Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Best Marriage Advice I Ever (Indirectly) Got

 The coastline near Carmel, CA 12/28/11

It must have been six, maybe seven years ago that I heard it. I believe I was at a friend's wedding shower when either the mothers of the bride and groom—or perhaps all of us—were asked to offer up our marital advice. The bride's mom told her that she and her husband should make it a point to take vacations alone together, especially after they had children. Whether it was once a month, once a quarter or once a year, she promised it would help the couple stay close.

Although it seemed like a somewhat obvious practice to employ, this idea stuck with me. And now that I'm nine months into matrimonial bliss, I can see why it's so necessary.

 Pacific Grove, CA 12/29/11

Even when you don't have children, even when you don't have a job, it's easy to get disconnected from your partner. You begin to take him for granted, and amidst kisses, you find yourself mentally adding an item to your grocery list. As you sit side-by-side on the couch, you discover that you're both so engrossed in your laptops, you forget the other person is there. Clutter fills your head day and night, and although you have plenty of moments where you recognize and appreciate the person you married, you find yourself continually bombarded by thoughts, people and activities that distract you from him. 

 A river off Highway 1 near Big Sur, CA 12/30/11

One of the things I love most about travel, in general, is how it forces you to be in the moment. You're usually in somewhat unfamiliar surroundings, so you have to be more alert; pay more attention to sights, sounds and smells. You're taking everything in, all of the time.

 Big Sur, CA 12/30/11

Travel with the object of your affection causes this alertness to spill over into your interaction with him (or her). You catch yourself smiling at him when he's not looking. You talk about the nuances of your wine and the flavor of your meal and your shared plans for the future, without the relentless mental tug of the dishes in the kitchen sink or the birthday card you need to send.

Getting away together forces you to be in the moment together.

Elephant seals near San Simeon, CA 12/30/11

I know I'm still a novice when it comes to this whole marriage thing, but the woman who I heard dole out the vacation advice has been married for at least three and a half decades. I think she knows her stuff. And I think I'm learning already how right she was with her recommendation.

The key to experienceing the wonderful side of wedlock may just be locked up in a hotel room somewhere along the Central Coast of California.

The sunset over Santa Rita Valley, CA 12/30/11

This post is dedicated to a friend who is celebrating something very special this weekend. I hope she reads this and knows who she is.


  1. Fantastic advice. Mr. Darcy and I always feel closer when we travel, for sure.

    I'm envious of your trip. I love, love, love the Central Coast. Close to my heart (my mom lived in Monterey for many years!).

  2. I think that's fantastic advice. Even with careers and plans and children and anything else that may come into the picture, the truth is it is all just ever-changing pieces on a path that two people have chosen to stay on together. You have to keep that path in focus, or at least not allow it to get blurry for too long.

    (That sounds like I stole some quotes, huh? I didn't. I have just had a lot of coffee!).
    Happy New Year!

  3. YAY! I love this, and will definitely remember this when I finally get married at age 95 :D

  4. every word of this is true melissa,no truer words spoken. It is incredibly easy to get lost in the clutter and chaos of everydsy life. Love your blogs xox Luce x

  5. Sizzle - The Central Coast has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth. I swear, a couple of times near Big Sur, I felt like we could've been in Italy again!

    LesleyG - I know you don't steal quotes. You're filled with all kinds of your own wisdom!

    MissMcCracken - Oh stop it with the 95! It is good advice, for sure. I think any couples who travel together would tell you that.

    Lucy - Thanks for reading and for your kind words. :)

  6. The Adirondack chair in the river is an awesome shot. Suitable for framing.

  7. So true! Love this post! You and Mr. W are fortunate enough to be able to travel several times a year....and I'm sure you won't slow down. As far as I'm concerned, there should always be something on the books to look forward to. It makes the every day rituals of real life tolerable. Happy Travels!


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