Today’s Marriage Monday is a continuation of the challenge I made and the accompanying giveaway I announced last Wednesday. If you missed that post, you can read it here.
It’s important for husbands and wives to step away from the everyday and spend some uninterrupted time together. This is HEALTHY for your marriage and HEALTHY for your kids!
But we didn’t always understand that. Here’s our individual perspectives on the importance for an annual getaway.
I remember our first anniversary when I took Jill away for a weekend celebration. She was pregnant and puked most of that weekend. Wow…welcome to marriage!
After the kids were born, I don’t remember an overnight away until a friend of ours actually gave us a trip to Rome. Yes, that’s in Italy.
Up until the Rome trip, our marriage had been through a lot of challenges. We’d spent many hours in marriage counseling. I was so excited that we could actually go away. Just the two of us. And to an absolutely beautiful part of the world. But I was also scared. Could we really handle being together day and night for 10 days straight? Would we argue? Would it strengthen our relationship or damage it in some way?
Those 10 days proved to be transforming for our marriage. We laughed together. Slept ’til noon together. And even got lost in a taxi with a driver who spoke no English together.
I can truly say that I fell in love with my wife again on that oh-so-important getaway.
When Mark first shared with me about this trip to Rome that his friend Jim offered us, I was less than excited. There were two reasons: 1) I was afraid to fly and 2) I didn’t want to leave my kids for 10 days and be on the other side of the world.
But, as Mark said, we were coming out of a season of marriage counseling and one of the things we had talked a lot about was moving from being child-centered to marriage-centered. I KNEW that was important. But living it out was much harder.
I remember crying all the way to the airport. I cried on the airplane. I was just sure something would happen to us on that plane trip and our kids would be orphans. My fears were huge…but I also knew that God was bigger. So this became a huge journey of faith for me. I had to come to grips with my fears and my desire to control.
Once we arrived in Rome, I began to relax. I marveled at all the history around me. We enjoyed hours of conversation with our friends and hours of time exploring Rome with just the two of us.
By the time we got to Day 9, I didn’t want to go home. I wanted to stay longer! I wanted more conversation. More time together. And I felt completely different about my husband than I did at the start of the week.
I began the trip choosing to love my husband. I ended the week feeling the love I was choosing.
An annual getaway is no longer an option for Mark and I. It’s an essential part of making our marriage a priority.
Here are some suggestions for making a getaway happen:
- Save money once a month toward an annual getaway. Even $10/month will save enough for an overnight in a bed and breakfast every year on your anniversary.
- If going away isn’t an option, find somewhere for the kids to go and spend 24 hours in your home alone.
- If grandparents aren’t available, trade overnight babysitting with another couple.
- Stay in a hotel right in the town where you live. Just getting somewhere where you can talk uninterrupted can do wonders for you.
- Google “romantic getaways” in your state to find options for cabins or bed and breakfasts where you can stay.
- Use a discount website like www.priceline.com or www.hotwire.com to find a good price. Mark and I have stayed in 3 star Chicago hotels for $45/night on priceline.com’s “Name Your Own Price” program.
- Put a date on the calendar now. Then begin to plan your getaway.
- If your spouse likes surprises, plan a surprise getaway. Make the plans, arrange the childcare, and then kidnap him or her for the weekend.
- Get in the habit of always doing a getaway for at least on overnight on your anniversary every year.
- Consider doing a vacation for two sometime. We try to shoot for every 3 to 5 years. Think ahead. Dream. Plan.
- Stop making excuses and start making plans!
What about you? What kind of marriage getaways have you done? How have you made it happen? Share your experiences so we can all benefit and be inspired!
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30th anniversary for us in June!!! We're going on a real vacation, a grown-up vacation, I call it! We are not staying with friends or family, we are not going to a soccer tournament, we are not going to a wedding or a funeral. We are going to California Wine Country, celebrating 30 years and an empty next, again, after a year of sharing with son and family! Like Jill, I hope we can get along for 7 whole days and I am worried about leaving (everyone needs me), but so excited that it is coming soon. It took a long time to get here, but it was worth it. I hope you all get here some day too:)
Yay Julie! I hope you and Steve have a blast!
Thank you for giving your readers a realistic plan for this. When I was first introduced to this idea at a local church mom's group, 16 yrs ago, it was emphasized as a "one size fits all" getaway that had to be a weekend out of town. I used to feel guilty that we couldn't afford such a trip or find reliable child care for that long. You have shared realistic options.
I would add two things that also worked for us.
1. If you have a nursing infant, and you are both relaxed about nursing, just bring baby along… baby will sleep alot anyway and has no idea what you are doing ;)and honestly it is often easier to simply nurse than to pump & store for an absent baby which a nursing mom often misses deeply, due to the nursing bond… and those missing baby feelings can really interfere w/intimacy.
2. If you are seriously strapped for cash, well disciplined children can be trained to go to bed early and stay there and you can shut their door(s) and you can have a romantic retreat in any other room, away from them… including a nice dinner of take out (saves time & tipping) or broiled steaks from your own kitchen, etc…. We spent many early anniversaries that way.
So now, when the kids are older and we have the money to take neat trips, we have absolutely no regrets & few worries and we have modeled for them(for their futures) realistic ways to have these getaways according to ages/stages of children & budgets. Susan T
These are really great additions to the discussion. Thank you for sharing!
Please help me spread the word of a sister in Christ who so desperately needs help with a limited amount of time left.
Love and Hugs ~ Kat