💍🎉Ways We Keep Marriage FUN! 💏💞

My handsome husband and I have been married twelve and a half years now. In those years, we’ve survived the births of 4 children, 2 deployments, countless other military separations, 8 homes in 2 countries, and a million other ups and downs along the way! While we are not perfect — we certainly have our little spats here and there — we have managed to keep our marriage a place of respect, love, and FUN!

Yes, even though we have the heavy responsibilities of raising and homeschooling these four miracles, pastoring one church, planting another, and running a ministry and a blog, we make time for fun. Here are some of the ways!

Day-to-Day Life

It’s not easy to carve out couple time every day. We sometimes miss out on it, but we usually make time to spend at least an hour together each day, either in the afternoon while our kids enjoy “Quiet Time”, or in the evening after they are in bed. (Our oldest goes to bed at 8:30, and we go to bed around 10-10:30.)

My #1 couple-time tip is SHUT OFF THE SCREENS. Yes, ALL of them. TV, phones, tablets, computers. Here are some of the things we do instead — things that are conducive to actual connection, instead of passively engaging in the same entertainment.

  • Play games. My favorite is Rivals for Catan. It gets heated (in the best way, not in a fighting-way). We also have a running Rummy score that started when we were newlyweds. The score is remarkably close, considering it is over 100,000 points for each of us!
  • Read books. This all started back in 2006. We had a newborn, and I was reading Bridget Jones’ Diary on the couch. I kept giggling and reading Byron the funny parts. Finally, he said, “Why don’t you just read the whole thing?” So I read it aloud. And a tradition was born. We have read several other books and series out loud to each other since, including Harry Potter, Divergent, Hunger Games, and our favorite — The Lorien Legacies.
  • Listen to music. Dance. Talk. Touch. Sometimes we forget the simple act of holding hands!
  • Do devotions together. We have some of the deepest and most riveting conversations that stem from these books. There are even tons of free ones available online — all you have to do is print some off!
  • Sit on the front porch and talk — catch up on your day, your struggles, your worries, and how God is moving. My husband asks me {almost} every single day, “What did God tell you today?”
💍🎉Ways We Keep Marriage FUN! 💏💞
Game night!

Monthly Date Night

Making the effort to have a monthly date night is a big undertaking for busy couples, especially when you have kids in the mix as well. The way this has worked out for our family is beneficial on many levels, and I love it!

We found a family that has several kids, like us, who also want a monthly date night. Toward the end of the month, us moms have a conversation (usually through text), where we say the dates we are free the following month to babysit and to have a date. We find overlapping dates and book them on our calendar. This could work out to where you do it every other Friday, or something else more scheduled, but it works for us to have the flexibility of just choosing dates.

Why I love this plan
I already have the babysitter booked (and a free one at that!), so I won’t cancel the date. I know that canceling our date night out will make my friend (the other mom) feel bad for taking HER date night, so I make sure we follow through. And the kids all have a blast playing with their friends, so it’s win-win-win for everyone!

What to do on your dates 

Do something outside of your comfort zone! The couple who grows together stays together.

Some of our favorite couple-pastimes are:

  • Hiking
  • Bicycling
  • Browsing bookstores
  • Eating at places the kids don’t like (Hello, Chipotle!)
  • Skip rocks
  • Throw pennies in a fountain
  • Do random acts of kindness for strangers
  • Go on a prayer walk (walk through your town/neighborhood, and pray over every home, each person you pass, or anything else that God puts on your heart — it’s a silent reflection, but a powerful experience to do together… holding hands with each other and the Lord.)
  • Rock climbing

I’m sure there are others I can’t remember at the moment — but my point is, don’t always do the same thing. Going out to dinner is great, but do other things too!

Annual Getaways

This one takes more planning and a little more cash up front, but it has been a refreshing treat for my soul every time we make the time and effort to go away for a night, a weekend, or even a whole week! Most of the time we ask one of the grandparents to watch the kids, but we’ve also had my sister-in-law and friends babysit.

My husband and I love to check off bucket list items together. I guess I should say, items from MY bucket list. He doesn’t have one because he believes the only thing on his bucket list is 1) know Jesus… and he’s done! However, I’m a very goal-oriented person with a serious case of wanderlust! There is so much world out there that I want to see, and I am determined to do it!

Some of our previous bucket list items that we have checked off together include:

tour Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater
visit Plitvice Lakes in Croatia
√ see Cuyahoga Valley National Park (the Ledges trail is spectacular!)
√ stay at a swanky Disney resort (we did the Polynesian, SO gorgeous)
√ go white water rafting
and in a few weeks we’ll be able to check off √ skydiving!!

Having these experiences together does wonders for our marriage ~ because those memories are fond and they were made together. We have actually checked off dozens more with the kids in tow, but these are the ones we’ve done alone as a couple.

Being able to get out and take in God’s majestic creation (or occasionally man’s, but it truly does not compare) really brings me to a great place spiritually. We have had some of the best conversations on these trips, about how to handle stresses going on in our lives at the moment, how we want to change & grow moving forward, and we get a perspective that we couldn’t otherwise attain.

Most importantly, we both turn and face the same direction, and start walking together again. Life veers us off course, so we need to be intentional about autocorrecting to the same route as our spouse.

Serve Together

Some of my favorite growing experiences as a couple have been ones that were not focused on us at all, but focused on the overflowing of our hearts outward. Last year, Byron and I joined a missionary team to Haiti. That experience was completely life-changing and eye-opening. Experiencing it together was an incredible growth experience for our marriage. (Imagine, on the flip side, if only one half of a couple goes through a life-changing experience. The other person of the couple has to either play catch up, or they get resentful of their partner’s change. They never truly understand it, because they didn’t go themselves.)

Haiti: What I Learned ~ Our Cozy Den Haiti: What We Did ~ Our Cozy Den

We have also found other ways to serve together, both locally and globally:

  • running a small group for couples in our home
  • starting a ministry in our community
  • raising money for a local charity
  • volunteering together
  • teaching children’s Sunday school together
  • praying together

Honor Each Other

My marriage, like any other, has its ups and downs. We argue and disagree, more often than I would like. I try very hard to hold to a few core principles in our altercations that really help us to stay strong.

  1. I do not speak negatively of my husband, either to him or to anyone else. When I need to vent, I vent to God instead of a friend.
  2. I try to remember that God calls me to submit to my husband, and when it comes down to it, his counsel is what I need to take — even over my own selfish ego.
  3. Even when we disagree, we are on the same team. It is not me vs. Byron. It’s me and Byron vs. sin. I try to think of disagreements as team meetings or hashing out strategy as opposed to a fight. When one member of a team ‘loses’, the whole team loses. Instead of having a loser and a winner, we should have a new strategy that we use moving forward.

Now, I’m not perfect. I mess up tons. But I try to keep reminding myself and bringing my words and actions back to these truths, so I know when I have gone awry and need to correct (and apologize!)

Laugh Together

I literally could not keep a straight face long enough to pose properly!

We have several silly little traditions that have evolved over the years. We have embarrassing nicknames for each other that nobody knows. We take goofy photographs. We tease each other about the idiosyncrasies that make us unique. We bet a metaphorical dollar when we disagree over something trivial. We try not to take life so seriously, to have fun and enjoy each other, to be open, forgiving, and simply — in love.

 

Click here to read about how we do Parent & Kid date nights! 

And click here to join the Facebook discussion — I would LOVE to get new ideas for date night! Tell me, what are some fun things that you and your spouse do together!?!

💍🎉Ways We Keep Marriage FUN! 💏💞

One thought on “💍🎉Ways We Keep Marriage FUN! 💏💞

  1. Susan says:

    Thank you this was really refreshing to hear and I think it’s something I plan to implement in our home. From the adult dates to ones with our kids. We don’t do this enough 🙂

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