“You have to have a weekly date night.”
“You don’t want to lose your marriage in the process of raising your kids.”
“If you don’t have a weekly date night you will wake up one day, your kids grown and gone and realize you have nothing in common anymore.”
“You have to get away without your kids – for the sake of your marriage.”
Have you ever had someone caution these things to you? Do you think that these are things we should really be concerned about? Maybe so. I’m not sure. But something just doesn’t seem right to me.
I recently read an article entitled, “4 ways to find more time for marriage with kids in the way.” In it the author talked about kids being a hurdle and an obstacle for marriage and ways around that.
Is that what things have come to? I’m sorry, but my first thought is – then why do people have kids, if all they are is an obstacle in the way of a good marriage?
Sorry, that sounded a little harsh.
The problem I have with this kind of thinking is that somehow we have come to think that the only way to have quality time together is if we are away from our kids. Well, what about all those hours spent together raising kids? Does that count for anything? Does that bring any kind of connection or closeness to a couple? I think it does.
And you know what I think helps a marriage even more than a date night? Having connected kids. This in itself takes a huge amount of stress off the marriage. If you are both invested, connecting with your children this brings more peace and harmony into your home than any date night or romantic getaway ever could. When you make the effort to connect deeply with your children and each other, it builds a closeness and creates an enjoyable family life. It’s definitely easier to be romantic and intimate when your daily home life is less stressful.
That’s just the way I see it. Instead of trying to plan and focus on the times when we can “get away” or “go out,” let’s focus on the time we have right here and now. Connect. Really and truly. Live in the moment. Enjoy your children together. Build that closeness. If we’re always waiting for the next get away or date night to have quality time, we run the risk of missing out on all the quality moments and memories we can be creating right now.
O.k., I know this a very provocative post, so let me qualify these statements. First of all, do I think date night is a bad idea? No. Absolutely not. Please hear me on this point: I think date nights are a wonderful thing, and I love it when I have the opportunity to go out with my husband – it’s really fun and special! But is it absolutely essential? No. Will my marriage fall apart without it? No. I don’t think so.
And what will we have in common when our kids are grown and gone? Well, I think if we have spent 20+ solid years raising four amazing boys together, that sure is a lot in common.
Do you need to see a real life example? Well, Here’s a couple who never had a date night.
Ok, so tell me what you think – agree, disagree? How do you keep your marriage healthy and strong in the midst of raising kids?