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We live in a day and time where the value of marriage in our society has diminished. The success of the marriage relationship seems to be a hit or miss, with divorce rates soaring over 50% for first-time marriages.
For second marriages, the marriages dissolve at a 67% rate, and 73% for third-time marriages.
There are so many ebbs and flows to any relationship. In the ebbs, it seems that marriage partners struggle through the ever-changing transitions of life.
The relationship dynamics fluctuate as we experience changes within our careers, added responsibility of children, family situations, financial hardships and even when one spouse is overcoming critical illnesses.
Unfortunately, to cope with these difficulties, many have turned to people and resources outside the marriage rather than turning to their partner to navigate the storms of life together.
So don’t disregard the warning signs that things aren’t up to par.
However, remember the beauty of marriage is that it’s a beautiful partnership between two powerful individuals who can be a force to reckon with when they’re on the same page. How we navigate the ebbs in marriage can determine the flows.
Enter the 2 2 2 rule, a concept that many spouses have found helpful to go through the rough terrains and find calmer pastures…. a place where you can meet your partner's physical and emotional needs.
It also helps to strengthen the marriage and has even been known to save marriages on the brink of divorce.
What is the 2-2-2 Rule?
The 2 2 2 rule is an idea that was initially introduced on a Reddit thread. The concept is simple. Married couples would go on a date night every two weeks. They would also go on a weekend getaway every two months and take a weeklong vacation every two years.
The relationship strengthens when a couple plans and prioritizes spending quality time together.
Step 1: Date Night Every Two Weeks
The first concept of going on a date night every two weeks keeps the relationship fresh. First, you will need to leave the kiddos at home or with a sitter.
Then, the two of you will dress up for a night on the town. Treating it as an actual date is essential, as you would have before the two of you got married.
Also, guys, don't forget to get her some flowers and/or chocolates.
Remember, the date doesn’t have to be overly expensive, but it should be thoughtful and well-planned so that it doesn't become a stale and routine thing.
One date night may be a night out at a fancy restaurant. Another may be packing food and driving to the country for a picnic under the stars.
You could also consider catching a movie after dinner, taking a late-night carriage ride, or an outdoor concert featuring your favorite band.
Step 2: A Weekend Getaway Every Two Months
The second concept is to make weekend getaways every two months.
Again, as you plan together, you will find joy and excitement as you venture out to your favorite landmarks, hiking trails, or restaurants.
Improve your communication as the two of you discuss the details of the trips ahead of time and walk together in compromise as you cater to each other’s preferences.
Then go out and enjoy one another as you take the scenic route to a unique bed and breakfast location, take a quick trip to the beach for relaxation, or visit a romantic couple's spas and resort.
Step 3: A Weeklong Vacation Every Two Years
The third concept is for couples to plan a weeklong vacation every two years. And no, this doesn't include a trip to the in-law's house. This trip is for just the two of you. No kids are allowed on this trip, either.
Not only will you enjoy each other's company more, but you will also begin to make spending quality time together a significant priority.
Taking a weeklong romantic vacation together every two years gives you time to save up to make your time together extra special.
Couples have been known to rent a condo on the beach in Hawaii, go on a cruise, fly out to Las Vegas, go on a mountain retreat, or go on a hiking excursion.
The first weeklong trip of my marriage was a more modest one on a limited budget. So we had to be more creative when planning fun activities together (creativity is something you never want to lose). Our first weeklong vacation was a road trip.
We mapped out a large circle route and planned towns we desired to visit and sights we wanted to see along the way. When we came home, we were much closer, and the romance was off the charts.
Extravagant romantic gestures are lovely but aren't necessary to keep your marriage happy. The 2 2 2 rule helps to develop a pattern of thoughtfulness, care, and consistency within your relationship.
I want to encourage you to follow this pattern or change it up for what works best for you. The key is to make regular time for each other to help your relationship keep its spark.
You may have a spouse who works out of town often, and your time together is scarce. In that case, it's essential that you still plan those date nights, weekend getaways, and weeklong vacations to keep your bond strong.
The person you're married to should represent a safe space for you to be vulnerable. A space where you can let your guard down and find peace, safety, and tranquility.
Within a healthy marriage relationship, your spouse is like a piece of heaven on earth. No, they’re not perfect.
None of us are, but when significant priority is placed on quality time together, it's as if the world resets and gives you time to regroup and be refreshed as a couple.
Have you ever straightened a picture on a wall that was hanging crookedly? When you gently straighten it, for a brief moment, it feels like all is right in the world. It is considered a minor issue.
Within a marriage, there can be little nagging issues that can be dissolved and your partnership strengthened by following a simple concept as the 2 2 2 rule.
With each date night, each weekend, getaway, and each weeklong vacation, you will begin to rekindle the fire in the relationship and remember why you fell in love with your spouse in the first place.
You’ll notice as you share with other couples the secret to your success, they will start to follow your footsteps and adopt this rule.
Final Thoughts on the 2-2-2 Rule
“Couples who can agree on 4 major issues have a much higher probability of success. Those are religion (shared household faith), in-laws (boundaries, influence, etc.), parenting, and money.” – Dave Ramsey.
When these are in order, following the 2 2 2 rule concept can help to strengthen the foundation that you have already set for the marriage.
It forms a flow in the relationship of prioritizing one another, working together, communicating, and showing each other love and respect.
Even if your relationship is rocky and your marriage is shaky, following this pattern will help your marriage get into alignment (much like a car) and smooth out some of the rough and turbulent places.
I know what you're thinking… there is no cookie-cutter method for the perfect marriage because all relationships are different. And that is true.
However, this concept is simply a recipe for something good; you just have to add a dash or two of what you and your partner enjoys and make it your own.
Lastly, don’t be quick to knock it until you try it. What may look hopeless today can always change.
If you want to have a partner or spouse that will be happy about your success and you can rely on, then watch this video:
And if you want more articles about marriage, be sure to check out these blog posts:
- 87 Affirmations for Marriage to Improve Your Loving Relationship
- Couples Therapy VS Marriage Counseling: Pros & Cons
- 9 Warning Signs You Are Marrying the Wrong Person