Making Marriage Matter

We all know how easy it is to get upset with our partners over stupid, mundane things. I am most likely to lose patience with Husband Extraordinnaire when he’s cleaning the kitchen. Seriously. How ridiculous is that? I resent that he spends an hour every night making the kitchen perfect. I say I resent it because it’s time he could be spending with me, but I’m working when he does it so who am I kidding? I really resent it because it feels like he’s pointing out one of my many inabilities to manage the household flawlessly.  Don’t I have any actual problems to worry about?

Because this is how daily life often proceeds, taking a “time out” is vital. Every 3-4 months, we escape – without kids – and just spend time together. The physical act of getting on a plane – even just driving to the airport without the sound of Barbie Fairytopia in the background and constant “potty” breaks (except for me, of course) – translates into uninterrupted (!) conversations.

Arriving in a new city, walking hand in hand with each other just because (rather than as a means of holding back children in a parking lot), deciding where to eat based on what looks good as we walk by, having no particular agenda other than reunions with friends who live near our destination – the whole experience recharges our joint batteries, if you will. It’s new and it’s fresh. And it’s sentimental, because we generally choose getaway destinations we’ve enjoyed together previously.

This afternoon, we head to San Francisco. We started dating in San Francisco. He picked an outfit for me there that I still own (and could wear if I desired). It’s where we escaped to distract ourselves while waiting for bar results. I shlepped those hills twice during my pregnancy with our oldest daughter. All of these memories – whether we talk about them or not – rekindles good stuff.

Or at least, I hope it will. We haven’t left yet but I’m optimistic. I think every marriage needs this.  And one night is never enough. It always takes 2 nights to relax into being away. If you haven’t done this in a long time – or ever since having kids – make this a priority. Make it your holiday gift to each other, ask your in laws to make babysitting for a weekend their holiday gift to you.  Commit. Because after the kids leave the house, it’s just you and your partner. In the end, it’s just about the two of you. That relationship deserves efforts to sustain it.

That’s my Make More, Be More, Do More Tip for the Day: Do whatever it takes, but get away – just the two of you.

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3 responses to “Making Marriage Matter

  1. Hi there, came across this blog you wrote and I applaud you for your insight. Thank you for reassuring parents that leaving the kid(s) for a little while to spend time with your spouse is not at all selfish. It’s as important as spending time with your kid(s), and shouldn’t be shelved because you have kid(s). My husband and I like to get away, maybe not for 2 nights all that often, but at the very least…date nights are a great boost for our relationship. Thanks!

  2. we ARE doing it for a holiday present- happy hanukah to us! we are going to montreal,which i’ve always wanted to go to, for 2 nights! that will be good after 2 weeks of family time 🙂

  3. In-laws are available when you want. Just make sure Dora is nearby…and art supplies…and sippy cups…and diapers…and telephone numbers for pizza.

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