Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

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A Weekend For Two

Posted by Jennifer Slattery on January 14, 2011

Last year for our anniversary my husband and I packed our suitcases and got away…to downtown Kansas City. Quite honestly, I felt a bit silly when we checked into our hotel.

“Where are you from?”

“Kansas City.” The guy’s face scrunched in confusion so I quickly added, “Up north.” Like a whole twenty minutes north.

True, we could have spent the weekend at the Plaza without getting a hotel, but there’s something about getting away that makes the evening special. It’s like it puts your brain in romance mode. There’s no dishes to think about. No television to distract you. No phone calls to try to avoid. It’s just you and your spouse.

It was a wonderful evening. I’m a jeans and sweater kind of gal, but this time I dressed up and…wore heels.  For about ten minutes. My husband booked a hotel room in the heart of downtown, walking distance to the shops and restaurants and that night, we strolled hand in hand, me talking a mile a minute while my husband offered that strong-silent-type-loving-smile. (Although halfway down a major sloping hill I turned around and changed shoes.)

We didn’t really do anything exciting. Mostly we just walked, hand in hand, which is my favorite thing to do. Then, after dinner, we went for ice-cream and watched a magician from the ice-cream store window. It was a time to laugh, to relax, and to forget about paying bills, raising children, job stressers or housework. And it’s something we do once a year, without fail, regardless of our schedule or budget.

At first this was hard. Our daughter was a toddler the first time we got away. It was near the Easter holiday and the hotel we stayed at hosted an Easter egg hunt for its guests. I literally felt ill as I stood on our balcony watching little girls flitter across the lawn, floral bonnets tied around their heads, baskets in hand. It was a tug and pull kind of thing. My heart was drawn to my husband, and I cherished the one-on-one time with him, but I also missed our little girl terribly. But at lunch that first day, as my husband and I sat across from one another in a quaint San Diego restaurant, soft music playing in the background, I realized how crucial that weekend was. The way my husband looked at me, the way his eyes centered on mine as if I was the only person in the restaurant, electrified my heart. Suddenly we were dating again.

Over the years, our weekend get-away has grown to an annual week-long vacation. Getting away adds a dash of romance into your marriage, or perhaps keeps the romance alive, and helps you remember why you fell in love in the first place. It takes you away from all the romance-sapping stressers and pressure, freeing your hearts to bond.

If you don’t have the money, you can create a romantic retreat at home. Just make sure to set some ground rules like:

1. No kids! (Call friends, pawn them off on neighbors, lock them in a closet–on second thought, stick with options one and two. But do whatever you need to do at least once a year to secure a private, romantic weekend, not afternoon, with your spouse.)

2. Remove the distractions. One of the reasons I like getting away is because it forces me to set my computer aside, let the answering machine take my calls, and forget about those dust-balls growing in the corners. And for my husband, ESPN isn’t so alluring once we leave the home. If you stay home, it will be more challenging to get in “get-away” mode, but it can be done. Determine ahead of time to stay focused on one another.

3. Do something out of the ordinary. First, don’t cook. That’s work and will place you right back in mommy-home-maker mode. Order out, place some candles in the center of your table and dim the lights. Add a bit of softly playing music. Or, spread a blanket on the living room floor and have an in-house picnic.

Make it a priority, a commitment, to take time once a year and turn each weekend or week-long get-away into a second, third, fourth…twentieth honeymoon. It will have a huge, long-term impact on your marriage.

What about you? Do you take the time to get away and if so, how has it helped your marriage? Why do you think these little retreats have such a romantic impact?

2 Responses to “A Weekend For Two”

  1. JoAnn Durgin said

    Jen, I absolutely LOVE this post. Makes me all warm and romantic just thinking of getting away with my husband again. We get so busy in our lives and don’t get to do it as often as we’d like, but it’s so important to make it a priority. It’s hard to turn off what’s going on with the kids in your absence (especially when they’re teenagers). What seems to work best for us at this point (almost 23 years married) is to simply book a date night at least once every two weeks – dinner, movie, whatever we feel like doing. Even a few hours away helps soothe the soul, rekindle those feelings, and is so romantic. Thanks for this post. Now, I need to start planning the next date… Blessings!

  2. Jen S. said

    Thanks, JoAnn. SGIF! (My new acronym. lol So glad it’s Friday.) What a perfect way to start the weekend.

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