My husband and I recently took a Caribbean cruise without our son. We were away for 5 days and nights without hearing, “mom watch me”, “dad come with me” or any other request that takes our focus off of each other. We love our child dearly but the break from the demands of being mom and dad had numerous benefits for ourselves as individuals and us as a couple.
As soon as we stepped on the ship, I felt a wave of relaxation take over. I noticed it in my husband as well. The tone of conversation changed from what we needed to do, to what do you want to do? It was also without the consideration of, is it a kid friendly activity? The only expectation we had for the next five days was to enjoy being together, to have fun, laugh and eat some good food that was being cooked by chefs and served by waiters. We both were looking forward to all of the perks of some alone time. We discovered that we were able to rediscover each other without the worry of a moment being interrupted.
It is healthy for your relationship to have adult time. To be able to take part in activities that are geared to adults like see a late-night show, enjoy a dinner that is several courses and takes several hours. A child free getaway can reignite the passion and romance that goes on the back burner with the responsibilities of daily life. As you relax, it is easier to have a good time and it gives you the opportunity to remember all of the wonderful reasons the two of you got married.
Couples, sometimes forget how to interact with each other in their alone time. They get used to being a “family” and forget that they are also a “couple”. Marriage.com asked me to write a tip on the best marriage advice for a lasting relationship. My advice was titled, “Don’t let parenthood hijack your marriage”. Remember, you were a couple before you became parents. You should always make time to be husband and wife. A child free vacation gives you that time.
When taking this vacation, I would suggest to do it without the feeling of guilt. If you found a reliable person to take care of the kids and you know they are safe and their needs are being met, then enjoy. This should be a guiltfree time. You deserve the time away to recharge your batteries and focus on your spouse. Do it for your marriage, for yourself, for your spouse for your kids.
Yes, the thought of leaving your kids at home for some may be a difficult one and that is a personal decision you and your spouse would need to make. Yes, you need someone you trust to take over at home for a few days. Yes, it does take some planning to get away without the kids but I can tell you that it is therapeutic for you and your spouse to have that alone time. It gives you time to focus on each other, talk about your dreams and strengthen your marriage. The age of your child could depend on your comfort level of leaving for a vacation. Your child’s age could also determine how far you are willing to travel and for how long you are willing to be away. Keep in mind, that even one night can have benefits for your marriage.
A vacation alone with your spouse is an incredible way to reconnect. Since that does take a reliable person who is willing to watch the kids, extra funds and some time off from work that might not be possible right away. You might be asking the questions, “So what should I do in the meantime? What can I do to revive the feeling of being close at home?” My advice is to prioritize your relationship. Put energy and attention into to it often. Try concentrating on doing the little thigs that keep you feeling connected. When communicating with your spouse, listen, validate, compliment and appreciate. Along with these tips, have regular date nights whether they are an evening out, an afternoon of fun or something planned at home for just the two of you.
Spending quality alone time with your spouse is important for the health of your marriage. Make it a priority. My husband and I were fortunate to have an amazing few days with time to reconnect. We focused on self-care and on each other while we cruised the Atlantic on our relaxing kid free vacation. We enjoyed it tremendously and I highly recommend it. When we returned home, our relationship was rekindled, we had smiles on our faces and we were better parents. Why? Because we felt relaxed, happy and we were ready to hear, “mom watch me” and “dad come with me”.
Your Relationship Expert,