If you’re like most couples, you fell in love while doing fun things together. You went to concerts. You watched movies. You went on dates and laughed a lot. That’s something I remember about dating Karen how much fun we had. I believe every human being is at his or her best while having fun.
That’s how you fall in love and that’s how you stay in love. If your marriage is no longer fun, then it may be in danger.
Research from the psychologist Howard Markman has indicated that there’s a significant correlation between fun and marital happiness. In other words, the more you invest in fun and friendship, the happier your relationship becomes over time.
One statistic I saw is that cities with a Major League Baseball team have a 28 percent lower divorce rate than cities that don’t have a team. That may be because going to baseball games is fun! The more fun your city is, the better it is for your marriage.
Here are some other statistics I think you’ll find interesting:
In 1980, 53 percent of couples said they regularly visited friends. By 2000, that number had dropped to 34 percent.
In 1980, 62 percent of couples said they went out to pursue leisure activities. By 2000, that number had also dropped, to 44 percent.In 1980, 78 percent of couples always ate their main meal together. By 2000, that number had dropped to 66 percent.
Between those periods, while couples reduced the amount of things they did together, the world of technology grew by leaps and bounds. It added more convenience to our lives, but technology can harm relationships.
In fact, technology can destroy a relationship. How often do couples sit on the couch together, individually checking Facebook or texting a friend or playing a game? They can become so immersed in what’s happening on their phones that, while they may be in each other’s presence, they aren’t the least bit present with one another.
Technology is a great servant but it is a horrible master. Put down your phones when you get home. Sit down, face to face, and talk to each other. Sit at the dinner table together. Play games together. Go for a walk, go to a museum, or go for a drive. Schedule date nights with each other every chance you get.
Find fun activities that you can share together and prioritize those activities in your relationship. Do things that give you the opportunity to laugh and talk. Most of all, remember that having fun together is not an optional thing. It is critical to a healthy marriage.