Q: Sometimes my husband and I talk about sensitive issues while out on a date. We’re so busy that this is typically the most convenient time for us to discuss problems and concerns. Is this a good idea?
A: King Solomon wrote, “Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which [God] has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life…” Although his admonition was offered thousands of years ago, current research confirms what the wise king understood and knew in his heart: Spending time enjoying your spouse is critical to a healthy marriage.
Marital research experts Dr. Scott Stanley and Dr. Howard Markman conducted a survey to discover what creates a “strong” relationship. To their surprise, the amount of fun couples had together emerged as the strongest factor in understanding overall marital happiness.
If time spent together having fun is this important, then we must jealously guard these moments against invading distractions. Allowing conflict or unpleasantries to creep in is like throwing a red shirt into a washer full of white clothes. It’s only one small shirt, but it’s enough to ruin the whole load.
Conflict during dates can have the same destructive effect because it intensifies emotions, making it difficult to relax and enjoy each other. If the pattern becomes a practice, your mate may lose the desire to do fun things because the experience ends up turning “pink.”
Before that happens, we encourage you and your spouse to set aside difficult conversations during date night and reschedule them for when you can give them your undivided attention. Focusing on the fun during dates will strengthen your bond and enable you to deal with the difficult issues better at the proper time.
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