Just take a few minutes to remember—to really remember!—how it all began for you and your husband. I guarantee that recalling the memories of the playful pleasures you once enjoyed will be the spark that ignites more fun in your day today! Your bond with your husband probably began the same way mine did—with the craziness and fun shared by two people hopelessly and helplessly in love. The two of you, too, probably talked your heads and ears off. And you, too, were probably both deliriously happy. But…what happened to the fun?
If you’re like most couples, real life set in all too soon. After your honeymoon was over, reality began to nibble away at the fun that was unique to the two of you. On the heels of all of the thrills came such challenges as job pressures, monthly income and bill paying, learning to communicate (with a few disagreements thrown in along the way!), dealing with family, and, of course, raising kids…well, you know the scene.
What can you do to help recapture the fun in your marriage? Here’s some little things that make a big difference:
1. Plan one fun activity a week.
Someone needs to be in charge of the Fun Department, and maybe that someone can be you! Begin your stint as the chief organizer of your fun-as-a-couple time by planning one activity per week. It doesn’t have to cost a lot—or even cost anything. All you have to do is be creative.
Can you get into the kitchen and cook a meal together? How about setting up the fondue pot and cooking while you eat? Can you go bike riding for a few hours with a picnic in your backpacks? Or what about getting up before daylight on a Saturday for a walk on the beach and gathering seashells while the sun is rising? Could you have a “backward” meal—begin with dessert and end with salad—or have your husband draw numbers that you’ve assigned to items on your dinner menu, and eat them in the order he picks?
See how many things you can come up with for fun that costs little or nothing. Keep a list going so you never lose a great idea for fun. And sure, once in a while do something fun that costs a little—something you’ve saved up for. What a bountiful treasure of wonderful memories you will be creating!
2. Recreate an old date from the past.
Think of something you and your husband both enjoyed in the past and then try to recreate it. How about attending a college football game? Or visiting a favorite restaurant from the past—whether it’s a fancy place, a dive, or a greasy spoon? Whatever it is, it’s a part of your past. So revisit it and keep the memory alive. Did you spend time together in days gone by bowling? Playing miniature golf? Roller skating? Camping? Then do it again. Let the good old days roll again!
3. Recreate your honeymoon.
Maybe you will and maybe you won’t be able to actually recreate your honeymoon. Many couples do. But you can definitely pull out your wedding photos or pop in your wedding video. You can purchase the smallest of small bakery cakes and concoct some kind of punch and serve it with a handful of mixed nuts and butter mints. Just have fun!
4. Make each anniversary unique.
Each anniversary is a milestone. That’s one more year of being together that you and your hubby can celebrate! Make this a special and fun day. Give the children an early dinner and an early bedtime, and then have a special meal for just the two of you. And then plan for a special time of intimacy. And here’s another factor. Very few couples can actually celebrate their anniversary on the actual date. Decide that that’s okay. It’s not the date that’s important—it’s the celebration of another year of marriage that is. So work around commitments and responsibilities and family obligations. Just be sure you celebrate somehow and in some way.
5. Choose a couple hobby.
I’m sure you can think of a multitude of potential couple hobbies—golf, tennis, biking, camping, kayaking, chess, refinishing furniture, and photography are some examples. You name it! Your “little thing” assignment is to experiment and choose what you would like to be yours as a couple. Find a hobby that you both can participate in and enjoy with a minimal amount of training. Remember, some hobbies become more enjoyable as you get better at them or take a few classes together. But also remember, these are “little things,” so find something that only takes a little something to get you started. Then be sure you schedule it into your lives.
6. Make a list of things you’ve always wanted to do.
What have either of you always wanted to do that can be done together? Pick one. Was it your idea? Then you are in charge of making it happen. Visit that old, musty, used bookstore downtown that has always intrigued you. Then enjoy a cup of coffee or hot cocoa next door at the coffee shop. Take a picnic to a city park. (Now, why is it you haven’t ever been there before?) These are little things…and there should be a ton of little things on your list. But you can also put some big things on it too, such as having someone take a picture of the two of you at the top of the Eiffel Tower, touring Israel, walking on the Great Wall of China, going on a photo safari in Africa. Wow, what fun the two of you will have making your list—a list that spans the globe and unites your hearts…even if you never actually do most of the things on it!
So how’s your friendship with your husband? Are you purposefully, willfully, and decisively making time for fun?
From A Wife After God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George