Monday, June 13, 2011

Marriage Monday: Date Nights Are a Good Example (for the kids)

Guest blogging today is Julie de Azevedo Hanks, MSW, LCSW with a little Q & A.

Is date night too much to ask?

Q: My husband and I spend most weekend evenings attending our children’s sporting events and never go out on dates. He says it’s because he wants to make sure we’re there to support our kids during this short time window of time before they grow up, but I’m feeling increasingly resentful, hurt, and neglected by him. What should I do?

A: Modeling a strong marriage is the best gift you can give to your children -- even more important than attending every sporting event. While your husband’s dedication to fatherhood is admirable and likely part of why you love him, let him know that you long for more couple time with him. “Honey, I’d like to go on a date twice a month with you. When can we schedule that? I know it’ll be hard to miss a game here and there, but it’s really important to me” works better than complaining or criticizing. “We never go on dates anymore” or “The kids are more important to you than I am” will likely trigger your hubby’s defenses.

The safety, comfort, and stability of a strong marriage is a far better gift to your kids than attending every game. Attend your kid’s activities “more often than not” and let them know that when you do miss a game its because you are taking care of your marriage. Consider that your husband may have some hurts, fears, or longings about his own childhood that are playing out here. Gently ask him about his early experiences and see if he felt supported by his parents or if he has any regrets about sports or other areas.

Julie de Azevedo Hanks, MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist specializing in relationship counseling and women’s emotional health. In addition to owning Wasatch Family Therapy, she is a wife and mother of 4. For more relationship resources visit or

You can find my other Marriage Monday's here.

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