Dr. Aline Zoldbrod is a well-known Boston-based licensed psychologist, individual and couples therapist, and an AASECT certified sex therapist. She is the author of three commercially published books about sexuality and relationships. Her book, SexSmart: How Your Childhood Shaped Your Sexual Life and What to Do About It has been translated into four languages and was recognized as one of the top three sex-help books of the year. She is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Michigan Sexual Health Certificate Program. You can find her at sexsmart.com.
Tags: marriage | travel | relationship | counseling

Vacations Can Help Marriage

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Wednesday, 21 February 2018 04:16 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Life is so hectic these days that it’s hard for couples to stay emotionally connected. Between work responsibilities, cooking, cleaning, childcare (if there are kids), trying to fit in exercise, and the pull of Facebook and virtual life, it’s easy for settled relationships to begin to feel rote and empty.

Even for couples who do set up a date night routine, the dinner and movie formula just doesn’t provide much glue or zest. Boring? Often, it is.

Most of the couples I see who have children feel guilty taking a trip as a pair, even if they can financially afford it and have the possibility of good childcare. That’s too bad, because travelling together actually can make the heart grow fonder.

Happiness researcher Dr. Jaime Kurtz, author of the book “The Happy Traveler: Unpacking the Secrets of Better Vacations,” has looked at the literature on how travel enhances feelings of romance between partners.

She reports on research that finds that among couples who have gone on a cruise together, 80 percent came home feeling more connected, and 67% felt more “ in love.”

As Dr. Kurtz points out (and we all know), just taking a break from relentless, nagging duties like work emails, pleasing a boss, writing reports, laundry, cooking, and cleaning up can make anyone feel calmer and happier. It’s a relief just to get out of your own house and not be reminded of your pile of work files, mail, and all of the things you meant to do that are still undone.

If each of you has this kind of a breather, you are more likely to come to each other in a happier state. Plus, you just have much more time together than you do in regular life.

So if that time is good, it makes for closer feelings that can lead to more intimacy.

And don’t think it only works if you go away for two weeks in Italy. You can get a lot of the same result from making arrangements to be alone together for just a few days. A simple change of scenery, unusual activities, uncluttered room, and change from routine drudgery can spell romance.

But it won’t work under several conditions:

• It won’t work for couples who don’t travel well together under the best of circumstances. For instance, couples whose relaxation interests never overlap (one likes the sun, the other hates it; one likes museums and detests exercise; the other abhors museums and only likes action/adventure vacations).

• It won’t work if a couple is actually feeling hostile toward each other. It only works for people who love each other but who have gotten disconnected. In fact, when couples who used to travel well together try to reconnect, go on a trip, and wind up being consistently hostile and mean to each other while in exciting or unusual destinations, it is often an indication to me that the relationship may be on its last legs.

If you need a kick in the pants to stop postponing a romantic vacation, I do recommend Dr Kurtz’s book. Your relationship will thank you for it.

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AlineZoldbrod
Most of the couples I see who have children feel guilty taking a trip as a pair, even if they can financially afford it and have the possibility of good childcare.
marriage, travel, relationship, counseling
521
2018-16-21
Wednesday, 21 February 2018 04:16 PM
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