Have you ever heard the phrase, “the couple that plays together … stays together?” Well, research tells us that couples who enjoy regular times of fun and relaxation together have a more satisfying, dynamic and fulfilling marriage than those who don’t. So while it maybe true that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, we know for sure that all work and no play makes Jack and Jill’s marriage pretty boring!
Sharing fun and relaxing times together is easy for couples who enjoy the same things. But, what if you are like the couple where she likes to read at the beach and he loves to fish in the mountains? Finding a balance between personal relaxation and playing together as a couple becomes a challenge. And, it’s going to take some caring communication and a willingness to sacrifice some personal preferences for the sake of your relationship to make it happen.
So let’s map out a plan for becoming more intentional in developing the “fun-factor” in your marriage.
- Brainstorm a list of the leisure activities you both enjoy doing together. (What did you like to do together before you were married?) Think about the “biggies” (trip to Grand Canyon) as well as the “little ones” (riding bikes together after dinner).
Talk about the things you don’t like to do together … (shopping or fishing). Affirm that it’s ok to do some of those things independently … as long as they doesn’t consume time that could be spent together. Appreciating and allowing each other to pursue individual interests is a way of honoring and respecting each other.
- Don’t forget to schedule some regular date nights! These are vital to the wellbeing of your marriage. Dream about some “biggies” like special anniversary and birthday celebrations, or a romantic weekend getaway. Make sure you plan some “simple” times out too … like a movie or ice cream night!
Now get out your calendar and start planning when you can make some of these special times happen … and start having some fun together … remember … couples who play together … stay together!
But be careful … too many couples spoil their date nights by making them a time to deal with the stresses of life. Every couple needs some time without the kids to deal with these pressing issues, but talking about them on your date night will quickly destroy the mood of the evening and the fun fizzles out of their experience like air out of a popped balloon.
Make a deal with each other not to discuss problem issues when recreating. Just enjoy the time together.