Monday, March 29, 2010

The Discipline of Romantic Retreating

I have a friend who leads a crazy busy life. He and his wife are extremely generous and hard working people. Anytime they have a chance to get away for awhile they always invite their children to come along and share in the experience. So I was overjoyed to hear that they had recently decided to get away - just the two of them - and go to a cabin for a few days together.

I was so excited for them! I caught myself praying for them, asking God to give them a beautiful few days together. You see, I'm a very big fan of what I call the discipline of romantic retreating.

Romantic retreating is going away, just the two of you (no children!), for a time to reconnect emotionally, conversationally, recreationally, spiritually, sexually, etc. I'm convinced that every couple is different but that almost every couple needs to do this occasionally or else their relationship will wither. Going away to a hotel or a cabin in the woods is not a guarantee that a relationship will be rekindled, but it increases the chances a lot. Why you ask?

When a couple tries to spend quality time together in their home it can be difficult because of the many distractions; children, finances, housework, house repairs, and the ever present spontaneity killer - familiarity. "Getting away" is like making conscious choice to put all of that on hold for awhile and show your spouse that connecting with them is of utmost importance to you - and that all that other stuff can wait (don't worry it will still be there when you get back!). Its a time to have fun together again, to be romantic, and to recapture what has faded. Retreating together is a beautiful thing and a great way to remind yourself that the tyranny of the urgent does not need to be your slave master.

I call it the discipline of retreating because it for most of us it takes a conscious choice to sacrifice two limited resources (money and time) to do. Yet whenever Jobina and I go away (usually to our fav resort, Falcon Trails), we always end up saying to ourselves "We need to do this more often." To me 3 nights is optimal but even one or two is great. I consider retreats a wise investment into one's relationship. Personally, I'd like to do a get-a-way at least every 4 months to get the most out of them. Like having a weekly or monthly date night, this is a discipline that has immediate and far lasting results on your relationship. What's your best retreating experience or where do you like to get away to?

P.S. The pic is from Mariaggi's Theme Suite Hotel here in Winnipeg, a great (though expensive) place for a romantic retreat. Waterfall hot tubs right in your room! Jobina and I spent our first night there as a married couple - it was worth every penny . . .


TammyIsBlessed said...

I totally agree!

We ty to go on one week-long holiday just the two of us, every year or every other year. If we don't, then we go away for at least the weekend.

The week-long thing usually ends up being cruises for us.

Weekends are usually Fargo or Grand Forks.

A cabin would be nice too!

Lindsay said...

This is something that we've been truly terrible at doing. In fact - other than our honeymoon - it hasn't happened since we got married. But we're planning on it for almost a week at the end of this year... Even just working together to plan the details of our trip has been really fun :)

I think that the biggest obstacle for us is not the time or the money, but hesitating to ask someone to watch our daughter for us. It feels really selfish to me somehow (even though I know it's not).

Mark said...

Tammy: We have never tried a cruise although I'm sure we will someday. Weekend shopping trips are a great idea - we haven't done many of those but I think I owe a few to Jobina after all the outdoor adventures she has come on with me!

Lindsay: Thanks for your honesty! Better late then never, right? We too felt guilty (especially the first few times) dropping off the kids with my parents but eventually we realized that: 1. The parents wanted time with their grandkids (win for them) and 2. By building up our parents we would be parents when we got back - something that the grandparents wanted as well. But I hear what you are saying, it's tough to confront those unhelpful guilty feelings. Have fun on your end of the year trip!

Lindsey Dueck said...

Eric and I spent our first two nights as a married couplethere, and I agree, it was worth every penny! Plus if you stay two nights, the second night is only like $120 or something, and you can stay in any room you want (they will let you switch!). The India room is normally $300+. I would love to stay there again sometime. It is in a cool part of Winnipeg too!