Many couples come into counseling concerned about their relationship, often describing feeling disconnected or frustrated with one another. One of the questions I ask them is when they last went out on a date together alone. So many times, husbands and wives stare at each other in disbelief and can't remember the last time. It is very important for couples to have “fun” time alone, without children, relatives and friends. Many couples routinely go out with other couples and describe the men and women off in separate conversations.No real couple interaction occurs during these nights out.

My wife and I have stumbled on a magical antidote for our relationship. I regularly recommend it to my clients who usually rave about the results.We take a quarterly weekend away, beginning Saturday morning and ending Sunday afternoon. Yes, arrangements must be made for the dog and children but once that task is accomplished, you have 36 hours of uninterrupted time to spend with your spouse. We recommend driving early in the morning and choosing a destination 2-3 hours from your home. In the Boston area, that includes many exciting choices, like , Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, the Berkshires, Northampton, Providence, Newport, the Cape or the Vineyard. We are particularly fond of small college towns which have reasonably priced food, free or low cost entertainment on campus including dance, theatre, live music and art museums. You have time for a relaxed meal along the way, exercise, romance, and then time to explore and focus on one another. It is like a honeymoon all over again and, by the time you are driving back, you can begin to plan your next quarterly trip. Occasionally, for an extra special treat, add an additional night to your trip. You will come back feeling as if you have been away for a week and you will find new energy when you head back to work, children and daily routines. Michael Ruben

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