Do you really need a date night??? Redefining date night for you and your husband
My husband and I have been married for almost 14 years in June.
We have had the odds stacked against us from the beginning.
You see, we got married when I was just 19 and he was 20.
A child bride.
The statistics for teenage marriage is staggering.
"One study I found showed that marrying as a teenager was the single biggest risk factor for divorce" said David Popenoe, head of the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University.
With half of all marriages ending in divorce these days, marrying young didn't help our odds.
Wanna know what else didn't help our odds?
I was also 26 weeks pregnant when we walked down the aisle.
I knew from the moment I met my husband that we would get married.
I prayed for him for years before I even met him.
So when I finally did meet him, I knew he was the man I had prayed for.
Getting pregnant expedited our engagement and later our marriage, but I never doubted for one moment that I wouldn't spend the rest of my life with my husband.
Fast forward fifteen years.
We now have three kids together, have bought two houses, have completed two degrees, moved over 2000 miles away from where we started our marriage, and have what both of us would claim is a successful thriving marriage.
Through the years we have heard that it's best to put our marriage first.
I googled "putting your marriage first" and got over 144,000,000 results!
After skimming the first page of articles to see the results, know what each one mentioned?
For years we have felt pressured to have an official date night.
What do you think of when you think of a date night?
I always thought of date night as a night when you hire a babysitter, make reservations to a fancy restaurant, go to the local theater to catch the latest release.
The reality of date night is that it's expensive.
To hire a babysitter for the evening ends up setting us back around $50 for the night.
Add in the expense of dinner out and a movie or other entertainment and our grand total for the evening is well into $100.
Not only is it expensive it's also inconvenient.
You have to not only work around your families schedule and find a free night without sports or school commitments, but you also have to work around your babysitters schedule.
While my husband and I have had several "date nights" in our 14 years of marriage I can honestly say, we have had far fewer than what the experts would recommend.
My husband and I haven't had a date night since our five day vacation to Puerto Vallarta last November.
I'm here to tell you that we have redefined date night
What is the goal of date night?
To spend uninterrupted time with one another.
To focus on one another without distractions.
To spend time connecting with one another.
It's taken me 13 years to finally feel like I don't need to feel the pressure of having a weekly date night. That I can disregard what the "experts" are telling me about how I need to schedule a date night with my spouse.
We have date night every night. Yep,
Want to know how we have date night?
We have made it a commitment in our marriage from the very beginning to make sure that every night is spent with one another.
Over the years I realize we are doing things differently than most couples.
We have made it a priority to spend each evening with each other.
I've heard some couples say that after they get the kids in bed, each spouse goes their separate ways.
One couple I know watches TV by herself while her husband plays video games in another room.
Another couple has a wife that does computer work while her husband is in the other room watching TV.
Another couple doesn't spend evenings together at all. The wife is busy with her commitments on various committees having meetings out nearly every night while her husband puts the kids to bed.
Some couples I know are spending time together but not really. Both of them are in the same room with the TV in the background, both of them on their iphones or laptops being distracted by more than one thing.
Does this sound familiar?
When our kids were little we had a strict 8 pm bedtime.
Now with a teenager, the evenings are getting a little later.
Since our teenager has early mornings (he wakes up at 5:30 am), he has an 8:30 bedtime.
We adhere to this bedtime through out the summer and on breaks too.
With parenting consistency is key.
We feel like keeping bedtimes consistent is important for not only our kids health, but for our marriage.
Don't get me wrong, there are also evenings where we are flexible with this rule.
However, it's rare that our kids are up past 10, even if they are having a sleepover with friends.
Each night after the kids are in bed, my husband and I are then able to focus on one another.
The story about something that happened during the day can be shared without interruption once the kids are snug in their beds.
The discussion that we promised one of the kids we would have, happens after 8:30.
The thing we have been trying to spit out but that keeps getting interrupted by kid 1, 2, or 3 can now happen in it's entirety.
We don't have to worry about little ears hearing our personal conversation because they are in bed (or at least in their rooms!).
We have a few rules
Early on in our marriage we promised not to have a TV in our bedroom.
As my dad says, nothing going on in your bedroom should have to compete with the TV.
Such good advice that we have taken to heart.
We actually only have one TV in our whole house.
No computer/e-mail/phone distractions
What needs to get done has to get done before 8:30, or it can wait for the morning.
There are very few times when this rule gets broken.