Monday, August 12, 2013

how i began dating my husband.

Long ago when we lived in a little basement apartment in Holladay, Utah I will always remember the day Jon came home with some counsel that was given to him by a brother in our church (whose name I forgot) advising him how important it was to have a date night with your wife. 

Throughout this period of our married life we had been struggling with feelings of emotions, stress, and financial hardships. The fact that I joined this wonderful church on my own motive, and having grown up in a broken home with issues I don't think I was playing the "Mormon wife" role perfectly, or raising my daughter accordingly.  

Sierra was about two years old when Jon was in the midst of finding another job. He was working at a restaurant called Sam's Express, and it was on the verge of filing for bankruptcy (that's a shame because if any of you were familiar with that place it had some amazing food!) Although I was working at the time to make ends meet stress, and constant bickering was a huge factor in our marriage. Looking back i often wonder how we survived those trials in the beginning of our marriage. I didn't realize how important it was to still go out on dates with your spouse. For some reason I thought dating stopped once we got married. 

I didn't have any solid examples of married relatives (including my mom) on my side of the family about dating so that was something that seemed of no importance...then again I hardly ever saw my cousins, or aunts. 

I remember my sister & I going out with my mom, and step dad when we were little to the drive-in theatre, and dinner. She always brought us along. 

There were times when Jon & I would go to concerts, and out for dinner on occasion, but it wasn't consistent. We had convenient babysitters (my in laws), but sometimes i felt as if I was bothering them, and hardly asked them if they could sit Sierra, hence hardly ever having a date night. 

We then realized that going out on dates to escape the stresses of life, and being away from kids is something that we needed. I think the fact that we hardly had any money, and Sierra being my firstborn made me selfish in having her all to myself. 

Just like my mother always took my sister and I along with our step dad, we always took her Sierra with us on our "dates" .

Four kids later I now know that alone time with my hubby is crucial, and date nights are a must. I realized that the dates don't have to be fancy, cost a lot of money, or eat at a place that requires a dinner jacket.

It's the fact that we are together, enjoying life away from the kids even if it's just for a few hours to be alone, have fun, not talk about the kids, bills, or anything that deals with worry..  

Our date night this past week was simple, meaningful, and the best part...it was free! We went to our church where the youth were having a three day conference, and on the last night they had a talent show. We had the opportunity to watch some goofy & talented acts for free!

The meaningful part was watching our daughter sing "Warrior" again, and I never get tired of hearing her voice or watching her play the piano. 
Having ice cream at Franklin Fountain in Philly completed our night, and it was so nice to sit outside with Jon eating our mint chocolate chip sundae underneath the stars. It's also a good thing we're used to this humidity.  
I will always be grateful for that one brother who counseled Jon that evening on the importance of dating your wife because it truly is that important. Sometimes things went in one ear and out the other back then for me, but now that I'm in my 40's my listening ears are on! 

I wish I could remember his name, because in a sense he saved our marriage. Not that Jon and I were in the midst of separating or anything, but I was pretty close on giving up hope on The Lord, and this wonderful church that continues to strengthen me in ways that are profound. 

Never again do I ever want to have that feeling! 

Although there have been a many slip ups in our marriage within the past 18 and a half years we continue to strengthen them with date nights, and a time out from the daily mundane such as attending the temple more often. The fact that we were great friends before getting married also helped our patience with one another in having excellent communication, and the love that we have for each other is the best!  

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