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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Do what it takes to create a new experience together this year that you'll savor for the rest of your marriage.
Sixteen years ago my wife and I were in a particularly difficult season of caring for my mother, who suffered with Alzheimer's, in our home. My dear, sweet wife especially bore the burden of this challenging care. We were, quite frankly, exhausted.

During this time, for our 40th birthdays, we made arrangements for my mom's care and booked a trip to San Francisco. It was a glorious break with many fun and memorable happenings. One of these was a surprise I arranged for Jenni - a night at a quaint English style inn, nestled along the shoreline highway near the beach. We had an amazing stay, some of the details of which I will not be sharing. We did enjoy a wonderful full English breakfast and then spent most of an entire day, just sitting quietly on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Neither of us could remember a time when our souls were rested and fed so deeply.

We are excited to be headed back to The Pelican Inn next month. It will be fun to revisit the past. It will also be an opportunity to create a new set of memories, since we are in a very different season of life. Our youngest at the time was in preschool. She'll be a college senior next year. Time flies...

On a smaller scale, a few months ago we celebrated the anniversary of our first date, 38 years prior, by reenacting it with a visit to Pizza Hut. It was a wonderful and fun way to remember those early days of our fabulous journey together.

Little Things and Big Things

I share a lot about the tremendous importance of doing small things every day to feed your marriage. Little expressions of love and kindness, done frequently and consistently, will make more of a difference in your marriage than a few big events.

But big events matter too.

Creating significant memories together feeds your marriage in different ways than the day-to-day loving actions that keep your marriage on track.

Here are five reason to be intentional about creating significant memories together.

1) Experiences Have Staying Power

When I think back over our marriage, what I remember most are not the items we acquired. Other than a our houses and some of our cars, I can't even remember most of the "stuff" we've purchased in the past 33 years. But I do remember many of the events we've created. The truth is that prioritizing spending on creating memories pays higher dividends than almost anything else you can spend your money on.

2) Your Brain Will Thank You

Brain science tells us that new and exciting experiences fill our heads and bodies with the same kinds of chemicals that flooded our beings when we first fell in love (Dopamine, Adrenaline and Serotonin). So get innovative and find something new to do that you've never done before. Your brain will thank you.

3) Feed Your Soul

I can still vividly recall the deep sense of well-being my wife and I experienced that day spent staring at the ocean. We learned the importance for us to gaze on beauty together. We now make a point of looking for opportunities to do so, whether it be in the mountains or wherever. When you are designing your significant memories, remember to include activities that feed your souls. Whether it's enjoying a beautiful view, experiencing a new culture, resting deeply or even the thrill of something like skydiving, find something that will touch you deeply.

4) Shared New Experiences Build Intimacy

My wife and I have a saying, "Sex is always great when there's a number on the door." There is something about getting away from your daily routine that makes you able to let go, and that's a good thing when it comes to sexual intimacy. A change of venue can be a great opportunity to build other kinds of intimacy as well, including emotional, spiritual and recreational. Make sure you aren't so busy seeing the sights that you miss out on adventures in the bedroom.  And plan time to just be with each other and talk - really talk.

5) Cultivating Thankfulness

When my wife and I recall some of our significant shared memories, it always causes us to be thankful for what we have, for the memories we've made and for the love we share.

What significant memory have you experienced with your spouse? We'd love to hear about it. Leave a comment.


test said...

This is so true, my best friend and I went to Martinique for just a few days and because it was a few days we made the most of it. It was a blast we will never forget. My wife loved it we had about 3 very romantic dinners and I would encourage every couple to go and make memeories.

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