We all deserve to take a break from the everyday stresses. You spend the whole year working hard and longing for those 2 weeks off to let your hair down. I don’t have to tell you how good vacations are, you already know. What you might not know is that sometimes you (and your spouse) just need a break, too. Not a toes in the sand kind of break, or a break from each other, but a “we-need-some-time-off-together-to-recharge” kind of break. Healthy marriages can be affected by being put on the back burner to careers, raising children and just plain living in modern society. If you are feeling like you can’t wait another day for a vacation your marriage is probably feeling the same stress that you are. Here are some other signs that your marriage needs to have a break to rejuvinate.
Signs that your marriage needs a break:
- You’re both exhausted: Most of us are hesitant about taking mental health days. We’re afraid of being judged and looked down on for needing a break. But there is nothing to be ashamed of. A staycation can strengthen your motivation for life as well as the bonding with your spouse. If you and your partner are exhausted from adult responsibilities then take advantage, if you can, of a couple mental health days and re-energize together.
- No intimate talk: You can’t remember the last time you had an adult conversation with your spouse that doesn’t involve kids, jobs or house chores. You might not even remember what your spouse enjoys to do in her or his free time. That happens when everything else in life becomes a priority, but your marriage. Whether you get 100% free time from kiddos or just some hours, use the grown-up time to catch up with your loved one. Remember, marriages need to be cultivated or it will die.
- You’re feeling irritable about everything including your partner: When you start to lose perspective of the positives in life is time for a break. If your marriage has been strong so far, this irritability is most likely a symptom of stress not of a bad marriage. A staycation can help you put life into perspective again and possibly identify if there is something to be worked on your marriage.
- You feel like a hamster in a wheel: Every day is the same…every single day. You are stuck on rewind on a bad sitcom episode. This is the time to hit pause and change the tape. Go explore town with your spouse. It is a way to expand your possibilities for local fun, but also a chance to find new interests you have in common with your spouse.
- You’re scheduling time for intimacy: I’m still waiting to meet a couple that hasn’t had periods of hot and cold in their relationship. That is normal. Try to have spontaneous sex in the first years of raising kids and you will see what I mean. However, when sex feels more like a chore than a fun bonding moment then we got a problem. A staycation will not solve all your problems. However, it can give you the spark to reignite the flame between you two.
Dedicating time for yourself and your spouse can do wonders for the relationship longevity. Don’t just wait for those 2 weeks of promised bliss to invest in your marriage health. There are plenty of opportunities close by for recharging and reconnecting.
About the Author
Patricia Cochran is a marriage counselor with The Marriage and Family Clinic. She is passionate about helping couples and families to feel connected again. In her spare time, she is busy with her toddler and enjoying friends and family time.