It started almost two years ago, when we were in a bad space with our marriage. I confided in a social worker colleague, who told me: “Go out to talk, every week, someplace outside of the house.” I tried to make excuses—babysitters were too hard to find. She would hear none of it. And so we began, tentatively and fearfully, to talk.
Ever since then, we’ve gone out for coffee (or tea) together once a week, with very few exceptions. At first, it was painful and there was a lot of serious stuff to discuss. We weren’t (still aren’t) allowed to hide or avoid anything important. Now it is a comfortable routine.
But it is more than that.
It is a treasured experience. It is testament to our commitment to being true partners for each other. Not every conversation we have is intense, or even terribly serious. But we find comfort in this outlet, its reliability. Howard has learned to speak his mind, I have learned to listen. We look forward to connecting like this, and we feel its impact throughout the rest of the week. I believe that my marriage is better now than it has ever been.
We plan to do this for the rest of our lives, health permitting. I would recommend it to any couple, even those doing well. There is a surprising richness and depth of feeling that comes out of such a simple act—talking for an hour, once per week, away from distractions.