This was a brief discussion in a previous thread which seemed like it would make a good stand alone topic. I am going to quote a post from @EleGirl
(hope you don't mind, you were the one who did suggest this would make a good thread
When I ask the question about how many hours a week a couple spends together, I qualify that Iím asking about times when it is only the two of them and they are engaged in quality time. Time watching TV, or going to a movie, is not quality time. They are not focused on each other. Going for a walk, holding hands, and talking is quality time.. or date-like time. Cuddling and having sex is also quality time. Date-like things are not just going out on a date to an expensive restaurant. When people date, they usually do a lot of simple things, like the walk, sitting on the porch and talking, going for a picnic.
The 15 hours a week thing is a Marriage Builder guideline for a marriage that is going well. He says that if there is a problem in the marriage and they need to rebuild the passion/love/attraction it might take a lot more quality time than 15 hours a week to rebuild it. Then after a time they can cut back to the 15 hours a week.
So, the way I read it, there are two components (assuming you use the Marriage Builder guideline). The first would be spending a minimum of 15 hours of quality time with your SO a week. The second would be quantifying what exactly is "quality" time.
Going with the 15 hours guideline, this seems unrealistic to me. This has nothing to do with making the marriage a priority, more that there simply aren't enough hours to do this when you factor in work, raising a family, etc... I know quite a few other people who agree as well, but they are also in similar situations as myself (work, raising young families, etc...). Now, if we didn't have kids, or had much older kids, 15 hours would be more achievable. Spending enough time together with my W has undoubtedly been an issue and a challenge over the years, so I am in no way downplaying this as I fully understand the importance (and actually enjoy spending time with my W). I rather focus on making the most of the time you have together, makes plans/date nights, etc... instead of just trying to hit some set hours minimum (which doesn't even take into account different situations couples are in). Obviously if you are actively avoiding or have little interest in spending time with your SO, that is a much bigger issue.
The second component is the definition of "quality" time, which I think may vary from couple to couple. In Elegirl's post, she mentioned that watching TV or going to a movie is not quality time. In my case, I would disagree with this. When my W and I do watch TV together, she always curls up on me with her head on my chest. If we on a rare occasion go to the movies, this means there are NO KIDS, which in itself is a big win. We don't need to spend hours on end staring into each other's eyes while having my W tell me what an awesome human being I am
After all, one of the great things I find is having someone that you are comfortable with where you can completely enjoy their company without feeling like you need to talk every few minutes in order to avoid the "awkward silence".
Thoughts from TAM members, what do you consider "quality" time as well as what are your thoughts on the 15 hr minimum as set forth by Marriage Builders?