The Hidden Benefits of Dating Your Wife

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Several years ago, my son, Garrison, reminded me of the importance of dating my wife, Erin. I was trying to usher Erin out the door for a date. Unfortunately, our youngest daughter, Annie, who was 4 at the time, didn't want Mommy to leave. Annie wrapped herself around Erin's leg. Garrison, who was 10, stepped in.

"Don't worry," he explained to Annie. "We need to let Mom and Dad go out on their date."

"But why?" Annie asked.

I'll never forget his answer: "This is what Mom and Dad do to keep their marriage strong."

Annie seemed to accept his explanation, and then she asked, "What do they do on their date?"

"I have no idea," Garrison said, looking confused, "but I think it ends with kissing."

When a couple spends time alone each week, their levels of happiness, positive communication and sexual satisfaction are more than three times higher than those who don't spend that time together. That means you might be able to dramatically increase these important areas of your marriage by simply dating your wife!

Date night is a fantastic way to make sure you and your wife are connecting positively and enjoying each other's company on a regular basis. It doesn't have to be expensive or elaborate. But it's going to take time, effort and planning.

The key to a great date is to make sure you don't administrate your marriage when you go out — don't have conversations about finances, household responsibilities, problems with the kids or sensitive issues. You need to talk about these things, but not during a date. Date night is about enjoying each other.

A great date night will feature playfulness and laughter. Ask your wife questions to update your knowledge of her. Reminisce by retelling some of your favorite marriage stories. Talking about your memorable events allows you to celebrate how far you've come as a couple and provides hope as you anticipate future good times together.

Why not take our Date Night Challenge? Go out on three dates in three weeks and watch how this will strengthen your marriage!

Dr. Greg Smalley is vice president of Marriage and Family Formation at Focus on the Family and the author or co-author of several books, including Take the Date Night Challenge.

How strong is your marriage? Find out today with the Focus on Marriage Assessment. This reliable assessment is based on the research and experience of Focus on the Family's marriage experts Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley. Take this free assessment now.

This article first appeared in the January/February 2014 issue of Focus on the Family's Thriving Family magazine and was originally titled "Be Happy!"
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Copyright © 2013 by Focus on the Family. From the Focus on the Family website at FocusOnTheFamily.com.

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