Read part one of this series, The Fun Factor: Maintaining Fun
Read part two of this series, The Fun Factor: Sacrifices for Fun
Strong blended couples have an active, shared leisure life. When couples naturally have the same idea of what is fun for them, they easily pursue it on a regular basis. When definitions of fun differ, couples seek a balance between giving one another the freedom to pursue individual interests and making sacrifices so they can spend time together.
Todd and Jennifer have similar ideas of what is fun or relaxing. Because Todd and Jennifer enjoy gardening together, they talk about it frequently and look forward to the next time they can get in the garden. Jennifer says getting in her garden with Todd is like taking a mini-vacation away from the stresses of daily living. And the anticipation of spending a few hours together extends the shared positive feelings beyond actually being in the garden.
Another strength of healthy couples is not letting individual interests interfere with their differences. For a vast majority of strong couples, leisure time together takes precedence over individual interests.
This is not to say that healthy couples don’t ever have individual interests. They often do. But they respect each other’s unique interests, while at the same time finding a balance between leisure time spent separately and together. And they work to ensure that individual time doesn’t come at the expense of the marriage.
Unhealthy couples, on the other hand, feel that one or both of the partners is indulging themselves to the detriment of the relationship. They don’t know how to stay balanced.
All work and no play may make Jack a dull boy, but that’s only the beginning. It makes Jack and Jill’s marriage pretty dull, too. Fun, friendship, and romance is likely how your relationship got started. Be sure to intentionally keep it an active part of your relationship forever.
Becoming more intentional with the fun-factor in your marriage.
Implement a “Protect our time together” policy. Too many couples spoil their date night. An example of this is bringing up stressful or difficult issues to discuss. Couples may have matters that need attention so they jump on the first opportunity they have away from the kids or office to talk. Unfortunately that quickly sabotages 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.
© 2010 by Ron L. Deal. All rights reserved.