I decided to join the bandwagon/permalink from Chrysalis' site once again. I even linked myself all up this time. (Thanks Beckie for the assistance attaching the buttons to my page!)
Chrysalis says- "Essentially, tell us what you've discovered about the importance of romance and intimacy to your marriage."
I've realized that I never fully understood the importance of romance and intimacy in marriage before our children were born. Sure, I liked the romance and intimacy--and sure we probably had more time for it all but NOW I see the importance of "toning down the tension, and tuning up the tenderness." It builds us up and makes us stronger!
We've really committed, after the birth of our second child, to go on a monthly date. I know, I have friends who go weekly--and I'm awed and amazed-- but monthly works best for us. We're both home bodies, bookworms, and self proclaimed nerds...so time alone in the evenings after the kids are in bed is also wonderful to us. I created a little seating area in our master bedroom and it has become our quiet spot...away from the TV and noise of the ever running dishwasher!
I reached a point where planning everything about the dates was grating on me so I volunteered to set the date and babysitter if he'd plan the date. WOW--was he ever up to the challenge. I now call him my date night guru! Cheap dates or expensive...it's just good to get out. We focus on each other..and for a tiny bit forget all the responsibilties on our shoulders. We love each other--"Oh yeah, I remember you!"
We've found that regular open conversations about the "tensions" in our lives helps them to not grow to unreasonable levels. Also, tuning into each other and planning to be tender helps us respond better to "stressful" news!
It freaks me out to be considered a "marriage counselor" in any way...but if someone can benefit from the things we do...I'm grateful!