Put More Fun in Your Marriage
By Belinda Elliott
CBN.com Daily Life Producer
CBN.com Feel like your marriage is missing something? Maybe you need a little more fun!
“Couples who know how to play and have fun together develop a bonding that can carry them through the most difficult of times,” writes Dr. Steve Stephens in his book, Blueprints for a Solid Marriage.
King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived knew the value of fun. In Ecclesiastes he advised, “Enjoy life with your wife….” Similarly, today’s couples need to make time to enjoy each other.
“Yet most couples work too hard to really enjoy their life together,” Stephens says. “They feel that if they aren’t doing something useful, they are wasting time.”
He offers these suggestions to add more fun to your relationship.
Make time for fun.
With the hectic schedules that families have today, you need to remember to schedule time for fun. Declare one night of the week “date night,” or carve out some time during the weekend to relax with your spouse. Mark it on your calendar, and protect that time slot.
“If you wait until it’s simple or convenient, you might have to wait a long time,” says Stephens.
Use variety to spice things up.
“When people get older and when they’ve been married longer, they just become boring,” Stephens says. “It’s not that they mean to get boring, it’s just that they haven’t intentionally figured out what would be something fun to do.”
How can you avoid relationship boredom? Try something new together.
Stephens says he and his wife take turns choosing what activity they will do on their date. When it is her turn to choose, he must do whatever she suggests. The next time they go out, he chooses the activity.
“Therefore we try brand new things that we never would have tried before, and the rule is that we can’t complain. We have to do it and have fun,” he says.
Trying something new can be an adventure that bonds you together as a couple. And you may discover a fun activity that you would have never thought you would enjoy.
Spend time with other couples.
Often, the friendships that spouses bring into the marriage are the relationships they have had with their single friends. Although there is nothing wrong with this, Stephens says, single friends often don’t share your “marriage” mentality or interests. They could inadvertently pull you away from your spouse rather than encourage the relationship.
“If you find another couple that you can both click with, then you can go out and you can do these fun things together. What you are doing is supporting and encouraging the marriage,” Stephens says.
One of the best places to look for couples to hang out with, he says, is at your church.
It can be awkward to be the first ones to initiate the relationship, but it doesn’t need to be difficult. Suggest to the couple that they join you one night for dinner or for a movie.
“There are a lot of couples out there that are just waiting to be asked,” Stephens says.
Loan out the kids (just for a little while).
Another advantage of developing friendships with other couples, especially if you both have kids, is that when you and your spouse do want a night alone, you can turn to your friends for your babysitting needs. Then, when they want a night out, you can offer to do the same for them.
Perhaps the kids would also enjoy a night away from mom and dad.
Include the kids (sometimes).
Having fun can also be a family affair. A lot of couples think because they have kids, they can’t go out and enjoy themselves like they may have when they were first married.
“When you add a couple more kids to the family, it really isn’t that much more work,” Stephens says. “Often, the kids will amuse each other, and it actually makes it easier. It’s not as romantic but you can say, ‘Hey, we are all going to go out and do this as a family.’”
Load the kids up for a day at the park, or take them out for a picnic lunch. Have a game night at home, or watch a movie together.
“A lot of times we use kids as the excuse,” Stephens says, “but if you are creative, there are a lot of things you can do.”
Do chores together.
Even housework and yard work can be fun if you tackle it as a couple. Whether it is cooking a meal, washing dishes, or working in the garden, doing the job with your spouse can make it less mundane.
“You can chat while you are doing this,” Stephens says. “You can have fun. It gets done a lot faster, and it’s not as boring.”
Working on household chores together also helps couples resist resentment that can sometimes build up if one person feels they do more work around the house than the other one does.
“If you are both working at the same time,” Stephens says, “if you work together and then play together, then there’s no resentment.”
Fun doesn’t have be expensive.
Many couples think they can’t afford to have fun, but they don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy time together.
Anything can be fun,” Stephens says. “One of the easiest things to do is to say we’re going to get a DVD tonight, and then we are going to fix some popcorn and cuddle up on the couch to have an in-house date.”
In Blueprints for a Solid Marriage, he offers other affordable ideas:
- Take in a sunset.
- Learn a new card game together.
- Listen to your favorite CD.
- Dance in your living room.
- Play charades.
- Play hide-and-seek.
- Share scary stories.
- Sleep in the backyard.
- Talk in rhyme for one hour.
- Walk in the moonlight.
- Write a romantic poem together.
Let the fun begin!
Whatever activity you choose, keep in mind that the main objective is to have fun. Resist the temptation to fill the time with conversation about work, bills, or to-do lists. Use the time to enjoy your spouse.
Remember, this time is just as important as anything else you do for your family. Start today and play your way to a healthier and happier marriage.
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Belinda Elliott is the Daily Life Producer for CBN.com. In this role, she manages the Family and Entertainment sections of the Web site. She earned a master's degree in Journalism from Regent University in 2003. In her spare time she enjoys good friends, good books, and movie nights with her husband. Read more of Belinda's articles.
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