This June Sean and I will celebrate 10 years of marriage. Seems impossible to believe, because I can still feel that June sun beating down on us as we stood before the minister. The crescendo of nursing, diapering, strollering and co-sleeping has quieted. They reach for their own cups, they read books to one another and have begun to slowly show signs of wanting us to take a step back.
Somehow in parenting you develop the ability to recognize when a moment has come—to let go of the bike as they learn to pedal, to gracefully pass a glass and allow them to wobble and teeter their way to the table. We shift our grasp and at times actually let go. I don’t know that I can say the same about marriage. I yearn for the love letters and scavenger hunts from when we were dating. I miss the unabashed intensity, yet I have a drawerful of tattered t-shirts covering wispy bits of potential.
I hope silently for tender back rubs and whispered endearments, but I’m the first to sever a moment by responding to calls for a DVD or helping to find a pair of socks right that minute. My multi-tasking works for everything but allowing my marriage to be the task at hand. I’m thinking about this for a couple of reasons, there seems to have been a spate of break-ups and, honestly, I know that I can do better.
Joanna at A Cup of Jo does an incredible job of putting thought into her marriage the same way so many of us moms do about our parenting. Kristen talks about her marriage too, devising ways to make it better. I haven’t been factoring in as much as I should that my attitude colors how our marriage feels. The other day we were talking about doing something and I said negatively, “But that won’t be fun for you,” to which Sean said very quickly and honestly, “Babe, if you are having fun, then I am too. I am the happiest when you are, so let’s do it.”
When I work out, when I put down my worry, when I make the decision to put time with Sean ahead of work, kids, sparkly things on the internet, it’s right for everyone. As I think about being a model for the girls I realize that there is a hell of a lot more to marriage than not cheating. Dates with no work talk, holding hands, saying I love you. Moving those nasty shirts out so that the glimmer of the way it was feels a little more comfortable on me.
“Dates with no work talk…”
Nobody believes that one. Nobody.
But I’ll bet they believe how much you love me, and us.
Ok, you got me. Work seeps in, but somehow sitting across a a candlelit table with you makes the hard edges of work a bit softer.
Raising my hand .. I believe it!
I am the last person qualified to give relationship advice so I won’t even go near that. But what I will say is – working on your marriage and making sure it is a priority is a gift not only for you and Sean, but a wonderful example for your girls. Kids tend to mirror us way more than we like sometimes, but a good marriage may be something they can achieve themselves more easily with a great example to follow.
BetteJo, I always welcome your input. Always. Don’t ever stop. Thank you!
It can be so hard, can’t it, making the marriage a priority? There are so many days when I see my husband in passing, both of us heading out to different practices or meetings.
I don’t know if it will ever be again “the way it was” because so much has changed. We have changed and grown together. But that doesn’t mean that it can’t be just as good, right?
No, I don’t think it has to be “the way it was,” but I think we need to demand that it not become lifeless just because, “the passion can’t last forever.” That’s bunk.
Here’s to new beauty in the number 2.
Amen. I watch so very many people put their marriage in the background for many years, and I fear it won’t always be there when they want to make it the priority again (if they ever do). There is doing in i do, just as you say. xox
It’s easy to think you can coast. Personally I always enjoy things more when I do a bit pf pedaling 😉
Laughing at Sean’s comment because, yeah I don’t believe for a minute that would EVER be possible for you to have a date with no talk of work. But, I do believe in how much you believe in your marriage, your girls and how strong your love is for them all.
Guilty as charged.
I love that Sean chimed in on that one. I couldn’t imagine you not talking about work… because it seems like you both have such a passion for the work you do. 🙂
Must work on this. SO guilty of pushing my marriage into last place in the line of priorities.
A lot of times he doesn’t like to comment. He says, “The husband ends all future comments.” I love it when he does. And, I really love it when people comment after him because it keeps him commenting 😉
Great post! Thank you for this .
Last night as we were going to bed I was reaching over to kiss him goodnight and I thought, “The more love we can put out in the world, the better.” We so need to remember each side of our life.