There’s this great movie called Failure to Launch about a guy named Tripp who’s in his thirties and still living with his parents. The story line follows Tripp as he meets a woman, falls in love (of course), and then finds out that his parents hired this woman to date him in hopes she could get him to move out of the house. Infuriated, Tripp does move out, and his parents are left feeling guilty about what they did, and also pretty unsure of how to live their lives without their son. In fact, in one scene Tripp’s mother admits to being scared because it had been so long since she’d been alone with her husband. They hardly knew each other anymore, and she worried that her husband wouldn’t love her anymore.

While Tripp’s story is exaggerated and silly, the subplot following his parents seems to be a common theme among married couples. Two people connect, get married, have kids, and devote themselves entirely to being a parent. They work full-time, sleep when they can, and see each other in passing every so often. And then when their kids move out, they’re at a loss. They find that they don’t really know each other anymore. Sadly, a lot of marriages end there, but I’ve learned that it doesn’t have to be that way. My husband and I are determined to stay connected, and one of the best ways we’ve found to do that is by going on a date every single week. Yes, you read that right.

A date every single week.

Sounds extravagant, huh? Sounds impractical, impossible, and kind of expensive when you calculate babysitters and dinners and everything else.

But it isn’t.

Our tradition is simple. Every Sunday morning, no matter what’s going on, we have breakfast together. We get our boys what they need, and we either sit out on the patio and sip our coffee, or we walk to the bakery across the street from our apartment building, and enjoy each other’s company. Our time together usually doesn’t amount to more than twenty minutes, but that amount of time is enough to reconnect, recharge, and it’s even been known to calm us down in the midst of an argument (who can stay angry when devouring a chocolate croissant)?

Of course, when our kids were smaller this looked a little different. We’d put them to bed on Saturday night and have desert together, or we’d let the kids watch a movie and duck into the next room to hang out. No matter what it looked like, we made sure to do it.

This year we’ll celebrate thirteen years together–not long compared to a lot of people, but long enough to say with confidence that making time to spend together really works. My husband and I know each other just as much, if not more, than we did when we said, “I do,” and I’m willing to bet it would work for you too. Whether you’re newly married, or you’ve been at it for decades, strong relationships require our time, and when that time is short, a twenty-minute breakfast date can do the trick.

Your turn: How do you and your spouse take the time to connect? Share your ideas below. I’d love to try them out!

Source: My Life Tree

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