Lazy friendship marriage

 

Lazy friendship marriage--it's so easy to slip into.  You're both exhausted after an especially hard few weeks at work, and you turn out the lights with a quick peck on each others' lips.  Your dinner conversation becomes all about calendars and kids' schedules and home maintenance.  When you do have a few free moments together, you sink in front of the TV or schedule one of the appointments you have been putting off because it is so hard for you both to find the time.

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You're a great team, fantastic roommates, awesome business partners.

But a marriage?  Where did you, the husband and wife, go?

I could talk about all sorts of ways that our daughter's sudden arrival made our marriage stronger, but the quick and easy response is that we started going on dates again.  We put the babysitter on the calendar, and we prioritized our marriage.

These dinners out still contain their fair share of housekeeping, but we anticipate the night out days beforehand, get dressed up, and suspend our expectations temporarily.  Other than spending time together, we have no agenda, no to do list.  

We have had more fights over these kid-free, fancy-ish restaurant dinners than I care to admit, and I think it is because we need the release.  Much of the passion and frustration and emotion gets saved for these times away, and it would be healthier to express it sooner, but I am glad that we are expressing it.  We need to attend to the deep and superficial, the serious and the silly, not just the functional.  We need to remember the two nineteen year-olds who fell in love and not lose sight of them.  Most date nights, I think we are successful.

We usually just go out to dinner, but some outings are special because they stretch us both.  The night we painted and the times we dance we learn something new about each other, and we have a great adventure.  We may not be kayaking in the middle of the Mediterranean like we were as newlyweds, but even those small unexpected moments light us up inside and keep us guessing about and delighting in each other.

When I am at my best, I am wholeheartedly present in those dozens of moments that present themselves for connection everyday: in kisses hello and goodbye; in the knowing glances and eye rolls when your child is getting on your last nerve, and you at least think, "Thank God, we're in this together, and I am not insane;" in the sweet way he puts your dog and daughter to bed; in the zing of attraction you feel when he competently handles a problem that would send you into a fit of rage.  You know then in every fiber of your being that he's the one, and you thank God you have him and you know that you are the luckiest person in the world.