A regular dose of fun, relaxing time together is a key part of a dynamic, fulfilling relationship.      

Ty and Andrea met on the tennis court. Every Saturday for months they secretly watched each other practice and play in an intramural country club league. Finally, Ty asked Andrea to play a match and the rest was history. Eventually they discovered a shared passion for sports, and that became a central hub of their time together.

Once they married, however, the challenge became maintaining their couple fun.

Ty and Andrea are not alone. When Dr. David Olson and I did research for our book, The Smart Stepfamily Marriage, we found that many couples struggle to keep alive what we have called the fun factor.  For example, blended family couples tend to date each other without the children present; they engage in leisurely activities that facilitate emotional bonding. But after the wedding, when the demands of parenting and work take over, half of these couples struggle to find enough leisure time together.

That’s a real shame. Especially since a regular dose of fun, relaxing time together predicts with 86 percent accuracy whether couples have a dynamic, fulfilling relationship or a dissatisfied one. How much better instead to keep the fun factor working on your behalf.

Action Point

Becoming more intentional with the fun-factor in your marriage.

Brainstorm a list of the leisure activities you enjoy together. Be sure to mention “biggies” (e.g., a seven-day cruise) and “little ones” (e.g., playing cards after dinner). A healthy marriage has some of both.

Now discuss which ones are easiest to implement at this stage of your life. Which ones have gotten lost in the stepfamily forest but you’d like to rediscover them?

© 2010 by Ron L. Deal. All rights reserved.

Written by Ron Deal

Ron Deal

Ron L. Deal is president of Smart Stepfamilies™, director of FamilyLife Blended™ (a ministry of FamilyLife®), a popular conference speaker, and author/coauthor of a series of DVD’s, books, and curriculum for stepfamilies including The Smart Stepfamily, The Smart Stepmom, The Smart Stepdad, Dating and the Single Parent, and the book The Smart Stepfamily Marriage. His one-minute radio feature FamilyLife Blended can be heard daily on radio stations throughout North America and online. © [2016] by Ron L. Deal. All rights reserved.
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