There’s nothing that recharges a relationship like “getting away.” Putting the pause button on life for a day, a weekend or a week, is vital to remembering why you got together in the first place.
People make all kinds of excuses as to why that can’t “get away.” First and foremost is, “I can’t take time off of work.” Our culture values work productivity over family and relationships. We view relaxation and leisure as lazy. The consequence is stress, burnout, and neglect of our most important relationships.
Often the chronic complaint in couples counseling is that one partner feels the other puts work first. Only at the point where damage has been done to the relationship, does that partner make changes. Suddenly they find a way to finish their day earlier, or “unplug” when home.
Other excuses are lack of money, time, and childcare. Bob and I take a hard line here since we see the result of relationships being neglected: There are no valid excuses for not “getting away.” It doesn’t mean you have to leave town for a week or break the bank. More about that later.
Here’s why “getting away” is so important to your relationship. It:
1. Breaks the routine and let’s you slow down. Our lives tend to become like “Groundhog’s Day.” We focus more on doing than being. Unconsciously, we take our relationships for granted and the result may insidiously be “relational drift.”
2. Makes it easier to unplug and focus. We’ve become so plugged into our computers and cell phones that we don’t often unplug. This has led to less focus on deeper communication and connection with our partners.
3. Increases joy together. Getting away revitalizes our relationships. We remember what it is like to be free, to let down and let go of responsibilities for a short time; to play, to laugh, have fun together.
4. Creates positive memories that will last much longer than the time away. Just the memories and looking at pictures of fun times together can transport us back to that feeling. In this way, times away last much longer than they actually are and give us pleasure after they are over.
5. Provides privacy that you rarely get at home. When our children are in the home, we don’t have much privacy. Being away gives you space to walk around naked, and feel unrestrained.
6. Allows you to relax and have better sex. Sex at home when kids are around is not ideal. When they are little we are exhausted, and when they are not around there is always something that needs to get done. It’s easy to neglect sex. Getting away means you can’t do any cleaning up or home projects. It is forced relaxation. Sex is always best when we are relaxed. And sex in a new place is more exciting!
Copyright © 2015 by Lori Hollander, LCSW-C, BCD. Lori Hollander, LCSW-C, BCD, is a licensed counselor and co-founder of Relationships Work, an innovative therapy practice and online resource center. Together with her husband, Bob, they encourage couples to consciously co-create their relationships in order to achieve a deeper, more intimate connection. You can visit Relationships Work online at: http://www.RelationshipsWork.com. Follow them on Facebook.
Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.
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