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We’ve all been there… years into marriage, numerous children, and the most chaotic life one could imagine. Sure, you’ve got things down- you can keep the house decently cleaned, the lessons are done, your to-do list is half way checked off, and you only forgot to feed the animals once! By the time it is all said and done you are having a glass of wine (or three) and finding yourself too tired to have some quality time with that handsome man sitting across the sofa. If you are anything me then I am sure at some point this has caused some bumps.
Sometimes those bumps and lack of intimacy can cause feelings of worry; worry that things are beginning to fail. Then comes the insecurity; what am I doing wrong? Maybe you try to recreate that old passion and lust that you had way back in the day. Maybe you try to be spontaneous, but it all falls out of sync. Maybe it just all goes wrong and the thought becomes like a heavy weight you continue to drag over your shoulders. Maybe you are just out of options and dreaming of that romance, that heated passion that you once shared.
I’m here telling you to STOP!
Stop stressing that something is wrong, that your marriage may be failing, or that you are lacking romance & love. I am here to tell you that the problem may not be as big as you fear. Let me ask you this… What is romance? I know when I think of romance, I don’t think of the actions towards me, I think of that swooning lovely-dovey feeling that is portrayed in the movies; that insatiable lust that overcomes a couple. But what is it really that we believe is missing?
As women we worry, we feel deeply, and we love hard. I cannot tell you how many times I thought my husband and I were falling out of love. That our relationship felt as though it was slowly falling apart beyond my control. The more I tried to talk, the more I poured my heart out (night after night), the more I shut down and thought the worst… the worst began to seem true. We were never talking and when we did it often led to some sort of disagreement. I constantly felt like I had was walking on egg shells just to get through a day. We felt so out of sync and I felt hopeless.
Until one day, we were driving and listening to his comedy channels on satellite radio when I heard something that made me think. Men do not see the world as we do, they view everything much differently. Basically, men’s brains are full of boxes. Each box has a purpose, a category per-se. When one box is opened, that is the only thing that is focused on. When a man is needed in another box, he will pack up the opened one and close it before opening a new one. Men are simple. So simple that it is nearly impossible for a man to deal with two open boxes at once.
This made me think for days (even laugh). All these problems that I was afraid of at once, could it be that my husband just doesn’t know? I could see that he didn’t seem happy either, but could it be because I was constantly telling him what was “wrong” in our relationship? Could I be worrying about something that wasn’t really there?
When it came down to it, maybe he didn’t understand what I was feeling & maybe I was over-worrying.
This made me realize that the imperfect will never be perfect. After 8 years of marriage and four children, we were both different people. Did we love each other? Yes. Did we enjoy our time and adventures together? Yes. Could we imagine life without each other? Never. Maybe my mind was to blame; like this whole thing was manifested in my mind and from my own insecurities. It was possible; I was always thinking. Focusing on the negative- why doesn’t he buy me flowers? Why doesn’t he romance me as much? Why is he so silent? Why don’t we talk as much? Is it me? Is there someone else?
These questions were eating at me constantly that I was always nagging him. So I stopped.
I stopped nagging, I stopped showing my tears. I focused on the little things we had still; his kiss before he left. The “I Love You” each time I had to go to the store or walk out the door. Every little thing that was just repetitive I focused on. I realized that if I was gone too long he would ask if I was ok. He would even still ask if I needed help every evening. So I focused on the positive, the little things we shared; like the nights he played his games next to me while I did my work. Both of us silent but content. We were happy. We didn’t talk as much, sure. We didn’t snuggle and love on each other like we were the same 23-year olds when we met. But we were in love and enjoyed just being near each other.
So I stopped stressing about our lack of romance; you know that lovey-dovey, sweep me off my feet kind of romance.. I stopped searching for a romance that had faded. Now, I am not saying this as if it is a bad thing. Instead of romance, our relationship has flourished into something stronger. We have completely become ourselves! Where romance once was we now have laughter and random comments or his crazy jokes. When I stopped searching I found that our love was deeper. We didn’t have to try to win each other over again and again because our bond was already so deep that we could just enjoy each other. But I didn’t realize this until I stopped worrying about all the negative clouding my mind.
Over the years and experiences of my own and friends whom I have talked to, I have realized that marriage has stages. In the beginning, you are infatuated with each other, you are enjoying being married and beginning a life together where you overcome challenges and see your strength together. Then you hit rough patches later when life becomes real and that honeymoon phase wears off. You begin to notice the flaws, and even bring life into the world (which is a whole other chaotic adventure of its own). And then the romance fades and life becomes what it really is.
You both have grown- both individually and together. At some point, through worry and maybe even tears, you realize that this is all okay!
Although I am not sure what stages the future holds, I do know that we have passed many stages. We have overcome many obstacles and we have, together, created life. I have learned that things change- people change. People grow. Marriage does not mean that you will always be in sync. You will not be the same 3 years from now, let alone 7 or 15 years. Your romance will diminish, your love life won’t even be the same. You may run out of things to talk about besides your kids or your “daily wifely life”; which I can assure you that he may appear to show little interest in due to the repetitiveness (lol). You may even feel so different at times.
But that is not loneliness. That is not problematic. And that definitely does not mean that your marriage is failing. So stop worrying. Stop focusing on the negative in your head- do not let it consume you. Stop worrying about romance. And definitely stop trying to bring back the days of old. You have both come a long way in your beautiful journey together. Embrace everything that is different and every little thing that remains. Take time to re-discover each other again because neither of you are the same.
Fall in love with your husband again and stop worrying about finding romance.
I encourage you to just let go of the negative and focus solely on the positive things. Nothing was ever accomplished by focusing on the negative!