What My Marriage Can’t Live Without (Our Pursuit of a Honeymoon Marriage)

Six months after we got married, Wyatt and I moved to a tiny village in Sri Lanka to help manage a development project after the destructive 2004 tsunami.

Sri Lanka 040

With white sand and clear waters, it was an extended “honeymoon” in a strange way.

Often our culture tells us that things go down hill after the honeymoon phase is over.  In many marriages that is true.  But a friend of ours gave us a word that inspired us to go further.  She looked at us one day and say, “You two are not going to just have a honeymoon year, you are going to have a honeymoon marriage.”

Something about that rang true in our hearts.

So instead of buying into our culture’s mantra of “honeymoon phase”, we decided we would work to build a honeymoon marriage.  A marriage based on a connection that keeps going deeper and getting better with time.   

“Let them become ONE”.  That’s not just a nice sentence for wedding ceremonies, it’s a prayer for our real living.

Over the years, we’ve learned the key to our honeymoon marriage is a growing level of connection and oneness.  As we have more kids, more responsibilities, and less spare time, our consistent question to each other has become “how is our connection, how is our oneness?”

The one thing growing marriages cannot live without is connection.

We can go without much money, we can live well in outdated homes and in foreign countries, we can drive old cars and have a next to no budget for new clothes.  We’ve done all that.  But we cannot go without our connection.

For us, CONNECTION is…

….our ability to walk into the room and find an unspoken peace and understanding with each other.  It is having consistent oneness, peace, gracious communication, mutual support and laughter.  It’s cheering for one another’s dreams and destiny so much that his success is mine, and mine is his.  It is light-heartedness as we flirt with each other like we were “dating” and enjoy everyday mundane life together…

All these things mark our level of connection, and describe the sort of marriage we intentionally pursue.

So what does this look like in real life?  Well, I have one recent example.

Life gets busy…right?

The past month has been busy, to say the least.  Busyness, and connection with my husband don’t always collide, but this month they butted heads in the worst sort of way.

We looked at each other last week and realized we were more disconnected than maybe ever before.  From the outside we looked fine.  But we could feel it.

We were living life as usual, but slowly becoming internally disconnected.  And based on our decision to foster a honeymoon marriage, we made a decision to protect our marriage.  We called our amazing babysitter and got out-of-town.

Over the past 8 years of marriage, we have taken yearly “retreats”, and often more than one, if we can manage.

Getting away together is one practical way we invest in our relationship, keep ourselves aligned with our vision for a “honeymoon marriage” and a develop an out-of-this-world connection that keeps getting better with time.

Investing set-apart time into our marriage not just a nice idea, it’s necessary and fruitful.  (And it gives space to work through real-life issues…like this tandem bike made plenty of room for me to come face to face with my control freak issues!)

Next, I’ll post on what our “retreats” look like, and a offer a few ideas on how to foster and protect your marriage connection.