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.

Mark says…

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.

Jill Says…

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.

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We say…

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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