Taking a vacation can be hard. Taking a kid-less vacation can be even more difficult.
According to Leigh Weingus’ The Huffington Post article, Way Too Many Americans Took ZERO Vacation Days in 2014, “…almost 42% of Americans didn’t take any vacation days in 2014.” If you are one of the many who do not take vacation days you are missing out on some important effects of vacations:
- Vacations contribute to positive emotions, fewer negative emotions and less depression.
- Vacations increase life satisfaction and meaning in life.
- People who take vacations have higher levels of energy, lower blood pressure, lower levels of stress hormones and smaller waists.
- People who take all their vacation get better performance reviews.
- Even Jesus and his disciples took vacations. Mark 6:30-32
In the frantic life of marriage, your relationship can begin to become stale or slip into negative patterns of interaction. If all you ever discuss with your spouse is how to manage the household, parent the kids, schedule the activities of life and manage the family’s finances, then you need a big break to improve your relationship.
We enjoy a quarterly vacation at some level. Sometimes it is a day trip to something within a couple of miles that we have never seen or been through before. Sometimes we even take food along so that we keep from destroying the budget. Sometimes our day trips only cost us the gasoline for the trip as we are able to find free festivals and events in the cities around us.
Occasionally we will take an overnight trip. When the children were younger we would trade off babysitting with wonderful Christian friends so that we could each have our time together. Overnight trips can be further away and costs can still be kept to a minimum.
And then there are the big trips. In the last couple of years we have taken a cruise, spent a week in the Rocky Mountains, and enjoyed mini vacations on Galveston Island.
We think it is worth the investment in our marriage. And we encourage couples to spend some extended time alone outside of regular date nights because it improves you marriage in significant ways.
- We begin to rediscover why we like our spouse so much. We are reminded of the early years and best moments in our marriage. We are able to again see the magnificence and of our spouse.
- Relaxing makes you more open to connection. When you are physically relaxed you are more receptive to emotional intimacy and physical affection.
- Not talking about chores, money, in-laws, kids, schedules, household management, etc provides an opening to get reacquainted and truly see and know your spouse better. We change and so does our spouse. Without all the clutter of life we can truly connect with what is going on with our spouse and share what is happening in our world.
- Your sex routine of same place, same way, same time, same… is broken by sex in a new a different place at a different time and perhaps in a different way. Usually frequency of sex is increased during vacations as emotional connection increases which provides a new spark in your love life.
- In our daily lives we tend to focus on the past and the present. At the very most we will focus on the near future. But in our long discussion we can begin to think about our lifelong future together. Vacations are where dreams are shared about what could be in our future live together.
We would love to hear your vacation adventures. Where did you go? What did you do? And most importantly, how did the vacation improve your marriage? Let us know!
This article was written by Roy and Devra Wooten, authors of “The Secret to a Lifetime Love”. Learn more at www.LifeTogetherForever.com © Roy and Devra Wooten 2015. All Rights Reserved. You may replicate this article as long as it is provided free to recipients and includes appropriate attribution. Written permission for other use may be obtained at Secret@LifeTogetherForever.com.