We just celebrated our 24th anniversary and spontaneously decided to escape for 24 hours. We left midday Saturday after hearing a friend deliver a speech and returned in time to have dinner with other friends. I would call it a conjugal sandwich, but that would get me in trouble; so let’s say a marital adventure. We actually reenacted something we did before kids, take a ride for a couple hours and stay in a B&B. This was the first time we experienced this empty nester rite of passage. When the second child left our veteran friends told us you relive your pre-child lives, this was our first real try. Since we lived in NYC our first 18 months we periodically chose to wander out to the hinterlands. These trips were more exploratory and offered quality time to develop our relationship.
The trip two decades later was different. There was no agenda or itinerary. When we would take off during our newlyweddish years we were still learning one another’s likes. There was an unspoken concern about whether the other will enjoy this activity? Can we antique together? In which stores should we dawdle before boredom sets in? Is a hike a good idea? Where should we eat? Now, it easily flowed. We did her things and his things and most became our things. We know what each other likes and tolerates. Neither was measuring if this was more what I wanted or she wanted. The best part was there wasn’t any pressure or tension. When the special dinner restaurant we chose ended up being disappointing in both selection and quality it didn’t both either of us. We knew with 100% confidence it would not matter to our spouse either. On this day in our lives we achieved real relaxation and simply enjoying being together, not worrying what we did. We had confidence we would make the right decisions for the two of us. We can see how far we have come in 24 years.