Longtime readers know that we very rarely feature guest posts, since we prefer to talk to y’all directly! But when I read this post from our friend T.J. Mousetis a few months ago, it resonated with me deeply – probably because I couldn’t agree with him more! He graciously agreed to let me share here, and I hope his words will inspire you, too! – Emily
Brooke and I go on 3-5 walks a week. Our loops vary in distance and time; we choose one depending on the day. Our longest loop is about five miles and our shortest is around a mile. While walking, my amazing wife and I will talk about EVERYTHING.
We walk and talk, talk and walk. I wasn’t a big walker before I got married. I never saw a point of going on a walk unless it was utilitarian in nature. If I was walking to get a candy bar then it was TOTALLY worth it, but a walk to just walk – no thanks.
Then Brooke and I started going on them and I realized that something was happening as we walked together. First, I noticed that we were off our phones and away from screens so there weren’t any distractions. A distraction-free environment with someone is becoming more and more difficult in our society. Then, I noticed that our walks became about more than just chit chat. Our walks became a safe place for us to vent about frustrations in our life, dream about things we never said out loud, and open up about our struggles. Our walks became precious to us, and the more we go on them the more we open up and talk to each other. And the more we talk to each other, the stronger our marriage has become!
I sometimes feel like marriages fall in the crapper because of the “schedule” they get stuck in.
The schedule usually looks something like this: get up, go to work, come home from work, eat dinner, work on something else, watch TV, go to bed. Repeat five days a week.
There are times in that schedule to talk, but they are either rushed or full of distractions. I’ve found that a simple walk eliminates all of that and gives you the ability to be a little more open, a little more real, and a little more honest. The longer you spend distraction-free with your spouse, the more likely you are to get to a real issue, problem, or idea.
Last night, Brooke read something online that really frustrated her and was feeling “swirly.” Feeling swirly is the worst. It can really only be described by this emoji: ?. So, I got June ready, and we went on a walk. As we walked, she begin to express why what she read got to her, and by the time we got home, she was totally over it. Surprisingly, on the walk I didn’t do much talking about the issue and just tried to listen, which is really hard for me. I LOVE TALKING! But, Brooke just needed to talk, and if we stayed home, she probably wouldn’t have gotten to the truth of the issue that she needed to get to. That would have lead to a whole night of swirliness, and that is THE WORST!
Sometimes we expect really profound things to change our marriages. We look for the Hail Mary when working the ball slowly up the field will do. A walk is just that. It isn’t glamorous, but it works. It provides a distraction-free space to be open, honest, and real. Isn’t that what we wanted when we got married? Someone to be open, honest, and real with? Let’s start giving ourselves the space to do that, and let’s start with a few more walks!
T.J. Mousetis is the owner of Walk in Love. You can follow along with him on his blog and on Instagram! Big hugs to Caroline Ro for these engagement photos (which are not actually of T.J. and Brooke, though they are lovely :)) See more on our Facebook!