After all these years and children my husband and I are still in love, deeply so. Over the years I have had more than one friend ask us what it is that has kept us not only together but happily so. I had one such conversation recently during which he insisted that my marriage doesn’t count because it seems so unrealistic. I couldn’t help but feel great sadness as we talked about how unhappy so many couples are and I began trying to figure out exactly what was so different in my relationship. After some time I arrived at the conclusion that too many marriages forget the three C’s.
I am constantly amazed by how little most couples actually talk with each other. I’m not just talking about “Hi honey, how was your day?” sort of conversations, though those are important as well, but real conversations. The type most of us make time for with our friends but for some reason not our spouse. The type you had when you were still dating and didn’t care what he was talking about you just loved to hear his voice. Some days are just so full it is easy to forget that you both still have very real thoughts and opinions on things outside the house. My favorite time in the world has always been at night as we are going to bed. We lay there in the darkness whispering to each other about all those dreams and ideas that have been kicking around in our heads all day. Things so deep and personal that we would not dare speak about them to anyone else. If we go too long without this time we quickly start to lose touch with each other. I have no desire to live with a stranger and we have always worked hard to make sure we have regular conversation.
When was the last time you hung out with your spouse? It can not all be about taking care of the house and kids. Marriage is supposed to be fun, not just someone to help get all the work done. After a stressful week it can be a great relief to just sit back and do something entertaining. Regular play time has helped build our marriage just about more than anything else. Sometimes it is cards with friends, sometimes we play video games together and occasionally we have been known to take turns reading aloud to each other. We have visited parks and swung on the equipment under the moonlight. We have taken long walks on hot summer days to pick up an ice cream only to have it melt down our hands on the way home. The activity does not count, it is the togetherness that matters. One day our children will be grown and it will just be the two of us bopping around this house together. It is now that we need to build on our mutual interest not after the children are gone and we would find we no longer had anything in common.
You had to see this one coming, right? We can go back and forth on it as much as needed but in the end sex does matter. I’m not talking about some strange arrangement like so many women of days gone by had where they did their weekly “duty” to keep their man. I’m talking about the profound connection two individuals feel once their bodies are as entwined as completely as their hearts. That is why I put this one last, without the first two this one would be no different than something you could get from anyone. Married sex does not have to be boring. There is something rather wonderful that happens after two people have earned each others complete trust and know each others bodies as they know their own. To me this is the ultimate expression of everything I spoke of above. I suppose when it comes down to it my opinion is that any marriage can be great, we just have to remind ourselves, why we loved each other in the first place.
Friends, companions and lovers for life.