I’ve decided for the next couple months I’m going to do a weekly post focusing on marriage.
Because I’ve said it before, marriage is fucking hard.
And right now, I’m devoting a lot of time to working on my contributions (both positive and negative) to my marriage. And since I write about what’s going on in my life, well, this is a big thing right now.
My marriage has never been perfect.
But with all the shit we’ve gone through in the past couple years, the bankruptcy, the knee replacement surgery, the accident this summer, the cervical fusion surgery, the continued financial bullshit, oh yeah, and then the kids, well, we have been put to the test.
And we have gotten to the point where we are basically coexisting.
You know, we are roommates who tolerate each other.
And I feel like I’m at a crossroads.
We are at the point in a relationship where many people would bail.
We have lost sight of our relationship. It isn’t a priority, and that is, well… it’s really not good.
Placing your marriage way down on the list of priorities is just asking for trouble.
Yesterday I mentioned the book I’m reading — Getting the Love You Want. (I’m going to keep mentioning it because at this point I really believe that anyone in a relationship, whether it’s healthy or unhealthy, should read it.)
So like I said, my husband and I have gotten into defense mode. We are almost always prepared for an attack.
It’s not fun, and it’s really tiring. And it’s not what either one of us wants.
And I don’t want to just be able to tolerate each other.
While I realize no marriage is always a fairy tale, I want to be better friends with my husband.
We’re not really friends right now. We do pretty much nothing together.
I want that early, courting feeling back in our relationship. That feeling of excitement. Or at least that feeling of looking forward to spending time with my husband.
So many of you are probably rolling your eyes right now and saying to yourselves, Yeah, right. Good luck with that.
But one of the exercises in GTLYW is called Reromanticizing.
As the book says,
Reromanticizing encourages couples to act as if they were newly in love with each other, giving each other the same tender attention, gifts, and words of endearment that came effortlessley during romatnic love…
This playacting is to go on for weeks.
I know… how the fuck are you supposed to do this if you and your husband have gotten to the point where you can barely stand to be around each other?
Well, the book continues…
Even though many couples begin this exercise with gritted teeth, repetition rewires their nerual connections, allowing them to see each other as lover and friends once again, not as enemy combatants.
Oh my God, yes. That is what we have become. Enemy combatants.
I want romance back in my life.
So I’ve been reading about reromanticizing, and then yesterday I saw this picture posted on Facebook:
The idea is to put one heart on your kids’ doors for every day in February with a reason why you love them written on each heart.
I thought to myself, “What a cute idea! I’m going to do that!”
Then I thought about it some more.
I do a lot for my kids. A whole lot.
I try to do things every day to make them feel special.
I also spend a shitload of time with them. I drive them all over creation. I watch their swim meets and basketball games and concerts and baseball games. I help them with their homework and I read to them and tuck each one of them in each night after singing them a special song and rubbing their backs.
My kids are getting enough attention right now.
But my marriage is not. My marriage has not gotten enough attention for quite some time.
My kids don’t need those hearts.
My marriage does.
So I think this is a great place to start with that reromanticizing.
Each day in February, I’m going to write one reason down why I love my husband and I’m going to give it to him.
If your marriage has fallen way down on the list of priorities, maybe you might want to join me.