I spend the first forty-five minutes of every morning praying side by side with my husband. We are Carmelites. Our intense prayer life is our service to the Church. We're not the Dominicans. We're not the Jesuits. We're not the "pin-heads" as we affectionately call these orders. Instead, a Carmelite's humble service to the the whole world is to pray.
It is absolutely unbelievable to have your spouse and your best friend act as your prayer partner.
A dear friend, the one who actually JOGS each night, asked me recently how I managed to stick to my 5:30 AM prayer routine. "It's my husband," I answered. Every morning Jon rolls out of bed and heads to our living room for prayer time at the first beep of the alarm.
Some mornings I keep my sore, pregnant body in bed. Then Jon's empty spot in our double bed starts to taunt me. I start to feel like a lazy bum for missing Morning Prayer while my equally tired husband is off doing our hard Carmel work. If desire to talk to God doesn't get me up in the morning, than the silent witness of my steady husband does.
My husband is the one who prays our Prayer of the Quiet beside me each morning. He's the first person I talk to about the insights I've gained from reading the Divine Office. By speaking our prayer intentions out loud, I come to know the inner map of my husband's heart. I know who has hurt him at work and who he is struggling to forgive. I know when he's feeling remorse over a bad day with our son. I know how much he loves our unborn daughter. I know how much he hopes for his Mom and his Sisters to convert.
You can talk about all of these issues calmly over dinner, of course. (Then again, who has leisurely conversations at meals where multiple young children are present?) Yet a joint conversation with God is something different. Something Holy. Something Intimate.
If you have a Catholic husband, please use your built in "prayer partner" on a daily basis. You don't need to pray as long as we do. (We're the weird Carmelites who pray for the whole world, remember). However modest, a strong, steady prayer life with your husband will make a huge difference.
Try to pray a single decade of the Rosary together. Do your Daily Act of Consecration together at the doorway before your husband lives for work or say your Act of Contrition next to him at night. Small, simple prayer rituals that are REGULAR will kick-start both your faith and your marriage to a whole new level.