Date Night

I’m going on a date tonight! I’m very excited; we do not go out for dinner very often and we never go out with the children. This is a fun fact that surprises some people – “you don’t take the kids to restaurants?”. Um, no. The thought of paying for meals that would most likely be left uneaten while I experience extreme tension from the perception that my children are being disruptive is not a happy thought. But anyway, dinner tonight! My parents, with one exception, always have given us a fancy restaurant gift certificate for our anniversary, babysitting included. The one exception was the year Jake was a baby. This story is embarrassing to my mother, but hey, it’s kind of funny. You see, Jake was what you might call an “evil baby”, and I say this with affection because he was an absolute joy as a toddler and now as a preschooler. But as a baby, he was colicky, and then when he was past the age for being colicky, he was just plain surly. He was the type of baby who would scream inconsolably if I say, left the room for thirty seconds. Half the time he would also scream inconsolably while I was holding him. (“Shouldn’t you pick him up or something?” my mother asked on the phone, over the din of the screaming. I was wearing him in the Baby Bjorn.) So, the year that he was a baby, instead of a dinner out we received two serving bowls for our anniversary! Lovely serving bowls they are indeed.

I had a friend who swore by weekly date nights. Every Saturday he and his wife would arrange for a sitter for their three children, and go for dinner and a movie. To me, the logistics for this scheme would be overwhelming, and usually I would rather hang out at home, with a nice glass of wine. But whatever works, right? Here is my personal recipe for a happy marriage:

1) Whether it is a regular date night, or just hanging out at home with a glass (or bottle) of wine, make time for just the two of you.
2) Cultivate your own interests, but if you find that you are always doing things apart, cultivate an interest together.
3) Statistically most fights are caused by finances and children. So, if you work through that, the rest will follow.
4) Listen to your spouse, and don’t take him (or her) for granted.

Simple, no? Although, I’m pretty sure if I asked my husband about his personal happy marriage recipe, it would sound something like this:

1) Keep wine rack full for crazy emotional wife.
2) Encourage daily yoga practice or wife becomes very cranky.
3) With a few exceptions, defer to wife for day-to-day decisions with the children, even when you know those decisions may not turn out well (example: “Sure, I think clay class sounds like a GREAT idea”.)
4) Do not watch golf when wife is talking about yoga.

Wow, it’s a joy to be married to me! What a lucky, lucky guy is my husband!

Anyone want to share their happy marriage hints?


  1. We make sure that our kids are in bed early enough each weeknight that we have a few hours together – it makes a lot of difference, especially when our budget won’t let us have many real date nights. I hope yours was fun!

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