My wife and I managed to get away by ourselves for a few hours on a Friday evening. Having four active children, this is something that is not always easy to do. We told the kids we were going out to pick up some groceries, and that was not a lie. We just happened to stop to eat first, then to a few other stores and then finally to the grocery store where we did indeed, pick up a small load of groceries.
When did this happen? When did we start looking forward to our grocery shopping trips to get some quality alone time….time to talk, time to laugh, time just to spend together. It doesn’t seem that long ago, when Friday night meant going out with friends, or having friends over, or some other exciting activity. It was a kickoff to the weekend that we tried to really live up. A day when we could let loose and forget about the cares of the work week.
But no more. First came children, then came responsibility, then came maturity….and in my case, that was about the order they arrived in. I don’t begrudge anything about my Friday nights. In fact, I love my Fridays. I can’t think of a better way to spend my free time, than spending it with my family. And those times when my wife and I can get away for a few hours, even if just to pick up some groceries are priceless times that I actually look forward to. Do I like grocery shopping? No not really, neither of us do….but the time spent together makes it all worth it.
One thing people have told me over and over is that as a couple, you need to make sure you are still their best friend throughout the marriage. As the kids grow and leave the nest, soon it’s just the two of you again. And as you were raising the kids, often you spend so much time focused on them and their needs, that you neglect your partner. And then, when the nest is empty, you’re living with a stranger, one that you may not even know anymore. So many marriages end in divorce after the children are all gone and one of the big reasons is the marriage was neglected during those child rearing years.
My wife and I have made it a point….that would not happen to us. We still have young ones, but our oldest is 18 and the independence of the children is beginning. So our trips to the grocery story are and have been an important part of our marriage and maintaining the friendship we’ve always had. We’ve been married for almost 22 years and she is still my best friend.
Grocery shopping or whatever errand or chore you need to do is always better when you can spend the time with someone else…what better way, than to spend it making your marriage stronger.