We Still Do~
"Ultimately, it’s believing you’ve been placed with this person for a reason and embracing this in your daily choices and actions...even on days when one of you is less desirable because of, you know, life."
In reaction to so many of the recent moments we've experienced or things we've said or done in our relationship, I think to myself, I would love to share with someone else... how awesome he is....and then I think, Nah, I'll just keep this good stuff for myself. I can use it in the memory bank for not so wonderful days and moments, because we ALL have those days and moments.
We Still Do~
Marriage is difficult. Spending the rest of your life with another individual is a huge and challenging commitment. And I would venture to say it takes years for most people to figure out what makes their significant other happy, or at least comfortable, in terms of compatibility.
For us (my husband and I), it took nearly 16 years, give or take a month here and there. We lacked the ability or willingness to communicate, and we both seemed to have deep rooted trust issues, especially when it came to financial choices. We have finally figured it out (fingers crossed), and the root of success for us ended up being good old-fashioned romance, prayer, and communication. Oh, and not listening to whatever everyone else thinks!
Now I’m not talking about ooey gooey, lovey dovey romance (though I think that’s okay too); I am speaking of better communication; listening instead of just hearing, and the realization that life can change in a minute. Once you see life through this lens, you begin to realize, there is no time like the present to start loving each other the right way...especially once you experience some type of loss. In our case, the loss of my dad was a huge eye opener. We both have refocused our lives to live in the now and to try to appreciate every day we've been given. Actually, for me, every breath.
Dating and romance for us isn't anything fancy. Rarely, but sometimes, it's a dinner somewhere alone. More often, its snuggling on the couch. It's holding hands.
We always hold hands, and I think this is my favorite part of our marriage.
It’s also remembering to call and text to check in. This is more for safety reasons, and often, just to brighten the day. In reaction to so many of the recent moments we've experienced or things we've said or done in our relationship, I think to myself, I would love to share with someone else... how awesome he is....and then I think, Nah, I'll just keep this good stuff for myself. I can use it in the memory bank for not so wonderful days and moments, because we ALL have those days and moments.
Dates for us are not intense, but definitely worth the effort.
It’s an hour on a cool night in the hot tub or the front porch swing talking and enjoying the view. It’s going to see a movie the other person is interested in and trading off for a festival the other wants to visit with our children in tow. It’s cutting a flower from the garden and bringing it in. It’s stocking the refrigerator with things the other person likes or packing a lunch or snack bag for long days. It’s helping out with housework when I.JUST.CAN’T. It's putting each other first and demonstrating that for our children.
It’s praying for each other and loving each other through it...whatever “it” is. It's not allowing others to negatively influence your marriage. What works for us isn't for everyone and vice versa. I've even been told my marriage is in its infancy because I still prefer to be with my husband above anyone or anything else. I can respect that opinion, but that's not us.
21 years hasn't made me an expert, but it hasn't made me a novice either. We've simply found that if we show respect, we receive respect. I no longer allow myself to fall into the trap of misery loves company.
Ultimately, it’s believing you’ve been placed with this person for a reason and embracing this in your daily choices and actions...even on days when one of you is less desirable because of, you know, life.
This is us...to steal a phrase. It may not be you. Circumstances definitely present themselves and relationships crumble. I get that.
But by all definitions, my marriage should have failed, and we didn’t let it. I loved him through his seasons of change and he’s learning...ha ha.
I once had a friend take note of a sign above our bedroom door. It says, “We still do.” Ironically, my daughter liked the sign and thought I should buy it. That should tell you something right there about our relationship at this stage in life. (Reminder, she lived through the young parent fighting and arguing years so she knows the progression of our marriage).
Once the sign was acknowledged by the group, my friend and the rest of the group began laughing. Apparently, "we still do" means something else above the bedroom door? 🙃
It was funny, but that was not the intention of the sign. Though...we still do that too 🤫, it means...we still love each other. We are still committed. We still mean our vows of “I do.”
You have to find a balance. We began striving to live the life we've always imagined. And I place reminders of this throughout my home to remind all of us of what is really important.
My wish for you (my reader) is to love your life. Find a bit of joy in every day. Love yourself, and embrace any source of love around you. Phase out negativity and those producing it. If I know you, believe me when I say, you matter. You matter to me. And I still do care.