Keeping your marriage alive

As I talk with young couples over the years I have been amazed by the number of couples who have never been away from their children for a weekend, and some, haven't even really been on a "date" since having children. My advice to them is always the same. "For the sake of your children you need to make your relationship a high priority."

The question of "how" always seems to follow. How do you go on a date if your on a very tight budget? How do you get away if you have no family living near you? How did you do it?

My husband and I were fortunate to have his parents living next door so they would often watch our children. When the time came that they no longer could watch our children we realized that there were other parents that didn't have family to watch their children. So we began to take turns with friends, once or twice a year so that each couple would be able to spend time alone for a whole weekend. When we could afford it, we would go away somewhere. When we couldn't we would just plan time at home, with the phone unplugged.

We also tried to establish a date night at least twice a month. Often this would simply mean putting the kids to bed early and having a late night dinner alone. Once the kids were in school, my husband would go to work late so we could have breakfast together. You sometimes need to be creative, but it's so important to make sure you have time alone as a couple.

The other thing that my husband and I have tried to do is develop common interest and then "play" together. We both love the beach so we try to go for the day. We love to take walks through the mountain so we make a point to try and do it. We love to play chess, scrabble and mancala. He loves NASCAR, I don't, but I love to read, so when he watches a race I sit next to him a read a book. Or sometimes I just sit next to him and cuddle then fall asleep. The point is we are together and he loves the fact that I want to be with him. In turn he goes to the grocery store with me. :-)

We sit on a swing in our yard and talk.

You know it's the little everyday things that's important also. Making your husband's favorite meal once in awhile instead of making what he kids want all the time. Saying goodbye and greeting him with a kiss everyday. Being excited to see him when he comes home. (yes, this can be a hard one if it's been a tough day with the kids)I found that if I begin to prepare myself and the kids about a half hour before he came home it often helped.

Bottom line, as my husband's help mate I have tried to treat him with love and respect. Making him feel wanted and like he was the most important person in my life. (well because he is). In the end what I have found is that my husband then treats me like his queen. :-)


  1. In so many of the posts today I read about the importance of creating time with each other. You have shared some wonderful examples of how to do that, and as I was reading this, I felt such a gentleness in your words. This was really beautiful and I thank you for taking part in our forum today.

  2. Great words about a wonderful marriage. My grandkids live 3 doors down from me and I have them every afternoon, so I'm not always eager to have them for a week-end so the parents can have some alone time. But they really do need it. His side of the family is not helpful at all, so it always falls on us. But I know they need it - it's hard. But great advice for young families.

  3. This is so true. Since Brian is in a "ministry" position, and I stay home, our finances don't allow a lot of dates outside the home. We have had to carve out time through out the day, or in the evening to have time together. Sometimes it has meant us having the kids go play a game, or watch a movie, and we are just in the other room talking. It has taught them the important lesson of death to self, because we tell them to give us a certain amount of time, and they can't interrupt us. We also have never been in a position where we have had family, or friends, on a consistant basis, to watch our kids. That was a gift from the hand of God, in many ways, because we have learned to really enjoy doing and being together as a family. I don't think that the season of parenting has to create space in your marriage. As we have had to come together regularly, and talk and pray about how to handle situations with our kids, it has created a bond between Brian and I that is very strong. We have parented together.

  4. I've yet to talk my husband into leaving the kids for even one night but we do have the date nights. It is the little things that make such a big difference.

  5. Common interests are very important, but if you really have different interests, simply making them happen together is a rgeat alternative. My hubby and I have run into this. Our taste in movies in REALLY different, so we take turns choosing. Or I'll do as you suggested, and at least be next to him, reading, or blogging. ;) I also love to cook my husband's favorite meal as a surpirse for him!

  6. That's nice that your sweetie goes to the grocery store with you. Mine does too, and I know it's not his favorite thing, but he says, "It lets me be with you, that's all I care about." while he smiles.

    In an odd way, it reminds me of all the men sitting in cars in the parking lots of the grocery, fabric and craft stores. Waiting for their wives. They may like this arrangement, but we like ours better!

  7. That kissing reading these WTW blogs will thrill my Sweetie to his toes!


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