Intentional Dating In Marriage

Our lives have always been pretty crazy! I can’t really recall a “chill” season for Ben and I! We got married after dating for 6 months and a 7 month long engagement.  We then got pregnant 2 months after being married with Ava! I have always worked as a nurse with a pretty crazy schedule to try and accommodate our lives as parents. This often meant passing ships for Ben and I.  We almost always have someone living with us and renting a room, still do to this day!! It is a full house.  On top of that, family comes in from overseas and across the country to stay with us from time to time throughout the year to see us and the babies! All of this we thoroughly enjoy… just painting a little picture!

dating-in-marriage- Ben and Ruthie

dating-in-marriage- Ben Ridley

dating-in-marriage- kisses

Recently, Ben has gone back to school which means he is at school 2 solid days per week, working 3 twelve hour shifts and on his 2 days “off” he is on kids and studying! EEEK!!! I wont go in to my schedule because it is just as insane! However, you get the idea! Because of our lives as working parents and having a list of other responsibilities, we have decided that we needed to schedule time to be with each other once per week, even if it is just for 30 minutes.  Going on a fancy date isn’t always feasible due to time constraints, babysitting and cost, but we make sure we get alone time where we focus on connecting and catching up with all the little details of each other’s lives once a week.

dating-in-marriage- dance with me

dating-in-marriage- bearded man

So far it has worked out to be on Tuesday’s because that is Ben’s day off from school and work.  We have found after nearly 9 years of marriage, that communication is the glue that keeps us unified and on the same page.  We have different communication styles and needs, but we have learned how to listen and how to talk to one another.  We have not mastered our communication, by any means but I feel like we have come a very long way!

dating-in-marriage- kiss me

I always feel so refreshed, realigned and re-centered after Ben and  I talk and navigate through different issues and topics.  He has become a strong gauge for what is right and wrong for me with decision making.  He is one of the wisest people I know.  I have come to rely heavily on him for life advice and direction.  Our weekly dates have become a time where we talk through issues, get perspective and come up with strategy for our lives.  This is everything to me! I am really thankful for this man.

dating-in-marriage- look into my eyes

It is important for Ben and I to show the kids that time alone for mom and dad is imperative for us to be better parents.  They miss us when we are not present but have come to understand the importance of date night.  I have watched a few couples that are a bit older than us date one another well.  They are consistent, protective of their time together and appear joyful and strong in their relationship.  I am determined to have a successful marriage for as long as we live, by the grace of God.  I believe intentionally making time for one another outside of the chaos of home and work is a huge key to this success.  Be on the look out for some date night ideas in the next week or so!!! Thank you as always for stopping by the blog!!

 

Much love,

My dress is from Karina Dresses! Enter the giveaway below to win a dress of your own!!

 

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All photos by Sarah Schweyer

41 Comments

  1. Nia Owens February 1, 2017 / 6:27 am

    Ruthie!

    I love this post! I had no idea about your back-story, so it’s nice to learn a little more about you and your family. I can’t believe you got engaged after 6 months and married after 7!!! I have/had over a year to plan my wedding and I’m going crazy over here! Also, when we got Theo (our puppy), I was like, no kids for like … a REALLY long time! Hahaha. Anyway! You guys look so graceful amidst your busy-scheduled lives. Beautiful photos!

    Nia

  2. Alicia February 1, 2017 / 7:47 am

    I love this post! The photos are so sweet and radiate with love and the message is so important!

  3. Ashley DTKAustin February 1, 2017 / 8:18 am

    This is perfect. I think a lot of couples get caught up in work, life, kids, etc. and forget to set time aside for each other. This is such a great post!

  4. Stefanie February 1, 2017 / 9:10 am

    My husband and I do date nights once a week as well. They aren’t always out- but they are a conscious choice to spend time with each other and no distractions.
    -Stefanie
    http://www.thestylesafari.com

  5. Ivelisse February 1, 2017 / 11:02 am

    So sweet! I know it is superrr important in a marriage not to lose that spark that comes with dating. The hubby and I would have been dating for 3 years the month after we got married and people still looked at us like we were cray cray lol You too look so adorable!

    Love,
    Ivelisse | CarnationDreams.com

  6. Bria | Tendril Wild Blog February 1, 2017 / 3:17 pm

    I love hearing and reading stories like this. It seems like I hear about people breaking up way too often, and it’s discouraging (I’m single, by the way). But your story and commitment to one another is so inspiring and authentic. It’s just what is needed in our society! 🙂

    Just followed you so I can keep up with your work – love it!

    Tendril Wild

  7. Annie February 1, 2017 / 4:32 pm

    These pictures are adorable! You are right about communication..so important!!

  8. kristen February 1, 2017 / 5:33 pm

    I love this! It’s amazing how life can just start to go with the flow and before you realize it, you haven’t had alone time with your spouse in a while! This is such a great reminder to consistently date your husband! I love it.

  9. Desiree February 1, 2017 / 8:39 pm

    Omg you two are just the cutest!
    This post is so awesome, its really important to make time for the two of you, especially when you have children!

  10. Abby February 2, 2017 / 1:09 am

    I am amazed that you’re still able to keep up with this blog. Then again, I also surprise myself some days how i am able to do the same. We do that too – intentional dating. We set aside days each week to spend quality moments together 🙂

    Abby of Life in the Fash Lane

  11. Ashley Stephenson February 2, 2017 / 5:15 am

    This is such a sweet post! It is really important to have alone time together – even though you may be together sometimes with the kids it isn’t the same! Loved reading a little bit about your family.

  12. Nicole Leffew February 2, 2017 / 6:29 am

    Ruthie you two are the cutest! I love your shoes here! Life gets so busy and a lot of people forget about what’s important. I love that you guys make time for each other. I think time is the best gift you can give someone 🙂

  13. Kimberly Lewis February 2, 2017 / 6:34 am

    You guys are so cute! I agree you need to keep dating your sweetie and making a big deal about it!

  14. Belle February 2, 2017 / 9:03 am

    Love this post so much! You two are so cute! Dating in marriage is very important!

    Belle | One Awesome Momma

  15. Erica @ Coming Up Roses February 2, 2017 / 10:35 am

    Ruthie, I could not love this more. You’re so spot on on the importance of intentional dating…my hubby and I have to constantly remind ourselves of it because you’re right, there is no chill!!! You and Ben are a BEAUTIFUL couple with a BEAUTIFUL family and I look up to your wisdom.

    Coming Up Roses

  16. Rachel G February 2, 2017 / 2:29 pm

    You guys are so adorable together! It is so important to make time for that intentional conversation and quality time together. Some extra-busy seasons last longer than others, but as long as we remember to cherish the most important people in our lives through those seasons, it’ll be doable.

  17. Bev February 2, 2017 / 3:07 pm

    Could you two be any more adorable. When my husband and I got married our priest would always say “Do not forget to date each other” and we thought he was crazy. But now that we are expecting our first baby I realize that we will have to make time for each other between our jobs. Such a great post. Love!

  18. Allison February 2, 2017 / 7:53 pm

    I love this! Dating in marriage is so important. Your outfits are awesome!

  19. taylorannes95 February 3, 2017 / 7:37 am

    first of all — you two are the cutest things I’ve ever seen. Second — I agree with all of these. My husband and I are very intentional in our dating too!

  20. Meggan February 3, 2017 / 9:01 am

    You two are so cute – loved reading this post. My fiance and I moved fast too 🙂

  21. Jaime Cittadino February 4, 2017 / 4:05 pm

    I can’t tell you how much I LOVE this post and learning more about you two!! Your family is beyond beautiful, both inside and out!! XO

  22. kage2015 February 4, 2017 / 6:07 pm

    We have been having date nights for 34 years. Keep it going, very important for just your and your husband to spend time with each other. Now go have fun.

  23. Christina February 4, 2017 / 8:45 pm

    Yes! I love everything about this! Dating in marriage is so important and it is definitely setting a great example for your children. My husband and I have started to make this commitment now after 6 years of marriage and 2 kids and my only regret is that we didn’t do it sooner!

  24. Adrienne A. Brown February 5, 2017 / 4:45 pm

    Oh my goodness, such a beautiful post. I wish more married people would use this advice, it is so important. My husband and I take every Friday to connect, it has been our save since we have been married. Thanks for this post.

  25. Rachel Ritlop February 6, 2017 / 6:12 am

    Awe loved this post! such great ideas and so beautiful!

  26. Cynthia @craftoflaughter February 6, 2017 / 7:21 am

    Dating your partner is so important and we count on those dates! We also encourage our grown children to continue dating their spouses. Great advice. BTW, I was unable to enter the giveaway

  27. Raluca @ Playful Notes February 6, 2017 / 8:10 am

    I love your post and the pictures! I totally agree that dating is great for a married couple especially after having kids! I try to make time weekly for a date with my husband, even if it is at home.

  28. Dawn | Mama Harris' Kitchen February 6, 2017 / 10:12 pm

    You two are such a beautiful couple! I love your dress and your overall style together. It’s important to reconnect, even through busy schedules, work and family and it’s great to see that you guys make that effort to stay in tune to one another!

  29. Dashing Darlin' February 8, 2017 / 7:20 am

    OH MY!! Love y’all…. and yes, dating and quality is a must.. and I am loving these pictures of you two. It shows so much of your personalities!!

    xoxo,
    Angelle
    http://www.dashingdarlin.com

  30. Alicia February 8, 2017 / 4:52 pm

    I couldn’t agree more girl – communication is the glue! You guys sound like you’re juggling 5,000 balls but you also sound like you’ve got things under control! I take my hat off to you girl! AND managing a blog on top of that. You’re superwoman!!

  31. Joscelyn February 9, 2017 / 5:20 am

    Such a good idea! My hubby and I are also very busy, but making time weekly to spend some quality alone time is so important. I really need to start blocking off some time, otherwise the business just consumes us!

  32. Ro February 9, 2017 / 9:12 am

    Thank you for sharing! My husband, Han, and I are newlyweds and I recently discovered your blog on Instagram and that you’re a believer! I LOVED this post and although we definitely don’t have as an intense schedule as you both, when my husband was working at a particular job – often not coming home until 9 o clock because of the nature of his job, we ran into a similar problem. It’s so important to make time for each other and I believe in that time we learned to be creative and not take our time together for granted. I love this!

  33. Vicki February 25, 2017 / 5:27 pm

    Always a good job right here. Keep rolling on thhurgo.

  34. Gabrielle February 25, 2017 / 7:52 pm

    Gee wilrekils, that’s such a great post!

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