Nonnegotiable Date Nights and Time Away
Cathy and I don’t miss many date nights. We know that even though life can get overly busy and we often get distracted, at least once a week we are going to stop what we are doing and focus on each other. Most of our dates aren’t very expensive. In fact, when our children were younger, the cost of a baby-sitter was sometimes more expensive than the date. The date is not a time to talk about the bills or the kids’ school plans; it’s a time to focus on each other. It’s not a time to let down; it’s a time to make some positive deposits into each other’s emotional wellbeing. Cathy can handle a busy schedule as long as she knows that there will be a sanctuary of love, support, and focus on our weekly date night. (Date mornings and date afternoons are good, too, by the way.)
When Cathy and I celebrated our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, we sent the kids to camp and took a very special trip. Knowing they were safe and having a good time, we were actually glad to be away from the kids; and yet, we spent much of our time talking about them. So much of our focus was on them. On extended trips, this is fine—unless you wake up one day and realize that you have nothing in common with your spouse except for the kids or that one or both of you have given all your energy to priorities other than each other.