that “If you just want to lay on the couch and scroll your phone and watch TikToks or whatever like watch YouTube videos,” it’s totally acceptable.
Higgins’ novel approach definitely interested viewers, who chimed in with their own questions. One major concern was how the heck this could be done every night. But even Higgins admits that she and her husband don’t succeed at having a three-hour night every night—they usually try for about 3-4 times a week. And honestly even once a week could still probably be beneficial in building intimacy.
Others wondered how to have a three-hour night when things randomly popped up in their schedule, like when kids won’t magically go to sleep promptly at 7pm. Higgins shares that in these cases, they tend to just shorten each phase. The point being: these can and probably should be customizable, even fun, rather than yet another rigid chore.
Plus, a three hour night (or whatever your version of a three-hour night may be) is a great way to remind yourself just how high of a priority your relationship has in your life…no matter what else is going on at the time. Odds are you'll probably find you do have more time for it than you previously thought when you set aside time for it.