Hold on Tight

Written By: Kim - Aug• 22•12

Last week we were lucky enough to take a lake-front vacation. While we were on vacation, I had two “aha moments.” The first one was easy and occurred mid week. I turned to my husband and said, “Retirement will be easy.” I loved not having a schedule. Our schedule was just that – ours. We had no meetings to attend, no trains to catch, no children to get to school or various activities on time. And, I admit it: I napped daily. It is the ultimate luxury item: being on your own time.

My second revelation happened in the form of advice: “Once the kids leave the house and the dog dies, you and Mike need to hold on to each other tighter than you ever have.”

Our view at Lake Toxaway, NC. ©Mike Howard, 2012.

I bet each of us knows a couple who’s marriage or relationship broke up at this stage in their life. I am not talking about marriages where there was infidelity, abuse, substance abuse, etc. I am talking about marriages where the two folks involved looked at one another after decades together and sadly realized they had little in common anymore. The marriages that had survived raising children, job changes, building businesses, unemployment, sickness, death of a parent, illness, crazy ass commutes or travel schedules and then the spouses realized that this was not the person he or she wanted to grow old with.

It’s awful. It’s tragic. It might be avoidable if you try.

Remember what made you fall in love. Remember and do the things you did as a couple. Rejuvenate your relationship now before you drift further apart. Maybe it’s a scheduled date night or weekend away. I admit that my husband and I are not consistent with this. But, I certainly don’t want our marriage to dissolve in a few years either.

We are seriously considering sending our children to summer camp next year so that we can vacation alone. Why? Not because we don’t want our children to experience new places, but their constant immature bickering creates a huge amount of stress. We don’t have to take them along. We choose to. Just like we choose to (or not) try to keep our relationship alive.

Go ahead and make that dinner reservation. Leave the kids with a sitter. Remember why you fell in love and hold on tight.

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