As all of us old, married folk know, marriage is hard work. It's quite possibly even the hardest work - with parenting being a close second.
It's hard enough finding a decent man these days, but then, when you snag him you have to keep that relationship afloat for the next 60+ years without killing each other. And on top of all this there are jobs that need attending, kids that need care, dinner that needs to be made, laundry that needs to be washed, a house that needs to be cleaned, and bills that need to be payed. Oh...and we can't forget sleep. Where does your marriage (that made all of this possible) fit in? You know what I'm talking about. If you nodded your head to any of the above, please keep reading. This is for you.
I feel as if my husband and I have done it all (minus buying a house and pushing out babies). And sometimes, doing it all can get extremely stressful and you forget to relax and just be with your spouse. I'll be the first to raise my hand. I know my Type-A, go-go-go self would rather get the dishes done than sit back and chill with my man. But too much of that attitude got us in trouble. Big trouble.
The constant effort to get things done and time spent away from each other for work and school eventually added up and turned our precious, newborn marriage into a pile of crap. I'd care more about disinfecting the bathroom than I would about sitting down to eat dinner at the same time Josh did. And he was just as guilty - when I did sit down with him, his eyes (and brain) were glued to the TV. We were passively neglecting each other.
Neither of us really addressed it until I was home alone one night while Josh was away for work (for 11 days!) and I hardly even noticed because I was so busy doing, rather than being. As I got into bed that night and felt the empty side of the bed where my husband's warm body would usually be, I felt it. Loneliness. But how could I feel lonely? I was happily married! As I played through all of the reasons I could feel this way, I put two and two together and realized we'd been doing marriage all wrong.
I called Josh the next day and explained my heartache to him and he said he had also been feeling that way. I couldn't believe we'd been so negligent of something we once desperately longed for.
Since that day, we've made it a point to sit down together when we eat dinner and to go to bed together each night. Even when we haven't seen each other and have been go-go-going all day, those few minutes of peace together are refreshing. It has made all the difference in our relationship. We're less snappy, more playful, and just all around happier spending time together. Isn't that what marriage is all about?
Do you have a daily ritual with your significant other to enhance your relationship? What is a tip or advice that has refreshed your marriage?