There is a bonding benefit to doing fun adventurous things with your spouse. Life gets routine. Kids arrive and the focus of activities changes. Life gets busy but less of it is spent with your spouse. For many this is a slow cooker recipe for marital discontent. I think that putting thought into finding something adventurous and challenging with your spouse can help reinforce the bond between you. It is common knowledge at least on TAM that the neural chemicals within the brain help form and reinforce bonds with others. Dopamine is one such chemical that is associated with the infatuation stage of a relationship. As the relationship matures the chemicals that are triggered in the brain are ones more associated with long term bonding like oxytocin.
I like the emphasis on those chemicals... keeping them revived.. on a smaller scale...just keeping our love tanks full with little kindnesses, flirting / banter...a surprise massage, offer a peppermint foot rub, candles lit around a bubble bath together....a dance in a moment....grab some pans & head in the back yard to pick some berries (pies in the oven later
).....watching movies together....and as ifweonly mentioned ...that "pillow talk" every night...
In our early yrs .. we looked for our christmas trees in the woods- they were a little Charlie Brownish.. looked something like this....
...oh the memories !!
Sled riding with the kids, building snow men...we went snow tubing once just him & I at a Ski Resort... we taped each other sliding down the hill at the same time....some cool footage there !
My idea is that we should use this knowledge to plan activities with our spouses that trigger some of the excitement/infatuation stage chemicals to inject newness into our relationships. Doing adventurous things will achieve this as well as things outside of your comfort zone. Obviously doing high adventure activities like skydiving, whitewater rafting and climbing will bring an instant thrill. The problem is that for many these activities are too much and too expensive.
I can't say we do anything outside of our comfort zone...I just seek NEW places to visit, to experience together.. more of a laid back nature...whether Romantic.. just for us
getting away for a night or 2...or Family oriented...we're not the high adventure / adrenaline rushed type.. the biggest rush I care to have is visiting amusement parks & running from Roller coaster to roller coaster ... he won't even go on them with me, so I need the kids for that !
Tradition is bonding as well but we shouldn't do a tradition just because... What is a good mix? I guess if the tradition becomes routine one should vary it up. But if its still very fun the repetition of tradition is warm fuzzy and bonding.
Something we've done for the past 10 yrs or so..we have large Bonfire parties...I cook up a storm , order 8 or 9 pizzas.. .our teens invite the youth group, all their friends....there's music.. we set up a movie outside for when it gets dark ...this is the screen we made yrs ago......
...we roll it up like a scroll when we're finished..
I so enjoy seeing teens scattered all over the yard/ laughter/ the fellowship.... volleyball over there/ basketball/ ultimate frisbee, had a hula hoop contest going on last time.....each time we have newcomers, we flurry around...talks around the fire....this fulfills me somehow, myself & H may be scattered on these nights but as it winds down, we're together with a handful of friends on our porch reminiscing old times.. and it's good..it's something we can offer to them..I so want them to have good memories of their upbringing....(but it does something for us
Another tradition..one of my Husband's...visiting a certain specialty store every year...they decorate like 100 Christmas trees..have a special display for Easter & Christmas..different every year/ beautiful... just something he wants to keep alive, he will remind me the kids will only be this young for a short time, then we visit Daffins candy shop down the road for a treat.
I guess so much of what I am putting on here is family oriented.... this was the life we wanted... .days ago we took them to an Indoor water park, we try to bring an extra friend if we can ...we still have our time alone.. we get off in the adult hot tub!
We often plan day outings ....always a couple family vacations 2 or more nights... we do the Yogi bear Campgrounds...we like cabins in the woods, museums, nature / scenic trails, Fairs, zoos, caves, Movies/ Sight & Sound theaters, Science center in the big city..... bike riding, horse back riding / corn mazes / Haunted hay rides.... Disney every so many years....
Something so simple.. but mention a Smorgasbord... the little one will jump up & down, make squealing noises..dying to go...always a treat.
It could be something like karaoke, public speaking or open mike night. It could be a large remodeling project or anything that involves the unknown.
we'd be more the remodeling people.. can't say it's so bonding & enjoyable when it's going on though...(still work)... but we feel satisfaction when its over / the tools are put away... it's something we did together & saved some $$ - always a plus!
I want to hear from others on TAM. What you do to keep the slow cooker of relationship death at bay? Do your activities involve adventure and the unknown?
I've always been the one who gets the idea in my head & says.. "hey Honey, I want to go there, lets do THAT"... I research, then plan every detail working around all our schedules... truth is... if I waited on him to plan something.. we'd never leave the house... I don't mind this though... I enjoy getting on TripAdvisor
, reading reviews & planning these new adventures.. he always comes with a wonderful attitude, happy to be there... this is all I need..
For a time I was going Gong Ho for just US getting away/ didn't want the kids.. but we've moved back to taking the whole family with us more so .. we realize they will all be gone soon.. then it will just be me & him.. I foresee we'll start taking bus trips or something, try a Boat Cruise once in our lives. Always something new to explore out there.