This weekend, Zach and I had the privilege of getting away, just the two of us for the first time since Liam was born. While we adore our boys, we knew it was time for us to have some uninterrupted space to focus on ourselves and our marriage. And so we escaped to Santa Barbara for a beachy getaway. We read books, went swimming, had a few nice dinners and slept! – we forgot what that feels like!! We drank drank our coffee in peace, and even attended a yoga class together. But even more so than enjoying the little things, we were able to spend time in deep conversation, checking in with each other, and dreaming for the future. We shared our aspirations for ourselves and for our family, and what our prayers were for our boys. The weekend was just what we needed.
Zach and I decided early on that we would make a getaway, just the two of us, a priority in our marriage. We knew that to keep our marriage strong, we needed to carve out time to have intentional conversations and reconnect with each other. The goal for this time is for two main things to take place; to have fun with each other, and to make sure we were on the same page for the next season of life.
In case you aren’t married, I’ll say it now- marriage is hard work. It’s the absolute best work, but it is hard. It’s a daily decision to put someone else before you, which doesn’t come naturally. But marriage is also really fun. When you date someone, you have this never-ending excitement inside. At first, butterflies come with getting to know someone, then you become fond of that person, and eventually fall in love with him or her. Then you get married and many people think it all stops there. But I’d argue it’s the opposite. Those feelings you have when you are dating don’t even compare to how amazing it is to be life partners with your best friend. Marriage requires a level of intimacy and vulnerability that you share with no one else, and in returns provides the most sacred of relationships. It is the greatest gift! And yet, it can be so easy to lose sight of this with the busyness of life- work, kids, etc. Zach and I feel that one of the main ways we can keep hold of this value is to regularly getaway together. To have fun together. To just be us. It helps us fall in love all over again and even more so.
The other main reason we strongly believe in getting away just the two of us, is to check in with each other. We were intentional coming into this weekend with questions for each other, and conversations we wanted to have, that would help us grow together as a team. Some of our mentors told us a while back – you have to makes sure that you and your spouse are fighting together against the things thrown against you in life, not fighting against each other. For us, we do this at it’s best when we take time to get on the same page and understand where the other person is at.. This includes understanding what the other person’s dreams are so we can help them achieve those, as well as understanding where our spouse feels empty so we can encourage them. Marriage doesn’t last by chance. It requires regular attention and energy to keep it thriving.
I know that not everyone is in a position for many reasons to take a getaway, so if that isn’t the season you are in, maybe try an intentional getaway day. A date day that you and your spouse both know is specifically set to strengthen your marriage, and pray and dream over the next year of your family’s life. I really believe it will be such a rewarding time.
Zach and I are still at the very beginning of our marriage, a little over 4 years under our belt. And yet, we are so excited to start implementing practices that will benefit our marriage, and keep us grounded for years to come.