I will never forget a walk I took with my older sister before I was about to get married.
I had asked her for some marriage advice.
Typically when you think of marriage advice, you think of the typical couples that pray together, stay together advice. I am NOT saying that that is bad advice and in fact, I think that is some of the most IMPORTANT advice. But my sister said something that surprised me, that stuck with me:
It was advice that caused my ears to tune in a little closer, as she went on to say how important it is to get away as a couple. When my sister says something, I listen as her words are always chosen carefully. So when she offered that advice, I tucked it away and have since then, brought it out every year of our marriage.
Now I know what you are thinking “I don’t have the time or money for that.”
Those were the exact words that went through my head at least, when we got married. Who has the time and money to go on these extravagant vacations? But that is not what getting away is all about.
Getting away is not just the leaving your home and going somewhere.
It is the commitment you are making to your marriage, that your marriage is important, that you value your best friend, your spouse, and that you will do what it takes, to sacrifice for your marriage.
Money is always an issue. I feel like no matter how much you make, it is never enough. Am I right? There is never going to be the “perfect” time. Think about what you spend money on and what you sacrifice to get. What about sacrificing for your marriage? What about not getting each other gifts, and doing a trip as a gift to one another – a gift to your marriage?
There have been vacations that Dan and I have just went away for a long weekend. There have been vacations where we have gone out of the country for. There have been times where we chose to spend money on a mission trip that we could do together, rather than doing a big vacation. In all of those times, it was time away TOGETHER.
There is something about leaving your own home, the familiarity, the comforts of life at home. For us, doing staycations, we would just work around the house and just be in the same routine we are in during the week. When we get away, we are forced to explore together, forced to sit down and eat a relaxing meal together, and forced to be with each other for a long period of time. I know “forced” may be a strong term, but sometimes it takes forcing to get out of the rut in life and move forward.
On our little babymoon that we took to Florida, it rained literally THE WHOLE time, except the day we got there and the day after. The rest of the week it just down poured (no, I am not exaggerating either – a tropical storm was passing through). The roads and parking lots were flooded. When you are in the Florida Keys, life is just meant to be lived outside. The first few days we were extremely frustrated and thought our vacation was ruined, but it was a good test. Our vacations aren’t just about where we go – it’s what we do together. The eating of hot meals together. Kayaking in the downpours. Walking through a museum together. Biking in the rain together. Snorkeling in the rain, together. Just living life with no agenda, together.
In our 10 years of marriage, every year we try to take time away. Like I said, sometimes it is a bigger vacation, sometimes a mission trip, and sometimes just a long weekend. But that time, those memories we have created, are milestones that have drawn us closer every time. There has not been one where we wished we didn’t go, or grew further apart. I am not saying we don’t have “discussions” while on those trips, but we always come home from them, more certain of our relationship than before.
So if I can pass on some of the best advice I have been given as a married woman, it truly is to GET AWAY. Go hiking. Throw up a tent. Rent a condo. Fly somewhere. Create a dream vacation. Whatever it takes for you to getaway, DO IT. It is something we have never regretted.
What is some of the best marriage advice you have been given? Where do you dream to go with your spouse someday?