A little over a year ago, my husband and I came to a crossroad in our relationship. We had to make the choice to begin to put each other first before EVERYTHING or to continue to put everything else before our marriage. We didn't really date or do anything fun that didn't include our kids or other people. We had lost the ability to just be together and enjoy each other's company. How did that happen? How did we become the people who groused at each other over unimportant things? How did we become so caught up in all the things around us that we didn't notice each other? Admittedly, most of this was my fault. I became discontent with our life together and it was easier to go about my merry way than to work on our relationship. He spent so many years taking care of me and my health and didn't deserve to be treated that way. We loved each other but life had come between us. But he began to fight for me. He began to pursue me again. And I wasn't ready for it.
The lengths my husband began to go to in order to spend time with me slowly chipped away at the wall I had built around my heart. It quickly became apparent to me that he wasn't willing to let our relationship die, and that he wanted more for us. I had to open my heart once again to the person I had fallen in love with nearly 20 years prior, and it was a strange feeling. We were spending more time without the kids. He was planning dates and short weekend trips for us. He was chasing me.
And I fell hard for that man. Again.
Twenty years ago, we went on fun dates. We talked for hours. We didn't need or want anything else. We wanted that again. We made the decision to not live as roommates but to live as two people who genuinely enjoy each other's company and who can't wait to spend time together (you know, how a marriage is supposed to be). This is how we did it...
- Choose to be kind. Sounds simple but sometimes we aren't as kind to our spouse/family as we would be to the rest of the world. Choosing to be kind isn't difficult...unless you're living in a marriage with someone who isn't kind to you. I was pretty terrible to my husband at times over the years and vise versa, but together we've decided it's more important to be kind than "right".
- Do things you did when you were dating. Listen to the music, eat the food, do the activities you did when you first met. Remember how fun those times were and talk about them. You'll be surprised at what this simple act can do.
- Reminisce. Talk about your favorite memories together. We talk about our wedding, the births of our children, vacations we've taken, favorite gifts we've given each other. It's always fun to hear how my husband remembers things differently than I do.
- COMMUNICATE. This one requires shouty letters. As much as we'd love for them to, men can't read our minds. We can't expect them to know what we want if we don't tell them. If you want to go out more, tell him. If you want to talk more, tell him. Show and tell him what you want.
Taking in a show at the Levitt Shell
This isn't marriage advice or counseling. This is simply what WE did to bring our relationship back to life. People often talk about how much work marriage is. I really wish they'd stop. It doesn't HAVE to seem like a chore. It can be fun; it SHOULD be fun! Bringing a dull marriage back to life isn't easy, but man, it's worth it.