So you meet this guy and hot damn, he’s the freaking one man. Like “the one” the one. And you just know, you know?
There’s something so intense about that initial whirlwind of getting to know each other. The emotions are so raw, strong and all consuming. You spend hours talking about err’thang – your hopes and dreams but also every little bit of your day – every inch of your life. They touch your arm and every single nerve in your body stands on edge.
The reason that Hollywood play on these loaded looks and intense intimate moments is because for the most part, that’s exact how it plays out. It’s been thirteen years that we’ve been together and I still remember that feeling of waiting for a text and how it made me feel – the nervous anticipation. Or seeing him for the first time that day and how my heart felt like it might actually just explode.
And then you get married and probably have children eventually and things change a bit.
What once was new, fresh and exciting is now familiar, old and dare I say it – mundane.
Things change. The butterflies that used to nervously bounce around your tummy at every encounter have settled. In fact if you’ve made it to 10 years, there’s a good chance that they settled a while ago. Each touch doesn’t elicit a full body response each and every time and you probably haven’t had a full conversation in months. Because now you’re juggling more demanding jobs, busy children and just life itself.
It’s hard now to make your relationship a priority. You know when you’re dating – your relationship is basically the only important thing in your life at that point right? You dedicate whole chunks of your day just to be together. Not to do anything specific even, just to see each other and get your fill.
But when you’ve been married so long you tend to start taking the fact that they are there and will always be there for granted. You let your focus slide over to your children, your demanding job or even a hobby that you just freaking love. And slowly but surely that relationship that you used to hold so dear, starts fading into the background. Suddenly you don’t even know what they want out of life anymore or if you even share the same opinions or thoughts on topics because you haven’t talked about them in forever.
Which is what I’ve learned.
If you want to stay married for any length of time, you need to make sure that your relationship stays a priority.
Make sure you spend time together. Go on dates. Put the kids to bed and instead of turning on the TV, talk about politics, religion, your hopes, what colour you should paint the lounge, where you want to go on your next holiday – it really doesn’t matter. Just freaking talk man. I’m so privileged to have been able to do these things with a man that’s as committed to making our marriage work as I am – I know that not everyone has that same situation.
And believe me, it’s so easy to get caught up in the feeling of a new relationship. I mean, I personally have watched the episodes of New Girl where Jess and Nick get together for the first time, more than I’d like to admit. Because sometimes I miss that giddy feeling of the new romance.
But then I look at Seth and I realise that he knows me. Deeply. In a way that no one else does. We can communicate just by looking at each other. We can share in the endless joy that our children provide us as we are in their presence together. The way that I feel about him is no longer that trivial fluttery one, but an intense love and friendship that I can’t quite put into words.
Where new romance is that pretty new dress, our love is like my well worn slippers. Something that may not look as evidently pretty as a new dress but is remarkably better in every other way.