How often do the two of you get away for at least one night—just the two of you? We believe taking exclusive time away can be life-giving and inject your marriage with renewed connection and intimacy. Would you agree?
Unfortunately, we often meet couples who have never gotten away for night away from their children. The excuses range from self-acknowledged “helicopter parenting,” to expense, childcare, and coordinating schedules to make it work.
Maybe you used to get away, but life got busy and you haven’t made it a priority. Our challenge to each couple is to get away at least once a year to invest in your marriage. You might choose a marriage conference to build your marriage 🙂 or an opportunity for for the two of you to enjoy some carefree hours/days of conversation and play on your own. Here are some things to think about as you consider your getaway:
1. The Benefits
Keeping the benefits at the forefront of your thinking will help you press past any real or imagined obstacles. It is an intentional move to break out of the rut of daily living. It’s a shared romantic opportunity that you can anticipate together as you plan and prepare. As a couple you re-enter the dynamic you once shared when you were dating and fully focused on each other. You can listen without distraction. The two of you create new experiences that bond you together. Even if things don’t go as planned (it rains, your car breaks, you get lost, etc.) the bad experiences can be a uniting experience. You have a shared memory to talk about for years to come. More getaways = more shared experiences and memories!
2. The Children
This is often the biggest challenge couples face as they ask, “How can we get away alone when we have children?” It may take some creative planning on your part, but the old adage, “Where there’s a will there’s a way” certainly rings true here. We’ve found when our children were young that the best option was to swap childcare with close friends. It was free, we trusted them, our children knew them and their children and it was a win-win for all. Other options can include asking a close family member whom you trust to come and watch the children. You might interview and hire a young adult or newly married couple at your church. When we were in grad school we were hired by families to watch their children for the weekend. For one couple it was the first time they had ever gotten away without the children.
3. The Agenda
The two of you might decide to simply getaway for an overnight to enjoy a nice dinner, hike in the woods or browse through a nearby town, and settle in to bed early for romance and love-making. Perhaps you will use the opportunity to work on your shared goals and dreams for the coming year. Whatever you do, be sure you treat each other they way you did when you first fell in love. And as we often write, take the time to pray together—even if it is only for a handful of minutes.
4. The Spouse 🙂
Of course, you aren’t going alone! Be sensitive to the kind of retreat your spouse needs. Perhaps you are a go-getter and they need to unplug. Moderate your plans to accommodate each of you. Agree ahead of time on how much time you’ll spend on the internet and email. Talk about how long you’ll be gone and how far away you are comfortable being from your children. Does your spouse enjoy camping or a 5 star hotel? The more you work together on your together the better the connection and experience you both will share.
So take time this week, talk about your getaway, and start planning as you build your marriage!