Dr. John Gottman states, “Problems arise…when couples use their parenting obligations as an excuse for neglecting their relationship with each other.” We agree, but also contend there could be many other things couples use as excuses to neglect their marriage.
The scenarios are many and each family is unique. It could be a season of having babies, toddlers and sleepless nights. It might be teens, their sports and social schedules we’re trying to keep up with. It could be health issues, caring for an aging parent or tough deadlines at work.
Whatever it is, each of us can fill in the blank with what’s making us feel busy and without enough time to really pour into our marriage. Unfortunately, it’s the thing that can slide so easily to the bottom of the priority list.
That’s why it’s important to set aside time – ideally extended time – regularly to put effort and energy into our marriage relationships. Our Weekend Getaways give couples exactly that. An entire weekend away together, with teaching that will spark great conversation and connection.
Here are three reasons why having time away together is so valuable.
Time to Care
In the midst of normal busy life at home, we can forget our spouse has needs. We rush from work to soccer practice to falling into bed at night without pausing to consider what these might be. Gottman says,
Couples often ignore each other’s emotional needs out of mindlessness, not malice.
It’s not that we want to neglect what our spouse needs from us, it’s just that in the whir of life we forget.
Planning extended time away from the hustle of life gives marriages a chance to pause and see what our partner needs from us, along with time to give it. At our Weekend Getaways, we offer great teaching times followed by quiet moments where couples can discuss and work through the information together. We’ve built opportunities to start conversations right into the weekend so you don’t have to awkwardly wonder where to begin. We help with guiding questions so couples can really learn what their spouse’s needs are. Emotionally caring for each other connects a marriage in a way that few other things can and this gives us strength to head back into our busy lives feeling loved and cared for.
Time to Communicate
We all have those days or seasons when the best we can do is shuttle everyone where they need to be and throw out a, “How was your day?” as we shovel food into our mouths. But what happens to a relationship when we stay in this place for too long? When we simply have no time to communicate about things beyond work or kids or what movie we’re going to see?
Marriages are strengthened when we make time to really talk – about more than just the events of the day. We grow together when we can go deeper without interruption. We connect at a heart level when we hear more about what our spouse is thinking, how they’re feeling and what sort of goals and dreams they might have. These things draw us together and unite us in order to maintain a healthy relationship. This is why we have specific break times at our Weekend Getaways for couples to find a cozy corner or head back to their hotel room for awhile. This gives couples a chance to really communicate intimately with each other in their own private space.
Time for Fun Together
To strengthen our marriages we need time spent enjoying one another’s company. Remember those first dates when every moment spent together included something fun, something special, some way of showing – you’re important to me! Taking extended time away gives us the opportunity to do this again. It could be outdoor recreation like hiking or biking, seeking out the best local restaurant to enjoy delicious food together, or as easy as playing a game. It really doesn’t matter the activity, as long as it’s something enjoyable together. When we have time to enjoy each other’s company it adds depth, strength and laughter to our relationship. We build time for a date night right into our Weekend Getaways. An entire evening to plan and do whatever it is you, as a couple, find enjoyable. A romantic dinner, zip lining – the options can be as creative as you are.
The benefits of caring for the marriage relationship are many. We fit all three of these – time to care, communicate and just have some fun into our Weekends. We suggest getting out the calendar today to plan a time of extended connection together. Visit our website for all of the dates and locations – we may just be coming to a city near you!