Fun. You remember fun, right? Remember in the “early days” of your marriage, how you and your wife used to go catch a game, or movie, or concert, or even just hop in the car and take a road trip to wherever – whenever you wanted? Remember how you used to laugh together about the dumbest things, or sit and talk about whatever popped into your head? Now you remember right? So what happened to fun?
Life, kids, bills, sports practice, meetings, school – I’m sure you could fill in your own blanks here. Things that we convince ourselves are “more important” than having fun with our spouse. “We’ll have fun when the kids are out of the house” is a common excuse. The sad part is, by then it may be too late.
It’s funny, if you were asked to form a list of “the top ten things that kill a marriage”, odds are “not having fun with your spouse” wouldn’t make the list. Or if it did, it wouldn’t be towards the top. But I’m here to suggest that it ranks right up there with communication, and having a good sex life. In fact, if you’re NOT having fun with your spouse, it’s going to be a lot harder to HAVE a good sex life, and good communication. Sometimes I think we pull the whole “anytime I’m having fun, I’m not being effective” crap, but we don’t’ realize that NOT making time to have fun and do things with our wives, actually HARMS our relationship.
“What’s the big deal with having fun? Have you seen the list of things I need to get done?” Fun has a strange way of re-connecting you. It gets you away from the sometimes depressing “real life” doldrums we tend to fall into after a while. It reminds you how lucky you are to have a wife that’s as amazing, funny, and beautiful as you do. There will always be the to-do list, but this life is way more fragile then we want to admit. Wouldn’t you rather spend time with your wife, than mow the lawn anyway?
When was the last time you took a couple of days off of work, and took your wife away for the weekend? Or even just found a babysitter, and took her out for dinner and a movie? Or dinner and a walk by the river? Or dinner and a game of bowling? It doesn’t have to be Disney World or an Alaskan Cruise, it just has to be something you both enjoy, and something that let’s you forget about all the “stuff” of life for a few hours. Sometimes we live life in our normal little “rut”, day in and day out (Get up, shower, breakfast, kiss the wife/kids, go to work, come home, eat dinner, work on the “to do list”, get in a quick few words with the wife, head to bed – then repeat), that we get to feel more like roommates, then husband and wife.
A few weeks ago my wife and I took at trip to Seattle to watch a Mariners game at Safeco Field. A friend had given us some tickets (first base line!), and we found an inexpensive hotel using a discount hotel website. We ended up learning (ok, trying to learn) the public transit system (that’s a big deal for a couple of “small town folk”), and even though we got lost, and had to ask quite a few strangers where the heck we were, or what bus number we needed to take to avoid being taking to the wrong bus to the opposite end of town from where we needed to be, we’ll never forget those memories! It was so fun to get away by ourselves for a night, and concentrate on nothing but “us” for a change. No sippy cups, no diaper bags, no “Dad! I need to go potty!” – just my wife and I having fun together.
It doesn’t have to be expensive! We’ve noticed that if you use hotels.com or other sites like that, you can get a very decent (clean) hotel for anywhere from $80 to $120 a night. Also, PLAN AHEAD! If you put a little aside each paycheck, it will fit right into your budget, and you don’t have to feel guilty about spending the money. Also, weekdays are normally cheaper than weekends, if that works with your schedules.
Whatever you decide to do, if it’s an overnight trip, or just a couple of hours away, MAKE SURE it’s happening, and happening regularly. We try to plan one overnight getaway per quarter, and a “date night” (or lunch, or whatever) every week. Does it always happen like we want it to? No, but we have to at least make the effort! Invest time in your marriage. Time having fun with your wife. You won’t regret it!