By Ryan Frederick of Fierce Marriage
Getting away with your spouse is a vital part of keeping things renewed and fresh. This means taking time to intentionally disconnect from your everyday world and reconnect with your life partner. I strongly believe that getting away should be a regular (at least monthly) occurrence in marriages; here’s why…
Selena and I have found much solace in getting away throughout our marriage. Often, we simply get in the car and just drive. We don’t always know exactly where we’re going, we just get out and explore. During the drive, we make it a point to talk and dream. Often, this talking starts with arguing about something that was just beneath the surface – but being in the car driving 60+ mph means we have to sit there and work through it! No Plan B, no escape routes… right?
Essentially, this is what ‘getting away’ does. It puts you and your wife/husband face to face where you can connect without distraction.
Why getting away with your spouse is important
Quality time: no shortcuts, no substitutes
Selena and I live reasonably busy lives, like many of you. Jobs, tasks, routines, and everything else that sucks up our time can end up leaving us both starved for good, quality time together. The funny thing is, even our ‘relaxation’ time ends up draining us of deep connection if we sit in front of the TV or spend time droning around on the internet – Facebook, news, funny YouTube videos – you know what I’m talking about.
If we’re not careful, months can go by and we haven’t done anything meaningful or memorable together. Then when the year is past, we look back and wonder what happened – something just feels half-baked about what we did.
Getting away is important because it re-centers our relationship and refreshes our hearts.
What getting away actually does
Marriage is one of life’s grandest adventures.
You’ve probably heard of “fasting”. If you haven’t, it basically means you stop doing something for a while (ex. eating) to reset yourself. For followers of Christ, fasting is an act of worship. For health buffs, fasting is a way to cleanse your palette and reset your metabolism. For others, it’s a way to protest and abstain from a behavior you know is destructive (ever heard of someone ‘fasting’ or ‘leaving’ Facebook for a while?).
Think of getting away with your spouse as a way of ‘fasting’ or cleansing your relationship from distractions. Getting away with your spouse effectively:
1. Isolates you and your spouse from the world, just for a few moments. This allows you to communicate honestly and fully without distraction
2. Allows you to create new experiences and memories together, thus adding depth to your history
3.Removes you from everyday distractions and lifts your thinking
4.Allows you to have fun together and build your friendship
5.Helps you put the ‘quality’ back in your quality time
6.Gives you a time to dream without boundaries and seek agreement on your life direction
7.Gives you a springboard to seek God’s vision and His call on your marriage (and provide a time for you to pray about it together)
This list is just the beginning. The key is to realize that getting away allows ample opportunity to truly partner with your spouse and strengthen your bond.
Tips for getting away together
Please keep in mind that there isn’t a template for ‘getting away’. For us, it’s usually spur of the moment and simple. We will wake up one Saturday morning and say “let’s go to the coast today” and simply do it. (The coast is a 2 hour drive for us). Then we just spend time kicking through the surf, grabbing lunch, playing with our daughter, and just talking.
Some of our friends prefer the mountains, others prefer a new restaurant. The key is finding a easy way to retreat from normal life with the core intention of being close with your spouse.
Here are a few quick ideas for getting away together:
Take a road trip! Pack an overnight bag, pick a spot on the map at least 100 miles away and just go! See what unfolds… and make sure to talk along the way.
Camping: If you’re outdoorsy people, try to find a place you’ve never been before. See something new and breathe some fresh air together!
Trains: Extend your range with a cheap ticket. Keep it spontaneous… you don’t need to know where you’re going to stay or what you’re doing. Just go and figure it out on the fly.
AirBNB.com: This is an incredible website for opportunistic travelers. You can find a cheap, charming room in your favorite city and make a weekend of it.
Kayak.com: – this is my personal favorite website for finding flights. I usually have a few alerts set for cities we want to fly to. Then, when fares tank, we buy tickets and just make the details work later! (This is exactly how we toured Europe for 18 days for $360/ea round trip!)
Hopefully you will take these words to heart and set aside some time to get away very soon. Please do. And if/when you do, tell us the story!