Recreational Intimacy

Terry and Ralph having fun riding a surreyWhat do you do as a couple for stress relief, exercise, and playfulness? Sharing recreational activities is vital to a well-balanced life and a healthy marriage. It’s “re-creational”, i.e., it re-creates the romance that helped you fall in love at the start. And although the responsibilities of life all too easily consume our time, the cure is fun to implement.

Hobbies are recreational — and valuable. Most couples, however, don’t have the same interests. One likes to go fishing and the other prefers gardening, and sharing these activities can lead to stress and displeasure rather than intimacy. That’s okay. We’d get bored with a spouse who’s too similar to us.

When Ralph and I went through a rough patch that lasted several years, we renewed our intimacy by finding a fun activity that we enjoyed sharing. We explored the possibility of buying a piece of property to move to after the kids finished college. We explored different types of neighborhoods, new houses, old houses to renovate, and empty lots to build on, dreaming together about what kind of future we’d like to build as a couple. At first, this was the only thing we enjoyed doing together. It turned into a cure that helped recreate our intimacy.

Eventually, this research turned into a dream house we built on a secluded lot in the middle of the woods in the neighborhood we had agreed was our top choice.

This particular hobby isn’t for everyone. It can drive apart couples, especially when making the myriads of decisions needed for a new house. Discover your own adventure. What do you enjoy exploring together? Whatever it is, it’s something you’ve already talked about, perhaps more at the beginning of your relationship than now, because beginnings are full of discussions about dreams.

Reflection Questions:

  1. What do I enjoy doing for stress relief? What kind of exercise do I enjoy?
  2. How well do I know what my beloved enjoys doing for stress relief? And what kind of exercise he/she enjoys?

Strengthen your relationship:
Share the answers to the first reflection question above. Turn this into a dreaming-time. What have you liked most about the recreations you have enjoyed together? How can these preferences be leveraged into an adventuresome, fun activity that you do together? Pray together for inspiration on how to plan that activity, then begin to research where to do it, asking the Holy Spirit to bring to light all the necessary details.

This is the third in an 8-part series on the intimacies that are so important for a good and lasting marriage.

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© 2018 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries

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