What makes a marriage a happy one… now that calls for some debating, doesn’t it?! I have been married for more than 21 years now, so I think I’m becoming a bit of an expert on the topic if I may say so. Marriage of course is about giving and taking, sharing and caring, water and wine, keeping one eye open and the other one closed… but if there should be a secret to a happy marriage, I’d say that you have to make sure you regularly recharge your “couple-battery”… well, that has been the secret of our marriage so far…
Having a hectic life, a couple of kids, both a (fulltime) job, a house to maintain,… all this can seriously put a strain on married life. One way to get your battery recharged is to get away from it all for just a bit… just the two of you… as if you were just dating…
My husband and I have been going on weekend breaks since we became a couple, now more than 25 years ago. We have been doing this even when our children were babies and it was difficult to part from them and we had to rely on the grandparents to look after them… We have been doing this even when my husband was on kidney dialysis, even if this meant taking with us the kidney dialysis machine (as the first years of his illness he did a home treatment instead of the dialysis at the hospital). We had to be very creative sometimes, but we always managed to get away from everyday life.
We always considered our weekend getaways as sacred… these always have been (and still are!) extremely important for us and our relationship. And we honestly think that any couple should go on a weekend break now and then for some quality time together. Because with everyday troubles, you tend to live next to eachother instead of with eachother.
On our weekend breaks we wine & dine, we stroll around in beautiful towns or go to a wellness resort, we visit a museum or exposition, we take a walk in the woods or on the beach, we talk and talk and talk and we enjoy the silences between us… but most of all we enjoy eachother’s company… it’s like we’re 21 all over again!
We’re lucky enough that we can always rely on the grandparents to look after our children (and we are very grateful to them, as we know that, especially when our kids were younger, it can be a bit of a handful!).
I know that not everybody has the possibility to take their kids to stay with the grandparents for an entire weekend, but you’ve got to be a bit resourceful in my honest opinion! If you want to spend time together, you’ll find a way… it doesn’t always have to be a weekend break you know. If that isn’t possible for you, why don’t you try to go out for just a day or a night ? What we sometimes do is take the kids to school in the morning and then drive off to a town nearby to stroll around, have lunch together and get back in time to pick up the kids from school again. That way you get to spend your so needed quality time together to reload your couple-battery without bothering grandparents or a babysitter to look after your children.
So if I have to give marital advise to newly-weds I’d definitely say : don’t loose sight of who you are as a couple. Don’t stop dating just because you’ve got a hectic life or you have kids. It is ever so important to try to spend some time together, as a couple… that way you are halfway towards a happy married life in my opinion !