Friday, 6 September 2013
You know, that Stranger I live with...my Husband.
Ok, so don't get me wrong, I've been married for what some would call a good while, for example in Hollywood we've already passed our Golden Anniversary, but as I looked over at my best bud for life I couldn't help thinking, I want to do something with him...but what? I mean, we're married, I love him, we get along well, we like to talk to each other and watch old Star Trek episodes together, we have two beautiful kids, but what on EARTH do we like to do together? Be forewarned: This is not one of those blogs about marriage that has all of the answers - those are out there, trust me, Google it. You will find no answers here friend, only more questions. Using the aforementioned super searcher, we actually looked up THINGS COUPLES CAN DO TOGETHER ONCE THEIR KIDS ARE ASLEEP. I am happy to inform those of you who are newly married, that of the lists of things that we found, we have successfully mastered their suggestions in only eight years. Some of the top suggestions were as follows:
1. Watch a favorite show together - check and check. We don't just watch SHOWS together, we watch entire SERIES together, Firefly and Dr. Who being amongst our favorites, but I have to say - Though Malcolm Reynolds is easy on the eyes, in his leather holster and spaceship, can you blame a girl for wanting some of that good old fashioned TIME together that we craved as a young couple? But, answering this begs the question, what is it that we did together all the time to make us want to spend our lives together? I actually can't come up with a solid answer...shiny.
2. Make Out/Write Each Other Love Letters: Reading these suggestions made me cringe a little. Seriously - for the rest of my life, every night, you want me to write a love letter? Creativity people, there can be a limit to how often I compliment his ruggedly handsome physique - I don't know, it might start to feel disingenuous. Also, don't get me wrong, making out and cuddling are great, but again, the kids got to bed at 7:30, and the above mentioned are kind of time sensitive activities. Marathon make-out sessions end in chapped faces that you must later explain away by blaming the overly dry Edmonton weather - just a word of caution.
3. Share a Favorite Snack: This one, we've done once too often, I'm afraid. There's nothing like a bowl of popcorn, or our standard favorite, chips and salsa. (Usually while watching a favorite show - TWO at the same time - Don't try this at home, we're professionals) But, back to the problem - this being one of our favorites, the truth is, we've put diet restrictions on ourselves. I don't know if you can, when you're at home, but eat a certain amount of snacks and the treadmill starts to leer at me every time I pass it, as if it is saying, come to me, you who are heavy, and I will TORTURE it off. I know, exercising is important, and working out as a couple can be a good pass time...but it for SURE crosses suggestion number 2 off the list, getting close to someone when they're sweaty is not the best fun I've ever had.
4. Ultimately it was what boiled down to Make More Babies: Again, fun. But - isn't this the very thing that put us at home before 7pm on a Friday night to begin with? Now, don't anybody get on my case, ok? I wouldn't trade my precious kids for a million late nights out, it's not nights out that I want. I want to know my kid's Dad. Another part of me couldn't believe this was an actual suggestion. C'mon people, I thought this one was sort of obvious. Intimacy can't be left out of the equation or nothing in a marriage works right, but there's so much more to marriage than just that.
Besides I want to know who my husband is, know what he likes, know what I like - and DO THAT together. I don't want to live the next fifteen or so years in my house with someone I don't know, and have one of those epic-movie worthy-crises when I'm fifty and have missed out on the partnership part of being married for twenty five years. I want him to like me, like spending time with me, and I want the same of him.
Writing about marriage is tough - it's why I don't do it very often. It's personal, and for some reason it's supposed to be perfect. Writing about it makes it vulnerable, and transparent. It makes it seem like it is teetering precariously on the edge of the big D word, and that's uncomfortable. So, what do you do? What do we do? Tonight we played Scrabble (so far I'm beating him). But before that, we talked and laughed a bit at ourselves, about not knowing what to do with one another - and I liked that. Maybe it isn't actually about BIG activities, or specific things to "do", but sharing our time together wisely. I don't have all the answers - remember?
So, here's a question, what do you like to do with the love of your life? How do you spend the "off" hours together? I know there's things out there that I just haven't thought of yet, and there's a lot of you wise ones out there with really good, long lasting marriages, who have gone through the "home at 7" phase - what do you do? How do you, my dear friends, build your marriages?
Thanks for reading. Really.
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