How to have fun with your spouse

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How to have Fun with the one you love
by Karan Gleason
Clackamas Writer

When was the last time you and your spouse went out for the evening?

Marriage, like fine silver, has a tendency to tarnish. There’s no clause in the marriage license stating, “Once married you shall no longer date.” By creating some fun and excitement together, you restore the sparkle to your marriage and enhance its luster.

Don’t let your marriage be void of romance. Dating, like playing the flute, swimming or sewing, is a skill. It’s never too late to take up a new hobby—dating your husband. It is your attitude and your willingness to change yourself and your behavior that can make the difference in your marital circumstances. With the right spirit and motivation, you can help strengthen a good marriage as well as encourage a troubled one.

Dating Strengthens Your Relationship

Relationships are strengthened through time spent together, honest communication and positive memories. Dating provides all of these. Dating builds up marriages and helps solidify their foundations. Enduring relationships aren’t constructed out of fleeting emotions and occasional passion. They are built on quality time spent together, each partner investing in the other.

Dating Enriches Life

Life was given to us by our Creator to be lived to its fullest. He gave us the “world” to use and enjoy. Setting time aside to enjoy one another enriches the quality of our lives. You are bound to be a much better wife when you invest time in your marriage, giving it higher priority than the television set, the PTA or scrap-booking. One of the most important things we can do to keep marriage fresh and alive is to spend focused time with our spouse. We shouldn’t let ourselves become so busy that we lose touch with what attracted us to that man in the first place. One key to a fulfilling marriage is concentrating on satisfying your spouse’s needs, instead of worrying whether he can satisfy yours. Why not introduce some plans for fun and excitement in your marriage?

Create Some Fun and Excitement

How can you create fun and excitement in your marriage? Make a list of enjoyable things to do. Then start initiating some of these activities each week or once a month for the more elaborate or expensive ones. (See the sidebar.)

One time, my husband and I took a photography class together that met one night a week. After each session, we went out for dessert so we could talk and share with one another alone. Inspired by what we learned in photography class, we shared a fun day at the beach shooting pictures.

For one of our anniversaries, I surprised my husband with an evening of hot tubbing in Portland. We had our own private room with a chlorinated, in-ground hot tub. Without a ceiling, we could enjoy the gorgeous stars above. It was so peaceful and romantic. I made all the arrangements, which included reservations, a picnic basket supper, candles and special napkins leftover from our wedding many years before. It was fun to mastermind this surprise for him, and I know he enjoyed it. You and your mate may want to take turns planning your anniversary celebration, as well as taking turns planning your dates.

My husband and I have set aside every Friday evening as our special “date night.” Whether we go out to dinner, have tickets to a concert or just stay home (we are empty nesters) and order pizza and pick up a video, it is our night together.

Marriages Come Alive

We can cultivate new habits and interests by enthusiastically pursuing them to make our mates happy. Nurture the practice of doing many things together. Continue “dating” after marriage. Do things that both of you enjoy.

We achieve compatible marriages by becoming good companions who share common beliefs, interests and activities. The more things we enjoy doing with each other, the more things we have to talk about, dream about and plan for, which will help our marriages come alive!

Dating Ideas — Here are some ideas:

• Take up a hobby or a class together—antiquing, gardening, photography, mountain climbing or cooking.

• Have dinner, just the two of you, once a week or at least once a month.

• Take up a sport together—jogging, golf, tennis or bike riding.

• If you don’t already have a family tradition, establish one—something you can do each year—for just the two of you.

• Read a book aloud together and share your feelings about it.

• Find time regularly to walk together (holding hands), as you talk and share with one another.

• Once a year attend a marriage enrichment class, seminar or a couple’s retreat.

• Buy or make 52 valentines and send your spouse one every week of the year.

• Budget money regularly for such things as concerts, weekends at the beach or a sporting event.

• Plan a romantic bedroom picnic for two or a fiery fireside picnic for you and your sweetheart.

• Watch the sunset together.

• Picnic by a pond or a river or enjoy rafting together.

• Go kite flying.

• Create your own special holiday for the two of you to celebrate.