this weekend a. and i spent the weekend in lake george on a marriage retreat. neither of us had ever been to lake george- and the sleepy town totally lived up to it's name. with the exception of our little group, there weren't too many people out exploring...so it was almost as though we had the village to ourselves. & considering that we were there to spend time re-connecting- it was the perfect backdrop for this weekend.
occasionally, the army offers a weekend marriage retreat. when a. first signed up for the military, we scoffed at this option- considering, he spent so much of his week around all things military why would we bring it into our weekend if we didn't have to. so for the first 5 years, we opted not to go. then, when a. was getting ready for his second deployment, he signed us up. basically, it was a free trip to niagara falls. why would we say no?
we had an outstanding time in niagara. the lessons learned were nice- but better yet, was the quality time we spend together and the thought-provoking conversations that followed after the workshops, made the trip so beneficial. so when we found out they were offering it again, we signed up in a heartbeat.
this year we were given and reviewed the book, the 5 love languages. i'd heard about the book before and was excited to dive in deeper. much to my dismay, we didn't review the book or challenge ourselves as much as i had hoped. to be honest, i left feeling a bit unfulfilled- and kinda jipped. you see, as a military couple (or any couple with a long-distance relationship), we spend a lot of time apart. between trainings and deployments i've known couples who have spent the better part of 2 years away from one another (that's a long time). and when you're not apart, you're living in a state of transition: adjusting to living with one another and prepping for the next deployment.
talk about stressful. luckily for us, we only had 4 years of that life- but other couples have an entire marriage and family built around that uncertainty. the 5 love languages is a great book with some very cool insight. but if you're a couple like a. and i who both share a primary love language of quality time- how do you implement that language into a long distance relationship? better yet, if you can't, what's the next step to leaving your partner fulfilled and your relationship strong?
we thought we had figured this out during a.'s first deployment. there were lot's of boxes and care packages and as many skype calls as the shoty internet would allow. the second deployment was harder and while the lines of communication were open- the time wasn't there. and try as we did- it was very, very hard to stay connected. so what do you do?
to be honest, i don't know. but i walked away from this weekend with a mission: to find the happy forever after. for everyone. you see, i love love. and i want everyone who falls in love and marries their one and only, to foster in a happy, strong and healthy relationship. it's possible. it won't be easy, but it has been done. and through a. and my trials and errors and lessons learned- i hope to share how.