As a couple/family you make your own family traditions. Your growing-up family (mom/dad) traditions certainly help set the table, but it is really your choice. So shake stuff up if you want to, and set your own traditions.
I’ll mention a few quick ones we’ve had very recently. First, we’ve established an annual “guys/girls” weekend with my son and daughter. We’ve done three of the last four years and it is really a time to let down the hair with the opposite sex and talk frankly (farts and butts mostly for me and Loudboy , but we talk about pretty girls, long hair, and balls too). Instead of staying fairly close this year, this weekend’s version of separate lives had Holly and BirdsNest taking a direct flight to Atlanta to stay with my wife’s best friend and maid of honor for a full 4 day weekend. Essentially a separate vacation. And it is ok.
If you haven’t taken a trip (work or otherwise) without your spouse, you are missing out. No, you’re not looking at travel shenanigans like movie Cedar Rapids , instead you’re getting away from routine. From the daily push/pull of life, one that even follows you on vacation. You are allowed to be yourself in your most naked way. Want to sleep until 11 am and eat pop-tarts for breakfast/lunch? Allowed. Want to get up at 6 am, workout, have your coffee with no ball busting for leaving the dryer on or garage door up or hairs in the sink/bathtub? Allowed.
You as non-partaker of said trip, you aren’t missing out. Your traveling partner is mostly just enjoying some alone time. Seriously.Even if you do what we do and split up sexes for a weekend. Everyone gets mostly what they want.
Daily life is often a weighted backpack, and when you can get away for awhile, you stretch out and come back lighter.
Last weekend I left for four days in Connecticut for a wedding, but mostly to get away with friends. One of my college roommates got married near a second former roommate from those times. While not much was accomplished during my visit beyond watching said wedding, it was great to take that backpack off, pick up on some past conversations, revisit the past, revisit our versions of the futures, and make fun of people.
That’s what separate vacations mean to us. Being able to be yourself, since despite our best intentions, many of us still compromise and give fucks to our spouse, instead of being more selfish. Cuz marriage is all about compromise. Separate vacations is all about being selfish for yourself and whoever joins you on this ‘trip’ (in my case, Loudboy and I stayed home this weekend and were not worried about things that weren’t in our wheelhouse like gardening or cleaning).
So if your wife wants to visit her sister, or your husband wants to steal away for a weekend away golfing and drinking with the guys for Fantasy Football weekend, it is Oh Kay. It is the time between those separate vacations that matter. Getting away provides a weak reboot on your relationship, but you have to take advantage and reset something small to take your sex life/sleep life/awake life/intimacy/friendship/whatever to an improved place. That time away really does help clear the smoke from the air and leaves a vacuum that can lead to some real conversation and growth. Great opportunity to say those words your spouse is likely thinking too “I love you, but I think we need more passion in our relationship.” (because every relationship of any length of time feels this way). It opens up discussions. That is good.
That to me is what individual vacations means. Not to deprive or really get away from your spouse,but to give space to breath and grow. A bigger, awesome vacation is always done with your wife or husband, in case anyone was wondering. It is those smaller weekend getaways that provide the space for a relationship to have some small crawlspaces and room to grow.
Now go be awesome!