While we hope that this article will be uplifting, we feel the need to be a little bold and share some personal thoughts about an issue that may be causing harm to your marriage.
What is it?
We want to talk about girls' nights out and guys' nights out
You know what we're talking about.
Girls' night out getting mani/pedi's and dinner.
Guys' night out watching the big game and eating nachos.
Girls' night out at a concert + ice cream.
Guys' night out going paintballing and eating burgers and fries.
Girls' trips shopping the weekend away and laying by the pool.
Guys' trips full of hunting, fishing and mountain biking.
These kinds of activities - though seemingly harmless - may be hurting your marriage
You heard us right; these kinds of activities may be hurting your marriage.
Why, you ask?
Well, let us explain.
You are all ears because you have at least a dozen reasons why all of the above activities are perfectly acceptable and should be encouraged, right? We get you! (We like friends, too!)
So, here is our explanation and the caveat behind this very personal pet peeve of ours:
When people are intentional about girls' and guys' nights out while forgetting to be intentional about date night, romantic getaways and time spent with their better half (aka, their spouse!), then those activities become harmful to their marriage.
Yes, Girls' and Guys' nights out can harm your marriage when they take priority over time spent with your spouse - your #1. Simply stated, it isn't good for marriages when friends take priority over spouses.
Catch our drift?
So, let's be clear. We're not talking about a night out with the girls or the guys being inherently bad (because they aren't), we're talking about priorities.
Yes, our message is all about priorities.
If you look at your schedule and know next month you have a big trip with your friend, awesome. But please, please, please, make sure you also have a trip scheduled with your spouse in the near future.
If you want to do lunch with your girlfriend, great. But please, please, please, make sure you also have a lunch date scheduled with your spouse this week.
You may have the best intentions at heart, but your calendar shares obvious clues about who matters most to you.
We are all busy. We have a lot of demands on our time. So when people spend time and money on girls' nights out and guys' weekends away, all while letting their marriages wilt and die from a lack of intentionality, you had better bet we're going to speak up.
Now, if you are intentional about prioritizing your marriage above your friends (which you probably are) then just ignore this article and give yourself a pat on the back! Also, you are right..anything could replace a girls'/guys' night out here: running, video games, work, shopping, etc. This is a message about prioritizing your spouse, not about why an evening out with friends is bad.
So, please note that we are not against time spent with the gals or guys. At all. We just want to encourage you to be intentional about the following two priorities first:
Be intentional about date nights with your spouse. Date nights should get your best ideas and the best slot in your calendar. Here are 100 date ideas to help you.
Be intentional about planning fun romantic getaway trips with your spouse. Read this article to help you remember why you and your spouse need a getaway.
Yes, we are encouraging - even inviting - you to prioritize your spouse this week. Give him or her your very best time and your very best self.
We're confident that if you prioritize your spouse, there will be plenty of time left over for a few much-needed outings with friends. You will find that by nurturing your marriage, your marriage will be stronger. You will feel closer to your spouse and find that happily ever after.
Aaron & April are the founders of Nurturing Marriage, a website dedicated to strengthening marriages. They enjoy playing football with their two little boys, watching sports, eating cereal late at night, and going out for frozen yogurt.