Las Vegas – possibly the last place on earth you would think of as a go-to spot for marriage first aid. But that’s exactly what happened when we spent 3 days there recently, and no one was more surprised than me!
I’ll give you just a bit of the how and why, and then get on to the important part… the 3 big lessons I learned that you can save your marriage too, even if you don’t know it needs saving.
My husband and I don’t travel much, at least, not together. We both work full-time and share 5 kids, so time and money don’t give us much opportunity to jet off into the sunset. Then a few weeks ago some friends invited the hubby & me to join them for a weekend in Vegas. Absolutely not! That was my response. Followed by a laundry list of reasons… “we can’t afford it, who will watch the kids?, I don’t want to ruin my diet, how can we take off work?”… and some reasons I didn’t say out loud. The main one being, “can I trust you to gamble with our money?!”. What I didn’t want to admit was that this trip meant I would have to let go of some control.
My man is nothing if not determined. He found a friend with airline buddy passes, and another who would stay with our kids. And the friends who invited us already had the room and car. So basically, the entire trip would cost less than taking our family to Six Flags for the day. I reluctantly caved.
Upon arriving at the airport my husband and I had a realization, one that would start my massive attitude adjustment, we had never been on an airplane together. We’ve been married nearly 5 years and not only had we not flown together, we hadn’t even taken a weekend road trip together since we were dating. As Oprah would say, it was an Ah-ha moment! So here are the 3 big lessons I just had to share with you…
#1 Make Time to be a Couple
My man and I ended up having so much fun on this trip. We actually went for hours without talking about kids or schedules or bills or work. I remembered what it was like to enjoy hanging out with him.
#2 Let Your Man be a Man
This one took prayer and focus. My husband really wanted to play at the casinos. I had to remind myself that he is an adult and that he would never do anything to jeopardize the well-being of our family. I let him decide how much money to “play” with and I walked away. (I couldn’t watch) I trusted him to use only what he had decided to set aside for that purpose, and you know what, he did! It was a huge exercise in trust. I believe it strengthened our “trust muscle”, and may have been the most important lesson of the whole trip.
#3 Let Go of Control
You may have noticed that I can be a wee bit of a control freak. This trip showed me that it can actually be fun not to be in control. I didn’t plan the trip, or any of the places we went. I allowed myself to go wherever our friends suggested and just take it all in. It was almost a child-like experience to simply enjoy the sites and sounds and smells and tastes. Yes, I did splurge a bit on my diet. But that was okay too. I jumped right back into eating clean and working out as soon as we got home. That’s how you live a healthy lifestyle, with balance!
Saying Las Vegas saved our marriage may seem overly dramatic. But what if we had waited another 5 years to get on a plane together? What if we hadn’t realized how little time we were spending with each other? What if I hadn’t realized I was having trust issues with my husband’s money-handling abilities? These are the things that can sneak up and sabotage a marriage. Marriage after divorce is already at a disadvantage. We must be ever-vigilant to protect and preserve it. And sometimes, we need to do that in Vegas! How soon can we go back?