12 Years And We Still Do

I can stay up late. Reeeaaaaal late. Being a night owl and dreamer, my brain takes forever to shut down. My wife Carrie on the other hand, she’s ready to slide into bed at 8pm (read 7:15, but you didn’t hear it from me). The girl needs her rest. I can function on 4 hours and be good to go. But early on we made a decision…

We’ll always go to bed at the same time.
And, it’s one of the best parts of our marriage.

Now I’m not saying you have to, but I want to share with you why it reinforces our marriage and is one of the many ways we stay healthy as a couple.

  1. We Keep A Routine Together. Brushing of the teeth, showers, getting the kids to bed, and then we hop in bed. During the routine we get to talk, decompress, share about the day, talk about what’s happening tomorrow that I’ve forgotten. It’s a time we know is to connect. We count on it.
  2. We Are Making The Other A Priority. Now you may be saying, “Jason, she’s gonna go to bed anyways! That isn’t fair to you, the night owl.” Well, you’d be wrong. One, it reminds me to serve my wife and show her I want to be where she is and near her. Two, I don’t fall asleep right away. While we go to bed together, I may read a book, catch up on email, message a few friends, scroll FB, whatever. The point is we know that after 12 years, being together at the end of the day is important.
  3. We Have To Face Whatever Is Going On. Now over the years a few times one or the other after a fight has decided to leave the room in frustration. But, almost always, we still go to bed together and it sets us up to deal with the problem and not just go to sleep angry. We still honor the space each needs to process, but we don’t get an immediate pass to hide from the problem. We go to bed together and naturally need to talk about it and release the tension in the air.
  4. We Show Our Kids We Value Our Marriage. The girls get to see that by being together, mommy and daddy value being husband and wife more. Now I know plenty of parents who say their kids are the center of their world. That can be disastrous once they leave the nest as adults. Because the example and climate you’ve set is that the kids mean more than your husband or wife. Carrie and I routinely will say to the girls “I love you all so much, but I love mommy/daddy more.” This isn’t mean, it’s healthy. It lets them know that our relationships was here before them and will be here after them. Also, it reminds our spouse that I value you before our kids and our marriage is vital to being healthy parents.
  5. We Have More Moments To Be Close. Now take that for what it’s worth (we do have three kids). But it’s not all about that. Carrie and I have time to let the other know how much we care about them as we doze off to sleep. It’s nice. Now, while I’m not super touchy feely, we both have to strive to show the other how we care through affection and going to bed at the same time sets the stage for that.

Now, that’s just a handful of reasons and it isn’t the foundation of why we continue in a healthy relationship, but it’s a part of it. I don’t stay up late in another room playing video games. She isn’t off grading papers by herself till the wee hours of the morning. Each evening we keep saying I do.

What’s the dynamic in your marriage?
Are you early to bed or late nights?
Go to sleep together or everyone drops when they choose to?
How is that working out for you and what would you change?