Thank You Vets!I just returned home from a long weekend away with “the guys” on our annual bowhunting and camping trip.  We don’t travel very far away, and the cost is minimal, but we do enjoy the chance to get together each year and spend some “man time” hunting, sitting around a campfire drinking beer and just doing manly things.

As she proves time and time again, Bethany is a total saint and doesn’t even complain too much when this trip comes up year after year.  It might help that her Dad is part of our group and she likes us to have some time to bond, but I think she really just smiles (and probably cusses just a bit under breath) and wishes me good luck because she knows how much it means to me.  She’s cool like that. 🙂

I Wanna Go Home

As much as I enjoy this experience, I have to say that I start to grow quite homesick after a few days away.  While sitting in a treestand for hours on end this year, I started to find my mind wandering to thoughts of hanging out with Bethany and guessing what the kids were doing at that moment.  I was definitely ready to drive straight back to our house today to spend as much time as possible with my family.

Even though I write about marriage and family life on a regular basis, I find it’s really easy to take our blessings for granted.  As I shared my time away with a close friend who recently lost his wife to cancer and other single guys that don’t have families at home, I was reminded of just how awesome my life really is and how special we have it as a family.

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And I really missed it.

My first few hours at home were filled with extra hugs and a longer attention span for the kids along with some extra kisses and touches for my wife.  It’s unfortunate that it takes time away to make me realize that I should be doing these things anyway, but I guess that’s human nature.

It may seem strange, but I truly believe that these short stints apart from our spouse can provide a little boost and add intimacy to our marriage as well as energy for our roles as parents.  I know my heart feels a bit “fonder” this evening.

Thank You to Our Military Families

As we celebrate Veteran’s Day this week, I wanted to take a moment to express my sincere gratitude to our military veterans along with their families.  While I felt the pains of separation after just a few days of recreation, our military families endure months and even years apart in service to our country.

This degree of sacrifice is amazing, and it’s evident that the bond between military members and their spouses is particularly strong.  We would all do well to emulate the self-sacrifice and faithfulness exhibited by these remarkable folks.

Thank you for all that you do and the way that you do it.

(photo source)

Absence Really Does Make the Heart Grow Fonder.001


About the author 


Dustin Riechmann created Engaged Marriage to help other married couples live a life they love (especially) when they feel too busy to make it happen. He has many passions, including sharing ways to enjoy an awesome marriage in 15 minutes a day, but his heart belongs with his wife Bethany and their three young kids.

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  1. Loved this post! As my fiancé and I are in a long-distance relationship this post hit home for sure.
    Thanks for blogging, it is one of my favorite “pick-me” up readings during the week!

  2. I would like to thank you for taking the time to thank the Men and woman in Uniform. As a prior services solider myself its nice to see that there are some civilians that back us and what we do (besides the dismal coverage the media gives). Thank you and God Bless

    Respectfully Yours

    Jonathan Casillas
    CrossHair Marketing Services

  3. Thank you for the shout out to us military families — it means a lot to this Navy wife. My husband is on a 6-month deployment, and since he’s on a submarine, we don’t even get to email or talk. It’s been so hard, but I know that absence really has made the heart grow (even) fonder. Looking forward to next month when he’s supposed to return… please keep our military men in your prayers that they may safely return to their loved ones. God bless!

    1. Wow Charlene, I can’t imagine having ZERO contact with my wife for six months. Your love and commitment is inspiring. Thank you for *your* sacrifice!

  4. I am glad that you get to spend time away doing your “manly” things, but it is REALLY nice to have you come back home. You are extra appreciated when you have been gone 😉 I really enjoyed this post!

  5. My sweet husband just handled the kids and house for five days while I took a girls’ trip to Mexico. (I haven’t had a girls’ trip for 5 years.) He had the house clean, the kids happy, and the laundry done. Even while sitting on the beach, I did miss them at home though, and I was ready to be reunited at the end of the trip. I’m usually the one stuck at home just wishing he were there, so it’s interesting to turn the tables.

  6. I had a similar weekend–Grandma watched our little girl a lot, while I was busy with work presentations. My husband gave one of the presentations with me–it went very well–it was to a college group of over 80. We had no idea so many would show up. We both were “on fire” after. We had an incredible date after. We even got to go out on a date the next night. We don’t have access to Grandma too often. By then, we were beginning to feel as if we were “dating” again. Today, as I was home and started with my routine again, I had renewed energy for being a better mom, working on the house, and my job–and I’m staying up late to spend some time with hubby.

    1. That’s awesome, Batrice! You got to experience two of the things that get us “pumped”about our relationship in the same day…teaching others how to have a better marriage and a date night. Congrats!

  7. Thanks for the shout out to military families. I am a Marine wife smack dab in the middle of a 7 month deployment. We are just in our second year of marriage and this is our second deployment (though the first was short). Distance sure DOES make the heart grow fonder…you forget all of those things that drive you nuts while they are home because you would just give anything to be together again!

    Being a deployed spouse, I often read blogs like this and Simple Marriage, which talk about the typical relationships and how important touch or laughter or communication is in a marriage. But what happens when we literally don’t get the opportunity to do those things! I would love a post or series or something to keep the “marriage engaged” while apart!

    1. Thanks for sharing your story and for your sacrifice, Jena. I love your idea for a post/series on how to keep your relationship on fire when you can’t be physically together for while. Thanks!

  8. Very nice! I agree that absences makes the heart grow fonder. I went out of town with all of my babies for one night and sure missed our Daddy!!! There is a reason that we are a team! That is also why when Randy is away on military trips I have a 2 week limit before I lose my mind!!! Of course on a trip longer than 2 weeks I just have to go crazy :):) Obviously when you build a family, it is because you want to be together, time to ourselves is nice every now and then but it does make you that much more thankful for your blessings!!

    1. I don’t know how you do it, Jaycie, when Randy is deployed! I mean, I don’t love him *that* much and even I miss him. 😉

      1. I knew what I got myself into to!! Plus I am thankful that I am only a “part-time” military wife, the true heros are the “real” military families!! It helps to know that he misses us (you too I am sure) as much as we miss him! Gotta do what you’ve gotta do for you country and our freedoms!!

  9. I can relate very well to your feelings Dustin. I recently went away fro a few days on a fishing trip to Nags Head and I definitely found myself sitting on the pier wishing my little guys were there as well as my wife. I don’t get away very often like that so I definitely missed my family and realized just how blessed I am on a regular basis even though I may not always be great about showing it.

    When I came back home Isaac told me he wanted to go to Wal-mart to buy the “Lighting McQueen” fishing rod so we could go fishing. My heart melted like butter and I gave him the BIGGEST hug ever! My wife and I had a very wonderful next day together!

    Our soldiers are my heroes! What they endure and sacrifice is much greater than I could ever know. God Bless the men and women in uniform who serve our country!

  10. I go with you on this Dustin. While I have the urge to be with the guys and do manly things for a while, I always find myself missing my wife and my children. Having a family of our own is indeed a blessing. 🙂

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