My church is all about the family. While I enjoy spending time with my family, my love for my husband has grown deeper through the years because we spend quality time together, just the two of us. I think as a mom, I sometimes feel like I am being selfish to leave the children with a sitter, even if it is a friend or a grandparent. I absolutely believe it is a selfish necessity to my marriage and I would argue that it is one of the reasons my marriage is so strong 20 years later.
When the kids were smaller, I remember tinges of guilt when I got a sitter so we could go on a date. When we were broke and in the military, we would share a big soda and sit under the runway and watch the jets take off and land. We didn't have much money to pay the sitter for very long, but knew the sacrifice would pay off in the end. Sometimes we swapped babysitting with a friend so we could go out to eat somewhere nice, but mostly our dates were simple and inexpensive.
Later, when we had 4 kids and Ben worked out of town, I can remember the feeling of needing to be rescued by the time Friday rolled around. I was so grateful he would shower them with kisses and hugs while I picked up the sitter and then he would take me out. He made me feel special and because of those times, I knew I was absolutely the most important thing in his life. It didn't hurt that those dates restored my sanity and ability to be a better mother when I got home.
Since then, our dates have remained vital to our relationship. It's not so much the date itself, as the feeling of importance that I get from being singled out of everyone in the household as the one he would most like to be with at any given moment. Sometimes, it is a visit to our favorite QT for a soda, going on a hike or taking long car drives together, but mostly we are a dinner and a movie kind of couple.
My sweet friends Don and Jen have compiled a list of 101 Ways to Spice Up Your Marriage. If you want a complete list, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll send it to you. Otherwise, here are a few of my ideas and some from the list.
1. Attend the temple and do sealings
2. Go on a hike, run, bike ride, walk, etc.
3. Do the dishes together...get wet.
4. Watch a play ( professional, community theater, high school production).
5. Explore a new restaurant and try a new food.
Now I want to hear from you. What are some of your favorite activities you do with your spouse? What is it that he/she does to make you feel special or important? Tell us how long you have been married too:)