I just returned from a rejuvenating weekend away with my husband of nine years. We make it a point to do at least one long weekend away every six months or so, but on our anniversary, we always do it up right.
We spent our time napping, reading in bed, sleeping late, doing puzzles at our B&B, eating five-star meals, taking tea, and hiking and zip-lining in the forest. It was pure bliss. I strongly believe that marriages, especially long ones with young kids, need these recharges every once in a while.
Whether it's a date night or weekends away, most couples need to do some work to keep their relationships fresh. Sorry, but there is no such thing as a "perfect" marriage.
This was recently discussed in the community section of CafeMom, and most agreed that perfection in marriage is a myth. When a marriage looks perfect, most of the time what you are really seeing is work, commitment, and creativity.
I get this all the time from people: "You and your husband seem so perfect and happy." We are happy. But we aren't perfect. We fight and argue. But when it comes down to it, we started from a good place -- we were madly in love -- and we work to maintain that. Most of all, we enjoy each other's company. We need time alone to chat and laugh and just be together, apart from everyone else.
What you don't see is defeat. You don't see people who give up and divorce because they can't make it work. Sure, it takes two people to make a marriage work, but no one should enter a marriage expecting it to be perfect and easy.
If they do, they will be sorely disappointed. There are no free rides in marriage or in life. It's work and it's hard and that's all there is to it.
Most of those who want you to believe they are in perfect marriages are secretly miserable. The rest of us will admit it takes work. It takes a lot of compromise, a lot of mutual respect, and a lot of tending.
I always notice when my husband and I have gone too long without a date night or a weekend alone. We start to fight more and argue with one another. We snap and we ignore each other's needs.
We have found our way to recharge -- by traveling alone together, learning new activities (rock climbing, surfing, or zip-lining), or enjoying old ones (biking, working out together, eating good food, or seeing movies). That is what everyone needs.
Even if a weekend away every few months is out of the question, every marriage needs its own way to stay fresh. That is what makes it look "perfect." But trust me, there is no such thing.
Do you believe in a "perfect" marriage?