Dating in a swamp?
My husband and I had a lovely date in the swamp today. Now, when you’re picturing this please do not immediately go to the swamps in Louisiana. That’s a whole ‘nother creature of its own. This swamp is a lovely North Florida swamp. Always damp, very shady, floods like a mother, if you catch my drift. There are water oaks, a cypress trees, a wild grape vines, and a metric crap ton of poison ivy. Thankfully, I’m pretty sure we both dodged that particular bullet.
This swamp backs up the Apalachicola River and is absolutely stunning. Not the safest place to hang out during the summer or with children, but it was cold and Le Squeak was with her grandmother so those were both non-issues. So why were we hanging out in a swamp in the first place? Because I love my husband and he asked for my help. He enjoys hunting and there is an abundance of native fauna there. Problem is, there is also an abundance of cows that pass through and happened to eat all of his deer corn. I guess they couldn’t read the sign that said, “No cows allowed”. I really should put a sign out there just to make myself laugh.
So Hubs’ solution was to put up three strands of a barbed wire fence to keep the cows out. The deer can clear the fence with no problems, in fact, they can clear higher fences with no problem. It’s quite spectacular to see, just like an Olympic runner, floop and right on over without ever breaking stride. Fun fact I learned about putting up an impromptu fence: you string it at knee, belt, and nipple high. So now my husband and my father are the only two people I have ever met to use “nipple high” as a unit of measurement. No wonder they get along, hah! I also found out that if the area fenced off is too small, the deer will avoid it to keep from feeling confined. The more you know, am I right?
Why is this important?
I know it sounds so silly for me to say that working in the woods with my husband counts as a date, but it did. Since our Squeak was born she has been first and foremost (like most moms, I’m sure). But in doing so, I admittedly have put my and his relationship on the back burner. It really isn’t fair to either of us and occasionally it causes discord in our lives. I know that we both need to take more time for each other, but I have a severe anxiety about leaving Squeak with anyone for an extended period of time. I have no idea how I will survive when she starts school.
Hubs and I have discussed it before and we both know and acknowledge that we need to spend more time together. Of course it doesn’t happen as often as it should because life, family, and work gets in the way. But for a few hours it was just the two of us alone. No distractions from the baby, work, (or worst of all) politics. Nothing else to focus on save for the work at hand and each other. And do you know what? It was so nice. We would take breaks and wander through the cypress knees, he told me stories about how a large area of the swamp was a lake in his childhood. We laughed and explored and it was so stunningly beautiful that I was able to mostly ignore the cold, gusty wind coming off of the river.
4 Reasons to Continue Dating your Spouse
In an attempt to rectify this issue, we are going to establish a date night at least once a month working towards 2-3 times per month. While I wait, here are my top reasons why you should be dating your spouse.
Dating makes your marriage a priority.
More than that it makes your personal relationship within the marriage a priority. A friend of mine once said that on the most basic of levels that marriage is a contract between two people and the government. He speaks the truth and it makes me laugh every time I think about it. It is up to YOU as a couple to make your marriage more than just a contract. You are responsible for defining what your marriage means and how much it grows. Our marriage is a testament of our commitment in front of God, our family, and friends. But absolutely most important of all our marriage is our vows to always love and cherish each other, our lives and how they intertwine, and our family that we are growing together. That is what is important to me and that is why we will always work towards our goals.
Dating means continuing to choose each other.
Remember how fun dating was? When you would get so excited to see them, the happy butterflies, the passion of new love. Ah, it makes my heart skip a beat when I reflect on the long conversations, sweet good morning texts, and nights spent riding dirt roads to nowhere. The romance doesn’t have to leave your relationship. I’ll admit that I do appreciate the security of our relationship now, but I still want the fun-ness of dating. I want us to always choose to be with each other and to always enjoy the company of the other. I also want him to know that I still want him. Of course, I also benefit; it is a boost to my self esteem that I am a wonderful way to spend his time.
Dating helps to maintain communication.
And everyone knows that communication is key! It is so easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of every day life that the only time we seem to talk is passing in the hallway. My husband is not some co-worker that I’m looking to avoid. He is my life partner and I want us to be able to talk about trivial things if we choose. We all need time to just speak to and focus on each other. Regardless of the topic, it is a time to get to know your spouse more deeply.
Dating refocuses on family goals.
Now this plays off of my previous entry just a touch. Taking time for each other offers the opportunity to communicate more and this includes making and planning to achieve goals as a family. We know where we want to go as a couple and then as a family. On top of that, I feel like it will create a relationship goal for our daughter to have in her future relationship. I want her to continue to choose her spouse every day and to have a spouse that will forever continue to choose her. This goes for any other future children and grandchildren too.
Swamp Date #2
We are actually going for another swamp date this weekend. The goal of this date is to repair/replace the door on a hog pen (huge problem in Florida). I’m looking forward to it, we need some alone time after our recent loss. Of course we will be killing two birds with one stone, but that does not cancel out the fact that we are spending time together alone. I hope that the biggest takeaway from this post is to make your relationship with your spouse a priority. You (hopefully) entered into your union with love and it needs to be nurtured to keep that spark alive.
What dates do you love to take with your spouse? Anything special hints of your own to maintain your relationship?