Yves Forestier, Getty Images

I saw an interesting article about marriage and dating.  There are three “T”s for a successful marriage, “time,” “talk” and “tenacity.” With the three “t”s, married couples also need a date night once in awhile says the story. If your family is like ours and child centered, getting out for a date night is tough.

Our oldest is now 14 and is willing to babysit for short periods of time but we always need to be on-call as he doesn’t like to change diapers. We’re working on that. Not so much trying to get the older brother to change a diaper but to get Vikki potty trained but that is another post for another day. We do get out on a traditional date every so often.

First up is “time.” Lynn and I get quality alone time without the kids outside the house a few times a week. We’re usually running an errand or shopping for something we need.  So yes a date for us is a trip to the grocery store. Sometimes we go to Lowe's or Home Depot just to look. Nothing is sexier than retail therapy? Am I right? Just even thinking and getting ideas for the house and dreaming can be fun and be inspiring for the future.

As for dates, there are the cliché outings like restaurants and movies but there are other places you can go and things to do that are cheap. If you think long and hard enough you'll come up with a few. Once in a while we’ll sit out back of the house if the weather is nice with a fire and watch the stars after the kids go to bed. (of course we have the baby monitor outside with us) Is it a date? It is debatable but it is couple's time.

It was a bit different when we were younger. Lynn and I would take drives through Central Maine with really no destination in mind. We would talk about the future and where we wanted to be in 10, 15, 20 years. Now we both think driving aimlessly is a waste of gas and time and we're now 15 years later. I guess we’re where we thought we would be.

The second rule is “talk.” Communication is key says the article. I guess we could talk about more than just when the next appointment is or the household agenda. We’re probably like most other households where the TV and electronic devices have taken over. Yes having to be in contact with everyone is definitely something I think we all could slow down on including me. I used to joke when I would look at a couple someplace and they’d both be on their phones texting away. Now sadly it is a reality for everyone.

And the third point made is tenacity. In other words both people in a marriage working hard together to make it last. Have an excitement for the other person and their ideas, and support those ideas and help. For example, if they want to lose weight, be a cheerleader, if they want to change careers, support the idea and maybe help them look for a job.

Every once in awhile I forget how much Lynn means to me. For instance I'll come home from work and forget she has worked just as hard by helping the kids with the homework including that "new math."  I'll try not take my wife for granted if you try not to take your spouse granted. I am writing this for me probably more than for you. Always room to make a relationship better and it doesn’t need to be a new year’s resolution to get it started.