If you’ve been married forever, it isn’t always easy to keep the spark alive in your relationship. I know, because Brandon and started dating at 17 and 18, and have been married for over 10 years.
I’m totally guilty of just being comfortable…it hardly seems necessary to pursue my husband when I already have him. But when Brandon and I decided toward the end of 2018 to revamp and refresh many areas of our lives, our marriage was one of them. And our marriage was not in trouble. We were already happy, but maybe just a little too content. So in 2019, we’ve been working to make our marriage the best it can be.
One way we decided to grow our marriage was to do something new together. We opted to “go big” and start a podcast about life + marriage + everything else (click HERE to listen!). Doing something new together is a really fun way to grow closer and remember how you ended up together in the first place. I don’t think it matters one bit what the “thing” is…maybe it’s starting a new workout together or taking a class together or traveling to a new place. Whatever it is, the fact that it’s new to both makes it exciting! We’re a couple months into our podcast, and we’re not only learning about podcasting, we’re also learning even more about each other.
Another thing we implemented was a daily devotional on marriage. In the evenings after the kids are in bed, we do our devo. Many times, it’s quick and the discussion questions are simple and don’t develop much. But every so often, those discussion questions develop into long, interesting conversations. Sometimes, they are related to the devotional and other times, topics just pop up naturally as a result of the line of communication being open. It’s been an easy way to get a better peek into each other’s minds.
The most fun thing that we started was a weekly at home date night. On Friday nights, we try to get the kids in bed at a reasonable hour and then we do something that’s just a tiny bit fancier than our normal weekday routine of Netflix in bed.
Here’s what we’ve come up with and have either done or plan on doing!! These aren’t the MOST fun things ever, but just little ways we can connect when we aren’t able to have a babysitter. The important thing is that we’re
- Red Box and Hot N Ready Pizza (or other cheap pizza)
- Watch a movie on the blow-up air mattress like we did before kids
- Board games and a drink (we’ve done pina coladas and margaritas)
- Appetizer night. Skip dinner with the kids and instead do a bunch of appetizer samplers as dinner
- Bake/make dessert together
- Workout video from YouTube
- Reminisce for a night—pull out the wedding video/albums and old pictures
- Candlelit dinner
- Drinks on a blanket under the stars (in your own yard, baby monitor in hand!!)
- Outdoor movie night—grab the laptop or move your TV outside and stream a movie on your porch with blankets and popcorn! (again, baby monitor in hand!)
Obviously those last two are for warmer weather, but I’m definitely hoping that in a couple months, we’ll have a few nights nice enough for some fresh air!
It’s been a lot of fun to move from just “survival mode” at our house—you know, keeping kids alive and fed—to intentional time together as a couple. We talk more about the deep stuff and keep in better communication that we used to, just by making our marriage a priority again.
Hopefully this post has given you a starting point for upping the ante in your own relationship! I know that everyone has different interests and my idea of a good date night in might not be yours…but even making a list of date ideas with your husband could be fun!
How do you make sure your marriage stays strong while raising kids?? I’d love to know!! (And I would also love more date night ideas!)