Just the Two of Us

There are days when it feels like I am constantly surrounded by people. I’m retired, but I drive for a couple of ride-share companies, so I could spend an hour sitting in my car at the airport and then end up with one pick-up after another for three hours straight. People generally like to talk, and you would not believe what they tell me. The crazy can be nonstop.

Kelly is a teacher, and by Friday night, she just wants to crash with a good book or mindless television.

As busy as we are, it’s easy to fall into the need to tune everything out. To grab some peace and quiet and do our own thing.

Wait…we’re together?

But if you’re a couple, you have to actually spend time with the other person. In fact, having fun with your partner needs to be front and center. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Few topics are joked about more than the idea of spending time with your wife. Famous comedian Jack Benny once joked, “My wife Mary and I have been married for 47 years and not once have we had an argument serious enough to consider divorce. Murder, yes, but divorce never.”

Marriage makes you healthier

Funny as this is, science supports the fact that being happily married is actually good for you. Dr. Robert H. Shmerling, clinical chief of rheumatology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and an associate professor in medicine at Harvard Medical School, notes that couples in happy marriages tend to:

Given how many things can go wrong as we age, I’m thinking it’s a good idea to keep my wife happy. Not only do I lower the risk that she might kill me, I lower my risk that other factors might, too.

  • live longer
  • have fewer strokes and heart attacks
  • have a lower chance of becoming depressed
  • be less likely to have advanced cancer at the time of diagnosis and more likely to survive cancer for a longer period of time
  • survive a major operation more often.

Kelly and I do all kinds of things together and, even though we are pretty adventurous, most of our time as a couple is pretty simple. 

One fun thing

29 Years of Marriage Therapy

We have made it a point to do one ‘fun thing’ every week. We might try a new restaurant, go for a hike, or hit a concert.

Once in awhile, I’ll pick something out of the blue and tell Kelly to mark the time on her calendar. I get the anticipation of knowing I’ll surprise my wife – who is never surprised by anything, and she gets the anticipation of knowing I chose something special to do with her.

Surprise Tickets to Local Theatre Production of Kelly’s Favorite Book

Some of these activities help me to watch my weight and certainly encourage me to stay in shape. My weaknesses are slushies, ice cream and crunchy chocolate chip cookies. Knowing we are going on a hike has deterred me from stopping at Get-Go, which gives me free slushies because I am a veteran. Kelly runs on jet fuel, and I’ve got to keep up. 

There are projects, and then there are projects

Our latest endeavor – starting this blog – has become a project that forced us into a whole different level of communication. 

Don’t let anyone tell you that you can put together a blog in 10 minutes or less. It doesn’t happen that way. We have had to make dozens of decisions, discuss everything from hosting sites to publishing platforms to subscription management plug-ins. I didn’t even know what half of those things were before we started this. And that doesn’t even count the writing of the posts themselves. Brainstorming ideas. Agreeing on who would write what. This is a project.

But it’s been great. This blog has forced us to talk about our life as a couple. We have hashed out weaknesses and recognized strengths. Even more, we have to communicate – a lot – or nothing gets done.

I still get to be me

Dinner at Molto Bene in Lakewood, Ohio

We still have separate interests, separate times throughout the day where we can get that quiet we need. We’re just making the time we do spend together well, better.

So, keep checking back on this section. We’ll share what we’re up to – and how it works out. Hopefully, we’ll be able to trigger a new way for you to connect with your partner. 

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