Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Long, Slow, Beautiful Dance

Today is my ninth wedding anniversary.  Nine years.  Where has the time gone?

It doesn't feel possible that nine years have passed since Husband and I said "I do."  I can remember *exactly* how I felt about him nine years ago.  How much I loved him.  How I wanted to be with him more than any other person in the world.  Forever. 

Nine years, three kids, two jobs and one house later, we're celebrating our anniversary over 700 miles apart.  I'm traveling for work and Husband is home with the kids.  Husband will spend more time with the babysitter today than he will with me.  Not exactly the type of anniversary celebration a girl dreams about. 

But it is apropos for how we've been treating our marriage lately.  It would not be an overstatement to say that our marriage could use some work.  Between work and school and the kids activities, Husband and I are stretched pretty thin.  Right after Snuggle Bug was born Husband took a new position with his company that came with a teeny tiny bit more pay but tons of extra overnight and weekend work.  And my job has required a lot of unadvertised travel.  Throw in three kids, a bunch of activities, school and regular day-to-day obligations and we are pretty much at capacity.  Husband and I barely have a chance to talk about the basics, let alone discuss anything that might nurture our relationship.  And you can forget about going out.  Husband has always been a homebody and difficult to get out of the house.  Add in complications of needing a babysitter and being on a time table, and it's a sure bet it isn't going to happen, even if all he has to do is show up.  And that gets you where we are now: needing some maintenance.

 I've been telling Husband we need a tune-up for quite some time now.  For a long time I've felt like my only value to Husband has been as a workhorse:  I'm expected to have a job and provide the main income for our family so that we can have a house and car and food.  I'm also expected to do all of the tasks that go along with taking care of our children, maintaining a home, and coordinating the kids activities.  It doesn't sound like much in that list, but if you think about all of the steps in just one task in one of those categories, you can understand how at times I feel overwhelmed.  And why I want to feel like something more.  But, if the morning's lackluster exchange of cards says anything at all, it says that Husband isn't likely to look at me any differently any time soon. 

A marriage isn't a one-way street, however, and I've got work to do too.  I'll openly admit that I don't know how to make Husband feel valued and special.  It's hard to convince Husband that I'd rather spend time with him than anyone else in the world when I fall asleep on the couch every night 27 seconds after I finish packing all of the lunches, snacks, and school supplies for the next day.  I want it to be different, and it is up to me to make it so.  Now I've just got to figure out how (and stay awake to do so). 

It's been an amazing nine years with Husband.  The past nine years have been filled with some challenges but many wonderful blessings.  Our children, our family and our home are so much more than I ever thought they could be.  I am truly blessed beyond words.  And I still feel about Husband the exact same way I felt nine years ago -- there's no one else in the world I'd rather be with.  And I'm even more in love.  To borrow the lyrics from one of the songs in our wedding, "it's a long, slow, beautiful dance" and while we may be a bit out of sync right now,  I'm so glad we're dancing together. 

1 comment:

  1. My first thought is that your husband needs to do a little more than he is. You've got a FT job and then you've got a "second shift" the moment you walk in. It does NOT sound like you are being appreciated.
    On the other hand, a lot of women I know are struggling with this issue, including me, so I guess I don't have any great advice to give. If it makes you feel better, my situation is that my husband is unemployed. So, he is taking care of kids because we can't afford daycare. So, not only am I the primary breadwinner but the SOLE breadwinner. And yet, I am expected to do at least 50% of the housework, and MOST of any non-essential, non routine activity falls to me, in part because I am a control freak (e.g. finding contractors when something breaks, finding an affordable Easter dress for kiddo, finding affordable swim lessons and getting them scheduled, etc.) The house has never been cleaned and no meal has been planned when I get home. But in fairness to my husband, my 2 kids are TOUGH to supervise and when he does have free time, shouldn't he be looking for a job instead of cleaning?
    If I had money, and I were in your shoes, I would maybe do something for me? Judge Judy has a book where she talks about how she has to do stuff for herself because her husband just doesn't "get" certain things, like the fact she wanted a nice diamond ring for her wedding ring. So she bought it herself and now she has a beautiful one. It's unromantic, but maybe it's time to buy your own anniversary present!!!
    Also, I don't know which poster wrote this or what your weight is, but a friend of mine has had a lot of success in making her husband pay attention to her by losing weight! I am not sure if it's the new confidence she has or if he is more attracted to her, or maybe he thinks she was going to leave him (!!!!), but she has dropped 40 lbs, and she says he is much more attentive now. She wanted to lose weight anyway and had a friend do it with her, so this was just an added bonus. Maybe if you are already thin, consider a makeover. Maybe go blonde or something. That might get his attention. I am not up to losing weight now, but I am planning on it in the fall! I do think it might get my husband to take me for granted a little less...