5 Date Ideas with Your Wife
A couple that dates together stays together
By Peter C. Kleponis, Ph.D.
As a marriage and family therapist, I often meet with couples who are so overwhelmed by career and parenting responsibilities that they have little time for each other. This places a great strain on their marriages. While our careers and childrearing do take a lot of time and energy, we can’t neglect the most basic relationship with our wives. Since women often carry the brunt of childcare, it’s up to us husbands to take care of our wives and show them how much we love, respect and appreciate them. How do we do this? Here are five sure-fire ways:
1. Some couples wake up an hour before their children and have coffee together in the early morning hours. Others wait until the kids are in bed at night to catch some time alone. Think of how much your wife would appreciate it if you made coffee for her and spent some time just focusing on your relationship. She would feel extra special! My wife and I enjoy spending time sitting on our back porch when our toddler son is asleep.
2. Date nights are also important. However, this can be difficult for couples with young children. Going out to dinner and/or a movie, and paying a babysitter can be expensive. To save money, I recommend finding another nearby couple with young children and switching off. They will take care of your children when you and your wife are out on a date, then you and your wife will do the same for them. It’s a win-win situation.
3. For couples with many children, finding friends to take them may be difficult. In this case, I recommend a date at home. This is what my parents did when I was growing up. About once a month, they would have “Peace and Quiet Night.” On these nights, my mother would feed me and my four siblings dinner around 5:00 p.m. It was usually a meal that was easy for her and fun for us, such as frozen waffles. We were then sent to the family room to watch television for the rest of the evening. My mother would then cook a special meal for her and my father, which they would eat alone in the dining room. It was a clear rule that when they had peace and quiet night we were not to disturb them.
This gave them two hours to spend together as a couple. It gave them some time away from the chaos of raising five kids, and I’m sure it helped them preserve their sanity. They were happily married for 51 years! Just think of how special your wife would feel if – even just once – you planned a peace and quiet night, did all the cooking, and cleaned up!
4. Another dating technique that my wife and I have used is “Surprise Dates.” This works best for couples with older children who do not need babysitters. With this method, you each take turns planning dates. When I am planning the date, I look for an activity that I know my wife would love. I don’t tell her about it until we arrive at our date destination. She does the same for me when she plans the date. Part of the fun is in guessing what the date activity could be!
5. Many men have difficulty coming up with great date ideas. After dinner or a movie, they run out of ideas. And going to a ball game or bowling might not be your wife’s idea of fun. Fortunately, there are many good books on dating for married couples, such as Fun and Creative Dates for Married Couples: 52 Ways to Enjoy Life Together! Most couples don’t have the time or money to go on a weekly date; however, if you manage a date every other week, this book could last you two years before you’ve tried every idea! This makes it a real bargain.
Whether you spend time together having coffee, having peace and quiet nights, or going on dates, the important thing is to nurture your relationship. The kids will grow up and (hopefully) leave home, and we will eventually retire from our careers. However marriage is for life. It’s up to us to make sure we properly care for our marriages. If we do, it will mean a lifetime of joy with our wives. Also, what better gift to give to our kids than to model a happy, healthy marriage. It will help them have happy marriages too!
Peter C. Kleponis, Ph.D. is a licensed Clinical Therapist and Assistant Director of Comprehensive Counseling Services in West Conshohocken, Pa. His website is maritalhealing.com.