I recently took my daughter to the dentist office for her annual cleaning and x-rays. The dentist office was unlike anything I had ever seen – it was completely and totally tailored to the desires of children. The waiting room had several video game stations for kids to play their favorite video games while they were waiting to be seen by the dentist. The dental examination area was open and bright, complete with flat screen televisions mounted on the ceiling directly above each dental chair so that children could watch television before, during, and after their dental exam.
At each end of the examination area were huge framed pictures of comic book superheroes (Superman, Spider-Man, the Avengers, the X-Men, etc.) that looked like they were literally about to bust out of the glass frame into the exam area. Even the light fixtures were crafted in comic book superhero poses. It was amazing to me. I was (and still am) unashamedly a huge fan of comic book superheroes and all things associated with them.
My first thought as I looked around the exam area (which I was allowed to sit in – just a few feet away from daughter) while my daughter was being examined by the dental hygienist was, “I would’ve LOVED to come to this place as a kid!” Then my second thought was, “Who am I kidding, I would love to come to this place now, as an ADULT!”
The dentist office in a few short moments, had managed to unlock the 6-year old boy, still tucked away inside the 46-year old man. Something in that exam area had reawakened the child in me and it was exciting for me to be back in that place even for just a few moments. Life has a way of burying the “inner kid” in all of us beneath the arduous, burdensome responsibilities and requirements of adulthood.
In marriage, this same reality happens to most of us at some point during the course of our union. The happiness, joy, vigor, hopes, dreams, & simple playfulness that many couples begin their marital relationship with, disappears over time as the inevitable realities of married life – work, children, finances, in-laws, disagreements, etc. settle in and slowly choke the life out of our relationship with our spouse.
What do you do when the functions of marriage steal the fun out of your marriage? Well, you get it back, of course!
Here are a few suggestions and ideas to help you raise the FQ (Fun Quotient) of your marriage and begin or restore the notion of having fun in God’s fundamental building block for families:
- Play hooky from work and hang out with each other for the day. Go to the movies, play laser tag, or enjoy just staying home and lounging around in your pajamas with your beloved. Tracy and I used to skip work and go bowling together in the early years of our marriage-before children.
- Spend time together doing something considered “juvenile” for most adults. Engage in a guilty pleasure that brings out the kid in both of you again and simply makes you laugh with (and at) each other. For Tracy’s 40th birthday we drove to Orlando, Florida and spent several days at Disney World and Universal Studios riding every ride in both parks, and we left the kids at home!
- Play with each other. One of the things that we both agree has kept our marriage fun over 23 years is playing “kid games” with each other, like tag, hide-and-seek, having pillow fights, etc. We both are very competitive, so neither of us likes to lose (at anything) so it gets very intense! We also play card games, board games, and video games with each other. Few things in life give me more unbridled joy than beating my wife in any kind of game/activity. She demolishes me in Scrabble!
We think you get the idea and you can take it from here yourself. There are many, many, more creatively fun ways that you can energize or reinvigorate your marriage by simply having fun with each other – the way kids do! When you become married, it is not necessarily time to put away “childish” things!