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Couple Vacations?  

I’m writing this just as Debbi and I are leaving for a spring vacation.  It is a big family vacation time.  I know several families who have taken off to do something together while they can take advantage of spring break schedules.  What I would like to write about here is the importance of vacation time for couples, or at least extended time for couples to focus on each other without the distraction of other family members. 

Most couples understand the importance of time alone together and get the idea of having a regular date night, even if they don’t carry it out particularly well.  But what about longer periods of time to focus on each other?  Should couples plan vacations without the kids?  Or at least extended weekends together?

Often couples experience increased distance and decreased intimacy over time.  One of the biggest contributors I see to this is the gradual drifting of couple needs to the bottom of the priority list.  Between children, keeping up a house and managing work many couples find they have difficulty making time for each other.  And if couples needs are put last, other things that come up can push them aside.  Is date night sacred or just a good idea unless something better comes up?

Many of you have probably heard the time management analogy involving putting big rocks, gravel, sand and water into a pitcher.  I believe I first read it in one of Steven Covey’s books, so I will give him credit.  The idea is if you put the little things (gravel, sand and water) in first, there won’t be room for the important things (the rocks).  But if you put the important things in first the little things will be able to fit around them.

Consider the idea that time for an intimate relationship is a rock, a big thing.  Make it one of the things to put into the schedule first.  A vacation or weekend away is something that needs planning.  And it is easier to cancel a restaurant reservation than a whole weekend.

Hopefully there are grandparents or uncles or aunts who would love some time with the kids.  If not, perhaps the parents of one of your children’s friends would think this is a good idea and trade off weekends with you. 

Whatever you do, work on making the couple relationship a rock.