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How To Keep Your Marriage Alive! One Couple's Story

For the last few Christmases, Charlie has given Christine, his wife of nearly 15 years, a very unique present. He calls it, “The Year of the Boos.” They both have very demanding careers and three young children. Some days, they barely have time to say hello, let alone energy and time for tons of great sex, romantic moments or extended conversations. They call each other “Boo.” The gift has been that Charlie would plan a surprise date every month for the entire year. Twelve special dates. Some are low key. Some are totally romantic and magical. But they're a surprise and they're pulled off each month without fail (even if they have to be moved around occasionally).

This year, they're doing it a little differently. Christine is also planning some of the dates. This way, Charlie get surprised from time to time too! Charlie and Christine see their marriage as a partnership and as Charlie says, “maintaining a good balance means that they are both looking out for each other, actively and intentionally.”

The dates do a few things. They make Christine feel like a queen. She gets to take off her “family and work manager” hat and just relax. She gets to be a sexy happy woman as opposed to tired, "pulled-in-every-direction mom” For Charlie, he loves to plan and create special experiences. It gives him a chance to focus totally on his wife and their relationship. He gets to be her hero. And this year, he's looking forward to being surprised and receiving her special attention too, which he needs just as much!

So why is this so important and why am I sharing it with you?

See, this isn't a story about how a couple should have more date nights. Not really anyway. It's about a MINDSET for your marriage. This is what the “Year of the Boos” is really about:

  • It's not just that their marriage is a priority. It's that having a GREAT marriage is a priority. It's that feeling close and romantic with each other is important. Planning and sticking to twelve dates with their crazy lives takes commitment! Romance and closeness have to be tended to; otherwise it fades. They're committed to making their marriage as good as it can be.
  • It contributes to the overall positive story they tell themselves about their marriage. So much of what makes a marriage “good” or “bad” is the story we tell ourselves about it. The scope and specialness of the “Year of the Boos” adds to their overall sense of how good their marriage is. It's their “special thing.” When they set aside the time, dress up, tell others about it and look back on the day, they're telling themselves a pretty good story over and over.
  • Human beings, by nature, like to look forward to things. Studies show that anticipation adds to our overall perception of the event. So, Charlie and Christine not only get twelve wonderful experiences, they get a positive jolt every time they look at the calendar. Keeping in a more positive frame of mind is an important insulator for stress and disconnection. “Year of the Boos” helps them stay afloat and keep their eye on the prize when they feel disconnected and irritable with each other.

    How will you change or enhance the story about your marriage this year? What positive experiences with your partner do you look forward to this year?


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