• Stephannie Bramlett

Date Night is a MUST!

Marriage is HARD. Two different people: different backgrounds, different faults, different desires, both coming together to live as one. As much as Hollywood dreams it up in romantic books and movies, marriage is by far one of the most challenging things we can experience. At least, it has been for me. It is hard for me to write this because I want others to know how much I love my husband. I do not want you to think we are miserable. He really is an amazing guy. I know he loves me in return. He is gifted and talented in so many things. He is a one-of-a-kind father. Most of the the time, our life really is a beautiful story. Sometimes, though, things are ugly.

We are in a rough patch. Both of us are struggling with things going on at work. Our home is being remodeled and is a complete disaster. Back to school busyness has begun. Yes, we are beyond blessed with three healthy kiddos, two jobs, and a home. But, let’s face it, these things come with challenges. I want ya’ll to know, we are real. I am flawed and so is he. I was so excited because our children were going to spend some quality time with their Nana, so he and I could work together in the kitchen without disruption. Instead, we have spent the better part of this weekend arguing over anything and everything. Expectations were busted and we ended up taking out our frustrations on each other.

Both of us come from broken homes. Divorce was the option for both of our parents, and we both decided early on that the “D” word would not be an option for us. We have had to learn how to fight and disagree, despite what was modeled for us. We had to learn forgiveness. Through our church and small group, we discovered our love languages from the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. His is Words of Affirmation. He needs to be told over and over how much he is appreciated.Mine is Physical Touch. I just need to be held: hold my hand, rub my feet, kiss me, and tell me I’m pretty. Ahhhhhh, love. It really can be that simple but life tends to over complicate things.

This is where I give you my best best advice: date night. Ya’ll, it works. Our pastor often says, “Pay for the babysitter tonight or pay for the divorce attorney later.” He is so right. It has been a while since our last date night, and it shows when we get like this. Life is overwhelming and we need to take a break. Even when the to-do lists are long, we need to lose site of the world around us and spend time with just each other.

Some of our favorite Date Night ideas:

  1. Everything New Night- new restaurant, new place for fun

  2. “Fancy” night- dress up and go out and enjoy each other

  3. Escape room with friends- you will learn SO much about each other!

  4. Walking bridge at Coolidge Park and get ice cream

  5. Comedy show- laughing together heals the soul

  6. Dinner and a movie- classic but goodie

  7. Bowling, putt-putt golf, laser tag- something fun to break up the norm

  8. Concerts- These don’t have to be huge stars and big expenses, although those are fun, too! Our town does a free concert series on Friday nights in the summer.

  9. Shopping together- whether it is picking out a new couch or grabbing some Christmas gifts for the kiddos

  10. Sporting events- college football is our favorite sport to enjoy together! Go DAWGS!!

I challenge you, especially if you are feeling frustrated with your spouse, to plan a date night. Do something FUN together. I’m not a huge fan of the in-home date night because in my experience something at home distracts us from our date time-- I say go somewhere, even if it to the park down the street. In this season of life with young children and career building, it is easy to let our relationship fall to the wayside. I encourage you to make each other a priority. At least, that’s the way I see it.

#datenight #5lovelanguages #datenightideas #marriage #datenightchallenge

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