Dear wives, 

When you and your husband were dating and newly married there was playfulness, spontaneity and thoughtfulness. There seemed to be so much more time to devote to your relationship. You went on random Tuesday afternoon dates, saw movies in a theater, had Thursday night pizza nights, and a standing Friday night reservation at your favorite spot. Last minute weekend trips and concerts happened pretty frequently and goodbye kisses lasted forever. 

Now, you’ve been married for a while and whether you have children or not, life just seems to be so much busier than it used to be. You still love each other, but sometimes it’s hard to really like each other. You notice the flaws a lot more than you used to and get irritated over things he did or didn’t do so much quicker. Do you ever look at him sometimes and think how did we get here? Why do we never get any time together? Can we get that newlywed spark back?

The man you married is still there. He’s been there with you all along. You’ve both been so caught up in the daily grind just making it through the chaos and everyday stresses of work, chores, kids, schedules, commitments, errands, and just life that you’ve lost sight of each other.

It’s time that we as wives do something about this in our marriages. We have to start dating our husbands again. Our lives and homes will be so much happier when our marriage is cultivated and strong. Our kids will grow up knowing that mom and dad prioritized each other and their marriage. Whether you can swing an overnight trip or you can schedule weekly at-home dates, getting away from the house and kids together can help you step back and see that you’re still two people who love each other. Now, you can still be those two people and very much in love without regular date nights but, dates are so valuable in building your marriage.

I think the important thing is having time set aside to pour into your marriage and invest in the relationship whether you do it weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly. You don’t even need to leave the house to do that. A date night can be anything you want it to be. Just make sure it’s time you have together, without the kids, and without your phone distracting you from the one you love most. Dates can be simple like watching a movie together at home or in the theater, setting aside time to sit and after the kids are in bed, going for a walk and hold hands, doing a puzzle, downloading some conversation starters and enjoy a dinner just the two of you. These are all great ways to spend time together when time is short but sometimes, getting away and spending time together in a new and different location can work wonders. And when you have kids, getting away even for a few hours can help you focus on each other more intently without interruption. Occasionally, do the extra planning and splurge on an overnight or weekend date away from your kids and your house. Make a list of places near and far you’d like to visit together then start planning. The planning itself could even be a date night! By getting away and putting yourself in a different setting where it’s just the two of you, it opens up conversations and bonding that you maybe wouldn’t get at home.

One way to get started implementing a regular date night is a date jar. Write down 52 date ideas ranging from going on a walk to taking a big trip together. Fold up these ideas and put them in a jar. Once a week, (maybe on Sundays) draw a few dates from the jar. Then look at your week and see which of those dates would fit your schedule best and PUT IT ON THE CALENDAR. This step is very important. Once it’s on the calendar then you can plan around it and also look forward to it. Do this every week if you can or every other week . . . do whatever works for you and your family.

You’ll be amazed at how much more in tune and close you feel to your husband. You may even notice you’re more patient with him and your children. Date nights won’t fix your marriage or be the one key to happiness with your husband but, time together can sure help.

Shelby Skiles

Shelby Skiles is a wife, teacher, and mom to her two-year-old angel, Sophie. Sophie passed away in January 2018 from Lymphoma. Shelby chronicled Sophie’s entire battle through her blog Sophie The Brave and hopes that transparently sharing her journey through, motherhood, cancer, and now grief will inspire others to look passed their circumstances and see that God is bigger than all of it. She’s deeply committed to honoring Sophie’s memory by sharing her story and I spring others to ‘Do More’ and make a difference.