This past week, Silvio and I had a wonderful romantic get-away at our honeymoon cottage (read about it here). And it has made such a beautiful difference in our marriage. We love each other always; but now we have such a fresh love. I’ve been reflecting on how important it is to take retreats like this often. Even in a thriving marriage, you still need maintenance and work–but you also need rest and rejuvenation.
While I was waiting for Silvio to wake up one day, I picked up The Five Love Languages. Silvio and I have always known each others’ love languages, but even in my efforts to love him in the ways he feels loved, I find my actions becoming stagnant. You just do something so often you start to go through the motions. But there with him in that place our love reached a new level after our wedding, I felt inspired to renew my love for him. I asked him how I could love him better, he asked me how he could love me better. We didn’t really have any answers. But just talking reminded us what each other needs.
My love languages are first of all quality time, but service and gifts are tied pretty highly for second. Silvio set out on a mission to make the week all about loving me. The first place we went out to eat he bought me earrings and candles from the gift shop. He spent time with me by playing many games with me, taking me on dates, listening to me, pushing me on the swing over the pond, and cuddling with me in the hammock. He served me by getting me ice cream at a place that’s been special to me my whole life, cleaning up the whole cottage before we left, rubbing my back, and then doing the dishes and cleaning the bathroom as soon as we got home. He saw some books while we were out to eat on the last day and he bought them for me because he wanted to give me a gift.
I am still overwhelmed with the love I feel from him, and as a consequence, the extra love I feel for him. And all I want is to shower him with just as much love. And when you’re constantly trying to outdo one another in love, it never ends and there is so much love.
Our relationship has always been like this. But having a retreat to give it new life has been so needed and so life giving. It is so important for relationships and also for just thriving as a human being. It doesn’t have to be complicated. We just need to take the time to enjoy the beauty of who our loved ones are and to focus on them. It transforms life from one more day to something to be so excited about. We need this often. And it is so worth it.