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Just the Two of Us
Mom with a View

Just the Two of Us

There's nothing like a short vacation – just you and your spouse, with no kids – to strengthen your marriage.

by

Our room had an ocean view. In fact, our balcony overlooked the rocky beach and the steel blue ocean. The sound of the waves crashing against the rocks lulled us to sleep. We were on vacation.

A real vacation. Not a family trip but a real vacation. Just the two of us. No kids.

It was only for one night (due to budgetary, business and scheduling concerns) but it made all the difference. There are many books on marriage, most of which offer valuable insights into the difference between men and women, important tips on improving communication and generally aid in our understanding of one another. These are crucial building blocks to any successful relationship.

And while I always say it's the small everyday actions that count, once in a while there's nothing like a vacation.

It doesn't have to be long. It doesn't have to be exotic. It doesn't have to be expensive or far from home (we ventured all of half an hour).

It just has to be a break. From routine. From habit. From daily cares and concerns. It's a chance to rediscover each other, to find once again the sense of fun and adventure in your partner; and to discuss the deeper issues that get lost amidst the diapers, garbage, dry cleaning and midnight feedings.

Sometimes when we haven't gotten away, we feel that we don't need it, that we're doing fine. Going away together doesn't imply need or problems. But once you leave, you'll be surprised at how it revives your spirits and your marriage. Like many things, "seeing is believing." It's only through the experience of truly private time that we appreciate how much more growth and pleasure there is available in our marriages and in each other.

Some couples worry about leaving their children. I confess to this anxiety. It took me years to finally walk out the door. But I have discovered it's almost completely unilateral. Healthy, confident children do just fine when their parents leave for a short time (they may even enjoy it!). After the first pang that no one even looked up when we left (!), I relaxed and let go (well, a little bit anyway).

And even if there is a little fussing, we have to remind ourselves that it ultimately for their benefit (this is a self-sacrificing act!) as well. Happy parents in strong relationships do a much better job, and are certainly more fun to be with. And teaching our children the importance of a good marriage, of the husband-wife relationship is an extremely valuable lesson.

Many of us have a list a mile long of why it won't work for us -- babysitters, money, work demands etc. But they don't say "when there's a will, there's a way" for nothing. Frequently friends, single or newly married, are happy to baby-sit (you can usually get them once before they realize what they've committed to!). Frequently other friends have vacation homes or cottages they are happy to share. Sometimes there are online deals. With commitment and creativity we can make it happen.

Time to focus on the two of you is essential to any marriage. It should be squeezed out daily and can be very powerful if you can get away from it all. It may cost some money but it's likely to be cheaper (and a lot more fun) than therapy.

You can build memories and recapture those moments when things can a little rough or you feel a little disconnected. In fact if I close my eyes, I can still see the pink Mediterranean stone and hear those ocean waves...

Published: September 2, 2006


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Visitor Comments: 6

(6) Shari, September 21, 2006 12:41 PM

re: time out for us...

My husband doesnt like the beach, and won't go anywhere there isnt a minyan..
We once went to a nice hotel after I had a miscarriage..but it was pouring rain outside that night...

(5) Jenny, September 9, 2006 1:38 PM

also a weekly date!!!

my husband and I have been going on a weekly date since we got married ten years ago. As our family has grown, this is also a HUGE necessity and great way to keep communication and marriage strong. Regular kidless vacation also a great idea. Thanks for your wonderful blog!!

(4) BethMali, September 4, 2006 7:23 AM

An only me vacation at home

After nearly 27 years of marraige and six kids, I am experiencing my first ever home alone vacation. No husband, no kids, no work--just the dog for 3 weeks! We live out in the country and I have discovered the quiet that has been here all along; how messy I really am; how connecting with family members on the phone once or twice a day is enough; how I enjoy the time to just go through my home and clean out, give away or rearrange things. I eat less. I read more. I can complete a thought. The first few nights I had dreams in cut off sentences until I realized that I could actually think a full thought without interruptions. A homemade loaf of bread lasts more than a week vs the one to two loafs a day when everyone is home. I have discovered that alone doesn't mean lonely. I discovered I have time at the computer to read articles and even send in my comments.
I enjoy reading all that you write. Thank you,
Beth mali

(3) MichaelLevy, September 3, 2006 9:10 PM

There are many alternatives.

Send the kids away and have a vacation at home! Leave work early! Do the things you used to enjoy when dating! Visit friends who nurture you, or whom you nurture together. But

It can backfire if you load it with too many expectations!

(2) Anonymous, September 3, 2006 8:04 PM

thought provoking articles

realistic things to ponder

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