One of the most frequent complaints that come up in marriage counseling sessions is “Our relationship is no more exciting and it’s hard to connect with each other.”
Like any other enterprise, marriage takes time and effort to grow and thrive. If relationships are taken for granted, they too would wither and die, like an unattended plant in your garden.
During your grandparents’ time, couples were happy with the husband as the breadwinner of the family and the wife as the nurturer. Today, the millennial couples don’t just want their partners to manage their household but want them to be their friend, confidante as well as a lover.
It’s no wonders then, that the study of the National Bureau of Economic Research found that the most successful couples were essentially best friends of each other.
So, like these happy couples, what can you do to establish a strong bond with your partner? The advice is simple and the one that couples in marriage counseling hear a lot, “spend quality together.”
However, with constant work pressures, societal commitments, family duties, and household chores, it’s easier said than done.
This is where vacations come into play.
Research shows that couple holidays are a big factor in successful relationships.
For instance, as per the survey by the U.S. Travel Association (UTA), “84% of respondents agreed that traveling helped them spend quality time together and 86% of respondents who traveled together believed that the romance was alive in their relationship”
So, how can vacations enhance the health of your relationship?
You Get to Reconnect with Your Spouse
In a long-term relationship, it may seem like you know everything about your partner, eliminating the need to talk and share everything. In time, such a monotonous routine will start deluding your brain with a sense of safety and comfort.
A vacation, where you both encounter unforeseen challenges hurls you out of your comfort zone. In a new city, it’s possible for your car to break down, one or both of you to get sick, and a host of other issues to arise. Such scenarios then compel you to talk, discuss and resolve the problems together, thereby improving the communication with your partner.
The study by UTA also corroborates this, where 84% of the couples who traveled together reported better communication with their partners compared to the 73% who didn’t.
You Get to Reignite Your Sex Life
In the daily grind of your life, when meaningful conversations seem like a momentous task, sex and indulging in moments of passion take a back seat. This scenario becomes more probable when kids come into the picture.
While couples overlook the importance of intimacy, as per an empirical study , greater sexual activity was found to be a big contributing factor to increased happiness in a relationship.
Vacations lead you to do exciting activities together, which in turn, strengthens the bond with your spouse. The ensuing emotions not only make you feel closer with your partner but also improve the intimacy in your relationship. Therefore, it makes sense that as per the UTA study, couples who traveled together reported a better sex life than those who didn’t.
You Get a Chance to Create Cherishable Memories
Vacations spell the beginning of your “remember that time” stories. These are those memories which only you and your lover will share. From indulging in adventure sports, tasting a local delicacy, getting lost in a city, you will make memories that will stay through the entirety of your relationship.
So, whenever your relationship enters a tough phase, you can go back to these memories and remember the happy moments shared with your partner.
You Get to Focus on What Matters.
Every day, from office, friends to family, a host of distractions try to shift your attention from your partner. Vacations give you a chance to step back from your daily life and discuss issues that get ignored in your busy schedule, indulge in an activity that your partner likes but doesn’t get to do, or just spend meaningful time while walking hand in hand.
As per the UTA study, 94% of the respondents who traveled as a couple cited feeling close to one another, compared to 86% who didn’t.
Therefore, holidays are an invaluable opportunity for you to get to know your lover all over again. But, it’s important that you get rid of all those distractions that compete for your attention during this time. So, silence your cell phones, ditch your fancy gadgets and focus 100% on your partner.
What’s stopping you?
In spite of the many benefits that holidays pose for relationships, couples hesitate when asked to go on a vacation. If any of the following reasons also stop you, it’s time you tried to solve them, yourself or with outside help.
- Couples feel guilty to take a vacation since it seems akin to shrugging off their responsibilities. If you too feel burdened with such misplaced guilt, understand that time away from everyone else won’t just rejuvenate your marriage, but also make you happier and contented.
- Couples quote financial issues as a deterrent to planning vacations. If that’s the case with you, talk with your partner and see if you can both chip in money and fund your holiday. Start saving travel funds so that you can go out, at least once a year. In the meantime, you can also plan a date night, like eating at a restaurant or going out for a movie and spend quality time without spending a lot of money.
- Some couples believe their relationship problems would aggravate on traveling. If that’s your case, it’s best to seek professional help to start sorting out your issues. For those, whose relationships are plagued with ego issues and misunderstandings, it’s wise to communicate with your partner and try to find the crux of your problems. If external factors like extramarital affairs or interference from in-laws are creating troubles, talking can still work but it’s best to get the help of a professional counselor.
What Happens when you skip Holidays?
In spite of having adequate resources, some husbands choose to ignore vacations as an excuse for wasting time and money. In case you share similar thoughts, the following studies will throw light on the repercussions of your choice.
The study by Project: Time off showed that those who didn’t go out on vacations doubled their risk of depression. It’s one of the reasons why housewives are more prone to depression, as, without outings, their monotonous lives start engendering feelings of sadness.
However, it’s not just wives that harm from a lack of vacation. As per a study, the busy city lives make people more prone to stress and ailments, like anxiety and mood disorders.
These psychological issues, which accumulate on a daily basis, often act as a trigger for divorce, as per a multinational report.
So, understand that a lack of vacation will not only lead to a plethora of mental issues but also cost you your relationship in the longer run.
Therefore, indulge in holidays once a while and enjoy the wonders it does to your love life.