My wife and I spent a relaxing week on the beaches of Kauai recently celebrating our 33rd wedding anniversary, and as always it was renewing and absolutely vital to keeping our marriage passionate and fresh. We had bought a time-share there on our 10th wedding anniversary at a time in our lives when it was a big stretch monetarily and because we had 3 young children. We did it as a way to make ourselves take a vacation together every year or two because we believed we needed that time away from the kids as a couple. We didn’t want to hit the empty nest stage of our lives and look across the breakfast table at our spouse and say: ”Who are you?”
I have seen far too many couples enter that chapter in life and discover that they have drifted dangerously apart from their spouse; they have been so focused on the kids and their jobs and the mortgage that they have lost touch with each other, a little bit at a time. And often this distance and lack of connection results in divorce.
During our week in Kauai, I was struck by the number of young couples vacationing with their children, some even with babies and toddlers. I understand that many families today contain dads and moms who work a lot of hours, and who often feel guilty about the lack of time they are able to spend with their children. Or they might just want more time together as a family. But I worry that there is scant little time left over for them as a couple for the reasons mentioned above.
I wanted to go up to each of them and give them permission to hang out for a week without the kids, to rekindle the old passions and fire they once experienced during the honeymoon phase of their relationship. I wished that they could take long walks on the beach, catch up with each other not just about he kids, but with themselves as a couple. Maybe even have times where they forbade each other from talking about children or work, and really focused on each other. They could set intentions for how they could keep their marriage alive and vibrant even at home, and commit to such actions. And they could re-fall in love again, reminding themselves why they got together in the first place. Some couples may even have to find new ways to connect, because the initial reasons for the attraction might not be relevant anymore, like partying for instance.
I have had the thought every time I have been to Kauai that there should be a law that prohibits couples from bringing children to the islands. It is a place for love and romance. If you want to take your kids on vacation, go to Disneyland or a water park. Please leave Hawaii for sweethearts and amorousness.