How to use a Roadtrip to Strengthen Your Marriage | Enduring All Things

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

How to use a Roadtrip to Strengthen Your Marriage

Pearson and I are leaving on Thursday to drive "home" for a friend's wedding. We have about a 10 hour drive each way and I couldn't be more excited! No, that is not sarcasm.

I absolutely love road tripping with my love. There's just something about being "stuck" in a car with him for hours on end. I've talked about it on the blog before but it's honestly one of my favorite things!

With that said, I can see how it might not be so fun for some people. I mean, road trips in general might not be fun for some people and it can be difficult to not get angry with your spouse when you're stuck together for that long and you're already irritable from driving forever.

So I thought I'd share some tips to make the most of your next road trip. And who knows, you may just strengthen your marriage through the process!

ONE || Sing at the top of your lungs

Pearson and are are both very musical people. We like music. We like to sing. We like to play. Or at least he does. So that's definitely a way we connect. We usually spend some time putting together a perfect playlist before a big road trip. Those lists always consist of old songs from our childhoods or our dating days, songs from our wedding, new favorites, and even worship hymns! Sometimes we belt it out. Ok, most times we belt it out. Sometimes we stay quiet and listen to the lyrics if they really mean something to us. And usually, we end up talking about memories and feelings that the songs bring up. It's such a great way to connect and it can be just super fun and silly too!

TWO || Play road trip games

Mine and Pearson's favorite is "The Celebrity Game." One of us names a celebrity who's first name starts with "A" and from there the other person has to name a celebrity who's first name starts with the first letter of the previous person's last name. For example: Adam Sandler, Sandra Bullock, Britney Spears. You get the idea. You can't repeat any and you both have to know who the celebrity is, so no obscure scientists (cough:: Pearson:: cough). If someone gets stumped, they lose!

There are plenty of other games: "The License Plate Game" where you see how many states you can get on your trip, "20 Questions," different versions of "The Farm Game."

Buzzfeed has a good list here. The Dating Divas have this cute Road Trip in a Box (aff) for the whole family for $4.97. And the have a totally FREE Road Trip Date for couples!

TREE || Read a book together 

Pearson and I discovered this little road trip hack a couple years ago on the way to his Grandma's for Thanksgiving. I had picked up a fun and light "road trip read," as I like to call them, and I decided to start reading it out loud while Pearson was driving. Before we knew it we were both hooked and Pearson continued reading while I took over driving. We finished the book (Black Widow; Forever Red by Margaret Stohl, if you're interested -aff) on the way down there and I loved talking about it together and just sharing it with him.

Another way to do this would be to listen to audio books. Audible is of course a great option but you can usually find some good, free audiobooks in podcast form or on YouTube. And of course, your local library should have plenty.

You could do this with fiction like we did or with anything else! Read scriptures aloud to each other. Or listen to the Bible through the YouVersion app. Or maybe read a devotional together on your trip. The possibilities are endless!

FOUR || "Plan" your future 

If you're moving soon or have another big life change coming, like us, talk about that. What you want to do in your next home. What you want your future house to look like. What you hope your kids look like. This kind of planning might not be so much "planning" as it is "dreaming" but sometimes that's more fun.

If you're not in that kind of situation, maybe plan or dream about your next vacation. Or your next big project. Just enjoy that time to daydream with your spouse.

FIVE || Reminisce on your past

This is kind of the opposite of the last one, but also super fun! One thing we like to do is go through our Facebook profiles. Or at least our Facebook pictures. I like seeing old pictures and talking about the events and the people in them. Those conversations usually lead to more and we end up laughing a lot and remembering good times in high school and college.

Another fun way to do this would be to bring your wedding album along (or look at the digital pictures on your phone). Laugh about the mishaps and relive the good times. You could even read your vows and talk about them.

Another thing that always makes me nostalgic is music. As I talked about in my first tip, I love listening to a song from the past and reliving all the memories it brings back!]

And lastly, especially if you're driving "home" or to your alma mater or somewhere else from your past, you may pass things along the way that bring back memories. Dwell on those and talk about them. I love connecting with Pearson in this way.

SIX || Use conversation tools

Another one of my favorite things to do on a road trip (or anytime, really) is to use tools like "getting to know you questions" and other conversation starter topics. I used to be really embarassed to use tools like this because I thought it meant Pearson and I had run out of things to talk about. But that's not the case at all. These just help start meaningful conversations you might not think to have otherwise. No shame!

Leave it to The Dating Divas to come up with the perfect little Conversation Starter Cards (aff) all cute and ready to print and take with you in the car! They're split into five categories; Intimacy, Finances, Quality Time, Romance, and Family. If you don't want to spend the $6.97 and could do with a less in depth list of questions, you can find plenty on the internet. Here's a good one from The Idea Room and I actually wrote a list as a guest post a couple years ago.

Another option could be these "Roadtrip Table Topics" cards I got in the July/August Couple's Getaway Box. They gave me their current box for free to review and I'm super excited to take these cards on the road on Thursday and try them out!

SEVEN || Use the time to "check in"

Last year I created and shared a Couple's Check-In Cheat Sheet to use in weekly "check-in" meetings. I'll admit, we don't always do our check-in meetings every week but we try to talk about some of the things on the cheat sheet often even if we don't have a formal sit down meeting. A road trip would be the perfect time! A Couple Check-In is simply a time to come together as a couple and talk about your plans and expectations for the week as well as where you are in your relationship. Some of the questions include:
  • What did I do this week as a spouse that you appreciated?
  • What could I have done better?
  • What are you looking forward to this week?
  • If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
  • And many more!
All you have to do to get your free cheat sheet is sign up for my newsletter right here! You can read more about the cheat sheet and my newsletter here.

EIGHT || Take a personality quiz

I really like taking different personality quizzes. Or even taking the same one again every few years. I don't necessarily think people can be completely sorted into catch-all categories, but I think there is a lot to be learned about oneself and one's partner and friends when you look at the results.

Pearson and I are completely the opposite on every personality test we've taken. For Myers-Briggs, he is an ENTP and I'm an ISFJ. See, perfectly opposite on every letter! With Gretchen Rubin's Habits Quiz, Pearson is a "rebel" with a few of "questioner" tendencies and I'm an "obliger" with a few "upholder" tendencies (HINT: There are only those 4 options).

So take a personality quiz either before you leave or the passenger can do it in the car for both of you. Then discuss your results. Were they surprising for either of you? What do they mean? How are you different? How are you similar?

Or better yet, take the love language quiz! It's like a personality quiz but specifically for how you give and receive love! The last time we took this quiz, my primary language was "Quality Time" and Pearson's was "Words of Affirmation."

NINE || Just drive around

If you can't get away for a road trip right now, I highly recommend just driving around or going somewhere an hour or so away for the afternoon. Often times, a change of scenery is very refreshing and helps clear the mind for better conversation and connection. Also, it's sometimes easier to have deep conversations if you're doing something else at the same time rather than sitting across a table or couch from each other and looking each other in the eye. I don't mean doing something else distracting like playing on your phone, but rather something pretty mindless like driving or walking.

So take a picnic to a random park about an hour or so outside of town. Enjoy the scenery and each other's company for a mini "road trip."

TEN || Checkout Couples Getaway Box

*I received the July/August box free in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.
Take a look at the next Couple's Getaway Box! Couples Getaway Box is a the subscription box that inspires romantic getaways and date nights for married couples. They send out a box every two months and each box's them is a different trip. The one they sent me this time featured a trip from Miami to Key West!
So that means, if you can take a beautiful road trip from Miami to Key West, they've given you an itinerary with their favorite places to eat and stay along the way! If you can't take that road trip, the box is still super fun! They've included several products inspired by the trip!
In this box, I got some super yummy cute little Key (West) Lime cookies. These were absolutely delicious! They also included some Guava Preserves, a Key West Soap Company bath bomb, a fun print, and the Road Trip Table Topics I mentioned earlier.
What's the best part of this whole box? You can use code ENDURING15 to get 15% off when you sign up for your first bi-monthly box right here!!

So I'm really looking forward to our trip this weekend. We're going to enjoy the ride with our table topics, celebrity game, and check-in cheat sheet! It's going to be a quick trip to see family and friends and we'll get to see a beautiful childhood friend marry her other half!

Do you enjoy road trips with your hubby?
What's your favorite thing to do on a road trip?
Thanks for reading!

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38 comments:

  1. I can't remember the last time I had a roadtrip without the kids LOL. Once they are a little older, I would love to reconnect with my hubby over a road trip.

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  2. I love road trips, but unfortunately I'm the whiniest, moaniest person I know while traveling (perfectly fun otherwise). All that because I feel unwell in a car and take out my frustration on my husband. He, on the other hand, loves to travel with me... go figure. He just remembers the positive things, he says... I don't know how though... I even hate to travel with myself!

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  3. haha yeah kids would make it a little harder but you could certainly implement some of these with the whole family!

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  4. I really like the idea of the conversation starters. Admittedly, we usually read individually or look at our phones when the other one is driving. This has inspired me to try to be more interactive in our upcoming trip!

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  5. Oh I love road trips! I don't take them enough! I am loving that box that you shared. What a great idea! I love keeping things fun and exciting and that is a great tool to help! I will check that out and then start planning our next road trip! :)

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  6. Love the ideas! Our family is at minimum 3 hours away so there's always down time when we travel to visit. I especially love the conversation starters; it's so true when they say it's hard to not talk about kids when you have them- you get left with dead air. Definitely going to give that a try.

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  7. This is such a cool idea and honestly think it even applies to any relationship. I love road trips they are so much fun, the music, the snacks and having to think of things to talk for a while.

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  8. Road trips can be so much fun! I think that box looks like it would be so much fun! I need to look into getting one for mysefl

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  9. I love playing games in the car. when my kids were young, we had the best conversations in the car.

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  10. We do a lot of road trips. I have learned that the driver needs conversation so don't sleep! That's really hard for me to do! :)

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  11. I do enjoy road trips, however we don't do them often enough. I can see where it would be a great bonding time!

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  12. We've done many road trips together and they really do make us a stronger couple. Great post!

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  13. That's a great idea! Every summer my husband and I drive to Florida and it's a great way to just spend time together and catch up! Road trips are definitely a great idea to strengthen your relationship with your spouse.

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  14. That's such a fun tradition! Yeah I always feel refreshed and reconnected after a road trip.

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  15. It's one of our favorite things! We try to do little ones here and there even when we don't have big ones planned.

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  16. Exactly! I wasn't feeling well on the way home this weekend and it was really hard to stay awake and talk!

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  17. Yes! For some reason that always seems to be the place to have the best conversations. haha I can remember that even from when I was little myself!

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  18. Yes I was definitely pleasantly surprised by the box!

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  19. Yes! Any relationship! Child-parent, siblings, friends! I love road trips! haha

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  20. Yes! Kids and other responsibilities are certainly important to talk about but it's good to take a break from that too!

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  21. Yes isn't it a fun box? I loved how unique the theme was. There are a lot of date box subscriptions out there but I thought the travel one was a fun twist.

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  22. Oh I've certainly been guilty of that. To be honest, when your trips are 10+ hours, it's hard not to do that at some point. Not to mention my husband is currently writing his dissertation so he actually worked on that for a while in the car this weekend while I drove. But we made sure to spend some time connecting too.

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  23. This is a great idea!!! Road trips are the BEST!

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  24. Reesa LewandowskiJuly 28, 2017 at 11:04 AM

    These are wonderful ideas. I love that box! It's nice to get away sometimes and be forced to spend quality time together.

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  25. Dan and I mostly listen to an audiobook when we have a road trip. We've listened to two Star Wars books, plus a book on the US Supreme Court, written and narrated by Sandra Day O'Connor.

    On shorter trips, like to visit my dad, we listen to music or we talk. That's when we talk about our future and our dreams, especially where we want to travel in the next year.

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  26. It's certainly one of my favorite things to do with the hubby!

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  27. Yeah I'm thinking we'll probably get an audible account when we get closer to the holidays and our move.

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  28. Also, I forgot to tell you there's a typo. I think TREE should be THREE ;)

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  29. All of these are wonderful ideas. My husband won't even turn the radio on until we've talked until we can't talk anymore (which hardly ever happens even though we're together 24/7.) Road trips are wonderful ways to keep a marriage alive and thriving.

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  30. Wow I hope we can do this again. These are awesome tips and I absolutely agree on this especially the reminiscing part and checking in haha.

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  31. I can attest to this one! My husband has always been sweeter and more affectionate after a road trip together. It's really a good chance to just be together and have fun.

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  32. Rachel CatherineJuly 30, 2017 at 6:57 PM

    I would love to do this, just get in the car and drive somewhere and stop at any place along the way that we find interesting.

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