How We Boost Our Marriage Without a Date Night or Vacation

Like most people, my husband and I don’t live a very glamorous life. We go to work, supervise homework, feed little people, mow the yard, and run the family taxi service. I suppose it is quite adventurous to raise the next generation of Jesus-followers, but most days it looks a lot like leftover spaghetti.

How We Boost Our Marriage Without a Date Night or Vacation

My husband and I schedule regular get-aways and date nights, but what do you do when the sink is overflowing, money is running low, and you feel like you haven’t really seen each other in a few days? You know that a date night is coming in two weeks and that a vacation is coming in six months, but you need an escape route from the mundane today.

Recently a couple in our church shared their story of getting lost in their own Leftover Spaghetti Days, and soon enough they were separated in their own home with a meeting with a divorce attorney on the calendar. Nothing specifically (and everything specifically) made them feel like their marriage was over.

Through the power and love of Jesus, they were able to put their marriage back together. Now they share their story with others with the hope that lessons they learned can be useful. I have listened to their story twice, hanging on every word, because I know just how easily their story could happen.

One piece of advice they gave was to find a “marriage booster.”

A marriage booster is a go-to source of reconnection when things just don’t seem quite right. Maybe nothing substantial has happened to cause conflict, but several Leftover Spaghetti Days have strung together, making your spouse look a whole lot like just a roommate.

When marriage becomes just as much of the routine as the pile of laundry, it’s time to employ your marriage booster.

For us, a marriage booster is simply sitting outside and talking. This spring we are creating an outdoor space where we can go to escape from work, kids, friends, and chores. A place to just… be.

As you ponder what a marriage-booster could be for you, consider the following:

  • It needs to be free or cheap. When money is running low, marital stress rises. You need a go-to resource that will be available no matter how tight the budget is.
  • It needs to be convenient. You shouldn’t need to line up a babysitter or travel out of town for your marriage booster to happen. Let’s be honest—if it’s not convenient, it won’t happen.
  • It needs to be agreed on. Perhaps you and your spouse have different interests and hobbies. It may take a lot of creativity and conversation to find something that works for you, but the marriage booster shouldn’t be a point of compromise on either part. It needs to be something you both love and look forward to.

I am looking forward to spending hours on our new patio. As our kids are becoming more involved in activities, the routine-ness and busyness is increasing. We now have a space where we can sit quietly or talk about nothing specifically—and everything specifically.

We have many Leftover Spaghetti Days ahead of us, but we have a strategy for connectedness. With my husband by my side, serving up those extra helpings of spaghetti sure looks like an adventure.

Amanda Iles is married to Clint and mom to Jack, Sydney, and Ellen. She lives in Woodworth, Louisiana and is the Family Ministries Coordinator for Calvary Baptist Church in Alexandria. She enjoys the outdoors, time with friends, and lazy evenings at home.

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