Don’t forget to have fun as a couple

By Cynthia MacDuff

Family Service Agency

When was the last time you, as a couple, set time aside for fun? Not family fun where the children pick the activities and parents end up watching a children’s film, but fun without sippy cups and children’s toys.

Many couples cannot remember the last time they did something fun just for the two of them and do not realize how important having fun is to their relationship.

When people are feeling positive emotions, they are better able to solve problems and feel more confident in their abilities to overcome challenges. Couples who have fun together feel more positive and better prepared for whatever life throws their way.

One of the focuses of Family Service Agency’s “Within Our Reach” class is to remind couples of the importance of fun and to help them address some of the reasons that get in the way of fun.

One of the biggest reasons that couples forget about having fun is the lack of time. Between work, household chores, helping children with homework, paying bills, and chauffeuring children, couples often feel like there is no time for anything else. In “Within Our Reach,” participants work together to come up with fun activities that are free or low-cost, and they hold each other accountable for making sure they set time aside for fun.

The other barrier to fun is the unintentional, or intentional, contamination of fun. Three ways that people can ruin the fun are guilt tripping a partner, putting down a partner, or bringing up unpleasant topics.

For example, while on their way to the movie theater a husband sees a billboard for a debt consolidation program. This reminds him that he and his wife are behind on several of their bills and he starts worrying out loud about how they are going to pay the bills and how they shouldn’t even be spending money on this outing.

The class can help identify ways that people ruin fun and how they can stop themselves from doing that in the future.

Remembering to make time for fun and protecting the fun time helps build a foundation for other topics that come later on in the course: enhancing communication skills, identifying personality differences and how to respect and appreciate personality differences, managing personal expectations, and identifying different love styles.

The class ends with the opportunity for participants to reflect on the commitment they have for their partners and their families.

For more information about “Within Our Reach” classes, call the Family Service Agency at 805-742-2951.

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