• Melissa Gendreau

The Importance of Adventure as a Married Couple


I’m a Christian mental heath therapist. I work with married couples from all walks of life and in various stages of their marriage. Some of the couples are wanting to focus on addressing situational issues. Other couples are fighting tooth and nail to keep their marriage a float.

Therapy can be hard to go through. Marriage counseling is even harder. As the therapist, I am asking couples to identify their own past wounds, faulty logic, and vulnerabilities. Then we have to see how those issues coming together are causing problems. It takes work. Obviously the payoff can be huge though!

One of the recommendations that I give couples seeing me for therapy is to have an adventure together. An adventure is not going to solve their problems but it will help them feel connected and create positive memories.

I explain it in terms of a bank account. If you as a couple are struggling and strained and having arguments you are withdrawing from the account. You can only withdraw so many times before your account is going to go negative. You need some deposits in the account to keep it from going red!

Adventure as a married couple is important and can increase connection!


Dopamine is a chemical that gets released when we experience something exciting. It can be physical activities, exercise, sex, risk taking, thrill seeking etc. When a person experiences an increased level of dopamine you feel invigorated, a sense of alive, and engaged in the world.

Wouldn’t that experience be good to have with your spouse!?

Going on an adventure with your spouse increases the connect to that person because our brain also connects the increase in dopamine to that them. And whether you are having marital issues or not, having your brain connect your spouse to feelings of invigoration, a sense of being alive and feeling engaged in the world is a good thing!


All little boys at sometime or another played cops and robbers, good guys and bad guys, superheros, knights and dragons. They all have one thing in common – overcoming adversity! Succeeding! Winning the challenge!

Then somewhere down the road that desire and passion can get lost. The themes of protect and provide turns into careers and budgeting. And it loses the adventure. Unless a raise was involved, I don’t know many men who get an increase in dopamine while doing the budget!

Men want to experience the thrill of excitement! They also want to do those things with their spouse. As long as the spouse is willing and not dragging her feet! (I can’t stress how important that is!!) Men want to show off. Think about the animal kingdom. God made the male creatures more colorful and vibrant than the female to show off and win the affection of the female creature. Do we really think humans are much different in this way?

Our men also have a desire to protect and save. Think of the games boys played. There usually was a girl to rescue! This is not because boys think girls can’t do anything it is because boys want to be important to the girls! Our husbands want to be important to us and they want to protect us!

John Eldredge wrote the book Wild at Heart. It is the best book I have ever read to explain a man’s heart! It explains this desire for adventure far better than I could dream to in this post. I highly recommend the book for both husbands and wives to read.


Remember the games boys play? Little girls love to be the one rescued! But then they want to fight right along side them! I see this theme over and over again with my son (age 7) and my daughter (age 4). She initially gets taken by the enemy, bad guy, dragon, etc. and then brother has to fight to rescue her. Once rescued, he hands over one of his weapons to her and they fight side by side until the adversary is defeated. They love it! And I love watching it!