Browsing "Marriage"
May 4, 2012 - Marriage    14 Comments

Soon to be Mr. and Mrs. . . .

Soon a very dear friend of mine will be getting married. Which got me to thinking about some fun activities that are good ways to build and strengthen a relationship. So if you’re thinking about getting married or already are, try some of these suggestions. Let me know how they work out. Or if you have a suggestion of your own that you’d like to share please send it my way. I’d love to hear about it.

Some of these might seem a little dated, but trust me, that only adds to the fun.

Places to Visit:

  • Used or new bookstore
  • Junkyard
  • Large toy store
  • Farmer’s market
  • Nearby tourist sights you’ve never bothered to check out
  • Fine arts museum
  • Cemetery and read gravestones
  • Go on a Tour: a ship, bakery, dairy, or radio/TV station
  • Visit a vineyard

 

Fun at Home:

  • Have a cookout
  • Play games
  • Plant a garden
  • Cook a fancy dinner together
  • Buy some paints and paint a picture
  • Write a story together and try to get it published
  • Buy a junk piece of furniture and refinish it
  • Make crafts for birthday or Christmas presents
  • Read a really good book
  • Plan a budget together
  • Draw house plans of houses you would like to build. Compare them
  • Write letters to missionaries
  • Talk about the lives those people might have lived

 

Outdoors:

  • Have a picnic
  • Go berry picking
  • Go to the lake for a day
  • Go to the beach; find rocks, sea glass, and shells for someone’s garden
  • Leave a message in the sand
  • Do landscaping and yard work at home, at your church, or at the home of someone who needs help
  • Hike, mountain bike, roller blade, cross country ski, jog, or ice skate
  • Take a group of children on a field trip
  • Have a “bigger and better” night, where you start with something small and go door to door asking them to give you something that is “bigger and better” than what you have
  • Earn some money raking leaves, shoveling snow, or washing windows

 

Everyday Things:

  • Go food shopping together
  • Go to church, organization, or work functions together
  • Take a trip to the public library. Maybe research some crazy topic
  • Go Christmas caroling, even at odd times of the year
  • Lead singing on an elevator or in another public place
  • Shop for something special: fancy china, a car, or a mink coat (doesn’t buy anything!)
  • Attend an unusual convention of stamp collectors; coin collectors, home improvement experts, or Elvis look-a-likes
  • Roller-skating
  • Attend an auction
  • Go garage sailing
  • Price caskets at a funeral home
  • Make up a survey (on anything) and give it at the mall or in a park
  • Teach a class
  • Attend a conference or seminar together

 

Volunteer:

  • Fold bulletins for your church, or help in other ways
  • Sit in on a trial and discuss it afterwards
  • Volunteer for a political party
  • Volunteer at a nursing home, jail, or community clean up activity
  • Become a Big Brother/Big Sister
  • Run errands for someone together
  • Make some bag lunches and distribute them to homeless people

 

Activities with friends:

  • Go bowling with friends
  • Conduct a community outreach activity
  • Go apple picking and bring a picnic and some good friends
  • Baby-sit children together, taking them to a fun kids spot
  • Invite some friends over and bake bread
  • Throw a theme party for friends
  • Cook dinner together for friends or family
  • Fix a meal for a couple with a new baby
Apr 27, 2012 - Marriage    No Comments

Drifting Apart

“Dear John, I think my wife and I are drifting apart. We have been married for many years and we both have always had our own hobbies and friends that we like to spend our time with. But it seems more and more that we spend time with our hobbies or friends rather than with each other. She seems to be happy, but deep down I feel that we are losing the connection we once had. I don’t know what to do. Mark”

Dear Mark,

There are hardships that come with marriage. It should be the goal of both parties to make those hardships easier and to help one another grow. What you’re describing is something that many couples go through. You have to find that balance of time together and time apart. It’s ok to have space when needed but in reasonable doses. You need to be the leader here and work towards building things you both can do together.

Maybe enroll in a class at a local college that you can enjoy together, or cook dinner at home together, or find a new hobby that you both enjoy and then spend time developing it. Another thing that has helped couples is small displays of affection. Simply holding hands is a big one. Small little actions like this can have a huge impact on building the intimacy and connection in a marriage. Also never pass up an opportunity to say “I love you”. You may have to give a little and put aside your feelings and do what is best for your marriage. The fact that you’re seeking advice is wonderful. It shows the love and concern you have for her.

Make an effort to talk every day. Talk to her about your feelings and concerns. One thing many couples face is lack of communication or miscommunication. She may be having the same thoughts and feelings you are. Listen and work at understanding her view. Be flexible and be willing to sacrifice your time. With some work and a little self-sacrifice I know you both will grow closer together.

I wish you both all the best.
~John