We Can Walk It Out


My husband and I seemed to be growing further apart each day. This was upsetting to me; I’d always felt we had a good marriage. But for various reasons we never had time for each other anymore.

The children required a great deal of time, my husband’s job was very demanding, and his calling as bishop took many more hours than I had imagined. When he was home, he was sometimes quiet, carrying burdens that he was unable to share with me.

For most of our “nights out,” we attended ward and stake functions. They were nice socials, but they didn’t provide an opportunity for the two of us to talk to each other—really talk. At home, with the house full of teenagers and all their friends, we never seemed to get to bed until late, and then we were too tired to spend time in conversation. Besides, I was convinced we’d forgotten how to communicate.

Because of economic difficulties, I had gone to work. This added to the frustrations. On rare moments in the car on the way somewhere we would try to talk, discussing what we might do to have some time together. But we’d arrive at our destination before any decision was made. We needed something we could do together that we both enjoyed and—most important—had time for.

Then I decided I needed to get some physical exercise. I started several times, but couldn’t seem to get going on a permanent basis. My husband tried to fit some exercising into his schedule, too, but didn’t have much success either.

Finally we hit upon the idea of walking together at night. That could solve both problems at once, we figured; we could talk and exercise at the same time.

So we began. The first night we didn’t go very far—too many meals under our belts since the last time we had exercised. And since we were huffing and puffing so hard, we didn’t do much talking. The next few nights we went a little farther—usually in silence.

Then, gradually, we began talking, finally breaking down barriers that had grown between us and sharing confidences again. It was wonderful! We talked of dreams, frustrations, joys, the children, and our jobs. We breathed deeply of the cool night air. We gained new vigor and vitality. Our bodies as well as our marriage were healthier than they’d been for a long time. We both even started losing weight! We could hardly wait to get out the door each night and on our way.

And we’re still walking. Sometimes we can’t make it, but we go as often as we can. We’ve walked as many as seven miles at a time, varying our distance as time permits. Even if it rains, we still go, taking an umbrella and laughing as the rain falls around us. What a wonderful blessing our walks and talks have been for our marriage!

[illustration] Illustrated by Scott Greer

Sandra F. Jones is Relief Society homemaking leader in her West Point, Utah, ward.