By: Jennifer Murray

Why I Haven’t Said Goodbye to Dating My Husband

why I haven't said goodbye to dating my husband

The last couple of months Brad and I had fallen into a dating slump.  Life had gotten busy, we didn’t want to “bother” family to watch the kids, we didn’t have extra money for a babysitter, all the great excuses got in the way, and our communication began to pay the price. Our priorities for our marriage got pushed too far down on our demanding list – the boys, our work load, and other responsibilities got our attention and by the end of the day we were sucked dry. 

Sure there are “seasons” that may look this way, and things that we might have to push through, but we desperately don’t want this to be our norm.  Marriage is no walk in the park – it requires constant maintenance, open communication, careful attention, energy, and commitment. 

It’s a pursuit.

I asked some friends on Facebook for some suggestions for how they implement dating their spouse, and was shocked to see how many people have given up on dating.  Almost like it was a juvenile approach or possibly selfish now that we have kids to spend time away from the house to have a date night.

I admit I’ve had my own reservations about taking time away from my boys to date their daddy.  It does seem selfish in a “mommy guilt” twisted way – I get alone time with my best friend, time away from my responsibilities, and fresh air to regroup.

If I love my kids enough shouldn’t I want to be with them constantly? 

Don’t they need me to tuck them in tonight?

What if something happens to them while I’m gone – I could never forgive myself…

They need me more than he needs me.

I’m going to tackle this dating your spouse thing a little more, because I think it’s something a lot of us wrestle with and need to fight for, so stay tuned to hear more from both Brad and I on this topic and why we aren’t saying goodbye to dating.

Until then, tell me if YOU are still dating your spouse?  How do you make it work?  Do you struggle with mommy guilt for taking time away? 

32 Responses to “Why I Haven’t Said Goodbye to Dating My Husband”

  1. Sam
    June 24, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

    Our MOM group recently completed a video series called “It Starts at Home” and it really made me think. First off, it suggested a date night at least twice a month and secondly, it made a good point. I want to model a good relationship for my kids. I want them to see that mom and dad take time to be alone together, talk, etc. it really does take effort and energy as well. One thing that some people may disagree with, is that we should be putting our relationships in this order: God, marriage, children. When children or marriage come first, everyone suffers.

    • QuatroMama
      June 24, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

      Twice a month sounds AMAZING. What a great goal! The points you’ve communicated from that series seem right on…so glad you shared them! Keep working – it’s worth it!

  2. Kathy
    June 24, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

    Good for you! Literally. Getting alone with each other is key. Now that our kids are old enough to clean up after dinner, we go for walks while they’re cleaning. It gives us the time needed to just talk and be with each other. We don’t even feel the need to go and do things as much since we take little “dates” just about every night! Don’t get me wrong, though! “Official” dates are fun and needed as well.

    • QuatroMama
      June 24, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

      Sometimes our end of the night walks in front of our house are the first time all day what we’ve had uninterrupted conversation. We’re committed to working on our marriage through our challenges and distractions, and showing our boys that although they are important, our marriage is also just as important…something we are constantly re-evaluating and wrestling with…
      Thanks for your great thoughts and example, Kathy!

  3. Amy
    June 24, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

    We haven’t said goodbye on purpose. We just moved to Texas though; 12 hours from the closest family member. Money is tight. We want to date but there is much that stands in the way. We really need to find a way to date at home, at least until we can figure out a babysitter again. But I agree, it’s so important! I have always wished we could do it 3-4 times a month!

    • QuatroMama
      June 24, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

      Amy, that must be tough without family support but it sounds like you will do what it takes to make it work! Search out those moms in your area and who they recommend and implement those at home dates in the mean time to get you through! Praying for you and yours during this transition!

  4. Laura
    June 24, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    Now that summer is here, our schedule has been thrown off, but up until April or so we were having a date night once a month. We were very blessed to have my sister move to our town with her family about a year and a half ago, so we trade monthly date nights and take turns watching each other’s kids. She has 4 kids & I have 1, and people frequently ask me if I feel like it’s unfair that her watching mine is so much “easier”, but I’m just glad to be able to give each other free childcare! I think I got over the guilt of leaving my daughter at around 1 year, because I realized how much better I feel when I get the chance to recharge! And my husband and I just decided last week that we’re going to spend the money to get a sitter until we get back into a routine with my sister – it’s only for a season, and our marriage is worth the investment!

    • QuatroMama
      June 25, 2013 at 9:36 am #

      Sometimes the price tag of a babysitter seems overwhelming, but when I think about it as an investment in my marriage it seems so worth it when needed. That’s a beautiful thing you have going with your sister – keep pursuing that! I’m sure your kids will have such fond memories of spending time together!

  5. Crystal
    June 24, 2013 at 5:35 pm #

    We definitely date! And I don’t feel guilty either. Just like running is essential to my health, so is time with my best friend!
    Crystal recently posted.. 5 Sentences Every Father Needs to Hear

    • QuatroMama
      June 25, 2013 at 9:37 am #

      I love looking at it that way, Crystal! It’s not expendable, so I’m not sure why I treat it that way…

  6. Sandy
    June 24, 2013 at 5:55 pm #

    Dating is very important! Even if it is on the couch while the kids know that your spouse is higher priority! We live in a kid centered world and we are raising them to be self centered instead of putting others first! I know my girls will love their kids and feel responsible for them, they need to see being a wife modeled more! We work opposite shifts and homeschool, so we go days without seeing each other awake…so date nights are crucial! Since the baby turned two, we have planned getaways several times a year, either overnight or 2. We were gone 4 days over our anniversary and our kids did great! We paid a trusted babysitter for that time. I know not everyone can do that. Even trading with another couple for date night will do! I would encourage all women… If you don’t think quality time with your man is important… Think again!

    • QuatroMama
      June 25, 2013 at 9:38 am #

      Great words of encouragement, Sandy. Thank you for sharing your perspective.

  7. Melissa
    June 24, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

    As a mom of teens, I wanted to offer you some encouragement. My hubby and I made it a priority when the kids were little to go on date night at least twice a month. We made a standing Friday night and one Saturday afternoon babysitting appointment so we could never use that as an excuse. Sometimes I really had to force myself to go because of the mommy guilt! But, now that we have been married for almost seventeen years and our youngest is 15, I don’t know that we would be as close and as good of friends as we are if we hadn’t placed that priority on our relationship through the years. So keep it up- guilt and all. Your marriage will thank you in the coming years!
    Melissa recently posted.. I’m Not Alone

    • QuatroMama
      June 25, 2013 at 9:40 am #

      I love the idea of scheduling it – something to hold us accountable, predictable for the kids, and to something look forward to all week! So thankful for your perspective and words of encouragement, Melissa! Always great to hear from you!

  8. RobinS
    June 24, 2013 at 7:59 pm #

    Believe it or not, date nights are important even if you don’t have children. I have a job that easily expands to the evening hours ( I work from home about half the time) and my partner does most of the household work and all of the yard and vehicle maintenance. There is always one more job to do… one more thing to check on the computer….We try to always keep Sunday afternoons and Friday or Saturday night for each other, and in the winter we try to get away together once or twice for a weekend in a nearby city (we’re country dwellers). It makes a real difference! 10 years together and going strong.

    • QuatroMama
      June 25, 2013 at 9:40 am #

      So true! You HAVE to be intentional – learning this finally…

  9. robbin
    June 24, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

    I am a widow now but still love to read all of your stories and wanted to put my 2cents in, my husband and I married young, had 2 children, and were madly in love for 28 yrs before he passed away. We loved our kids like crazy and did alot with them BUT……we always made time for each other and thought that was very important! When we were young parents, an older person said to us to always put your marriage as a priority, before your children, and we were like “what”???? Arent you supposed to put your children first??? But she said “someday, those children will be grown and move away and if you havent preserved your marriage, you will look at each other like 2 strangers and think “okay, now what”?? WISE WORDS, she was absolutely right and we never forgot that and always made time for each other, as well as our “family” time. Sadly he passed about the time our children were leaving home, sure not how it was supposed to work but you never know, so cherish the love you have and never lose it!

    • QuatroMama
      June 25, 2013 at 9:42 am #

      Robbin, I can’t express how much your words touched my heart. Thank you so much for sharing this and motivating us all the more. A friend from high school passed away yesterday, reminding me once again that our time here is truly a vapor. I’m so thankful for the way your marriage has impacted your family and others even through the grief.

  10. The Dating Divas
    June 24, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    AMEN! The BEST thing that we can do for our kids is to stay in love with their dad and model what true love should look like. Strong marriages make strong families. It’s the reason behind our whole website. My husband and I try to have an “out-of-the-house” date at least once a month. But EVERY week we have a date, even if it’s just after the kids are in bed. We have lots of at-home date ideas on our site- hopefully that will give you lots of ideas. Best of luck!! 🙂
    The Dating Divas recently posted.. Celebrate Summer – iPad Mini Giveaway

    • QuatroMama
      June 25, 2013 at 9:43 am #

      So glad you shared! Checking out all your great ideas now..

  11. Debbie
    June 24, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

    When our daughter was young we had a plaque in her room that read:

    “The greatest gift parents can give their kids is to love each other.”

  12. Jen H.
    June 25, 2013 at 12:50 am #

    We have been blessed that my mother in law gives us a date night once a week. We don’t do anything extravagant and we are home by 6:30pm but it gets us out of the house and spending time together.

    • QuatroMama
      June 25, 2013 at 9:44 am #

      Extravagance isn’t necessary – it’s the connection, the time, the effort, and the friendship, right?

  13. lindley
    June 25, 2013 at 4:18 pm #

    Thanks so much for addressing the Mommy guilt! For sure we all have it! Whether it’s guilt from leaving the littles or guilt from being excited to get away–it pops up in all of us! We definitely believe in still dating each other and I’m glad you do too! So important for all of us to keep our relationship with our spouses in the forefront–even before the children–as terrible as that can sound to some people. If our children know we are solid, then they feel secure! Win-win! Find a great sitter/grandparent and the children are happy it’s date night! Hooray! 🙂
    lindley recently posted.. motivating the Monday (a smidge late)

  14. Julia
    June 25, 2013 at 6:22 pm #

    We’re there with ya. Some seasons are better than others, but we’re with you in continually trying. Thankfully we have wonderful family and our kids are super excited about “Grammy and Pa date night”. Our son feels like he’s the one having a special night which makes it so much easier for us to leave. But during tricky times, we find ourselves saying “Good morning” at about 10 o’clock at night when we finally have the first chance of actually looking at each other and carrying on an uninterrupted conversation. Sometimes our late night chats, games, and hanging out time after the kids go to bed feel just like a real date. Best of luck in continuing the pursuit! We’re hoping there will be easier seasons ahead. 🙂

  15. Diana
    June 25, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

    Date night is a must. When our children were small, we couldn’t afford to do anything much. However, we got a Battleship game for Christmas from my mother-in-law. I can’t tell you how much fun we had playing battleship at the kitchen table once the kids were in bed! I agree with the other posters, the best thing your kids can see is their parents in a happy marriage!

  16. Angela
    June 25, 2013 at 11:16 pm #

    I responded on my blog, because my response was so obnoxiously long…

    http://www.mamaangelalala.com/2013/06/dating-ultimate-diversion-when-one-has.html?spref=fb

  17. Beckie
    June 26, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

    We are dating nazis! My hubby and I go out every Thursday. Since my hubby is a pastor there are so many sobering moments when he sits across from a couple and counsels them. One thing they all have in common – they don’t have a date night. So we are passionate about it. It is pricey, it is hard to leave the kids at times but in the end it is always worth it.

  18. Adele
    June 29, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

    I love all of the thoughts shared, it’s wonderful to see the focus you have on your familes. I am not married, nor am I a mother – yet, but I’m trying to learn and prepare for that time and am grateful for your examples. 🙂

    Your thoughts reminded me of something that a leader of teenage girls in my church said in a meeting a couple of years ago. I hope you don’t mind if I share it. She is focused on daughters but the same applies for sons as well.

    “No words describe the sacred occasion when a new father holds a baby daughter in his arms for the first time. This year three of our sons have become new fathers of baby girls. As I watched our rugged, strong, rugby-playing son, Jon, hold his first baby daughter in his arms, he looked at her with a reverent tenderness, and then he looked at me with an expression that seemed to say, “How do I raise a girl?”

    This morning I would like to speak to our sons and to all fathers. How can a father raise a happy, well-adjusted daughter in today’s increasingly toxic world? The answer has been taught by the Lord’s prophets. It is a simple answer, and it is true—“The most important thing a father can do for his [daughter] is to love [her] mother.”1 By the way you love her mother, you will teach your daughter about tenderness, loyalty, respect, compassion, and devotion. She will learn from your example what to expect from young men and what qualities to seek in a future spouse. You can show your daughter by the way you love and honor your wife that she should never settle for less. Your example will teach your daughter to value womanhood. You are showing her that she is a daughter of our Heavenly Father, who loves her.

    Love her mother so much that your marriage is celestial. A temple marriage for time and all eternity is worthy of your greatest efforts and highest priority. It was only after Nephi had completed the temple in the wilderness that he stated, “And … we lived after the manner of happiness.”2 The “manner of happiness” is found in the temple. It is covenant keeping. Don’t let any influence come into your life or your home that would cause you to compromise your covenants or your commitment to your wife and family.” Elaine S. Dalton

    Jen and Brad – thanks for being an example of this principle!

  19. Adele
    July 1, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

    I’m sorry! That was way longer than I thought it would be. Forgive me. 🙂
    I hope you all had a great weekend!

  20. stephanie
    July 9, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

    I could not agree more. Date nights are so important. It took me a long time to realize how important they are. When our oldest (who is now 15) was a baby it made me physically ill to leave her. My husband demanded it though. I am so glad he did. We were losing who we were as a couple. It was hard to do leave the first few times but now I am practically running for the door. We have 3 children now ages 15, almost 10, and 5. We don’t have a set night, but try to get out 2 times a month. Once a month leaving the kids at home and we go out for a few hours. Cheap dates because money is tight, but it is about the quality time not the money spent. The second night out we try to find a sitter – usually my parents or my sister-in-law and we have a date night at home – alone.
    stephanie recently posted.. MckMama’s Giveaway

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