Till death do us part. What does that really mean? When you speak of forever you’re not speaking genuinely. To say to someone that you will be with them forever is to lie to them, because at the end of the day you don’t know that. They could die, you could die, the world could end, heaven & hell could turn out to be a myth. Anything could happen that would prevent forever from coming. Beyond that, when most people speak in such broad terms, they’re not doing it logically. When you proposed to your partner, you set a wedding date. That was a firm commitment. One that took a lot of thought and soul searching. When you plan to stay with them forever, it’s really done purely out of emotion. You haven’t sat down and really planned how you will reach forever. Of course “Till death do us part” has a much nicer ring than “Till I find someone more interesting and attractive than you.”
I can’t stress this enough. Reevaluate. Do it every day if you have to. For starters reevaluate your commitment to your partner. You told them forever. How do you plan to get there? Hell, how do you plan to make it until death? We’ll leave forever up to God. I think for most of us the decision to marry comes out of a natural progression of events. You meet someone that you like. YOu find them attractive, both mentally and physically, and you ask them out. You get to know each other, and eventually you take it to the next level. For most of us that’s moving in together. For some, it’s getting engaged. We think very long and hard about either of these because it’s a major commitment. The odd thing is that it seems most people jump from these into the actual marriage quite easily. They figure, they’re already this serious, they might as well take the plunge. If you ever really talk to people about why they got married, the answers are somewhat surprising and flippant.
So think about it. Maybe you’re married already. Do you still want to be? If you could choose any woman that you know, or have known, would it still be your wife? Is she still the most attractive woman that you can think of? Is she still the person that you’d prefer to spend all of your time with? Don’t just answer these questions with the response you think you’re supposed to give, really think about it. If you could be hanging out with anyone on a Friday night would it be your spouse? Would it be a friend? Would it be a group of friends? Would it be just by yourself?
When I decided that I wanted to marry my wife, we had been dating for about a month. I was only 18, and it occurred to me that I had found the woman (girl then) that I wanted to be with for as long as I could hold onto her. I told her this and she responded with hesitancy. That’s normal. We’d been dating a month and i was about to move away to go to college. I didn’t waiver though. I explained to her that we were going to get married, and that she’ll come to see that soon enough. About a year later, I proposed to her while lying on the floor of our basement apartment. I had no ring, no money, a band that was going nowhere, and was basically the poster child for loser. What we did have though was a connection that can’t be described and from what I’ve seen, is pretty rare. She knew it and accepted my proposal. From that day until this one, I’ve been reevaluating my decision. Not because I question it, but because I don’t ever want to get complacent. I don’t ever want to get to the point where I’m married because I’ve always been married.
My wife and I have both agreed, that if one of us or both of us were to ever find someone that we preferred over the other, then that’s the end of it. Of course I don’t see how that could ever happen for me, but death is a long ways away, hopefully. Our tastes change, our personalities change. Our desires and interests change. While my wife and I have been fortunate enough that our changes have only brought us closer together, we’re both realists. We know that we could just easily change tomorrow and it would rip us apart. I had a girlfriend prior to my wife that I loved. It wasn’t just silly high school love either. We were together for over 2 years and I truly loved her. She was a great person, and I genuinely enjoyed being around her. I assumed that we would just stay together. Why wouldn’t we? Then one day I realized that while I still loved her, I didn’t want to be around her anymore. I cared about her, but didn’t care about her romantically. It was almost instant. We broke up shortly after. then I found my wife. I’m not arrogant enough to believe that I know the future, and it’s entirely possible, although not probable, that I will have the same experience with my wife tomorrow. It’s possible she’ll go through it and leave me. We both accept these facts, and while if she left me I don’t really know how I would continue to function, I would have to accept her choice. It’s how we work.
Break The Routine
Don’t let yourself get caught in a routine. It’s so easy to do this when you’re married and even easier when you have kids. See if this rings any bells:
Kids wake you up before the sun is up
You fix breakfast, eat breakfast (which is always an adventure)
You try to get everyone bathed and dressed
You pack lunches and get ready to head out for the day
You then do a full day of work, school, housework, or whatever your 9-5 is
Come home, instantly get attacked by kids
Fix dinner, eat dinner (another adventure)
Get everyone bathed and undressed
Try to get everyone to bed
Fall down from exhaustion and hopefully land on something soft
With all of that it’s very easy for romance and spontaneity to get lost in the shuffle. Sometimes you just have to manufacture them. If you can’t find a babysitter and you want to have a date, then just include the kids (something we do all the time!!!). Get them all dressed up and tell them that you’re having a double date with them. A lot of times we’ll cook a fancy meal, get the table set very elegantly, put on music, dance, maybe light some candles, etc. Sometimes we’ll just go out to a nice restaurant (that allows children) and save the extra dishes at home. The kids think it’s great because they’re being included and they feel very grown up, and you get to have your romantic evening, albeit with another couple.
Also there’s no reason why you can’t be spontaneous with kids. Plan a trip for the whole family without your other half knowing and then spring it on them at the last minute. Or maybe just have the entire house clean and kids fed by the time they come home. it will be a nice surprise and will open up the night for some extra “romance” time.
What can I say about sex? HAVE IT!!! One of the great benefits of marriage is sex. It’s an intense closeness and just a damn good time for everyone. So do it! Honestly I think a lot of marriages would improve if they would just have sex more. In my opinion there is nothing more honest, spiritual, sensual, engaging, and connecting than having sex.
Of course life gets in the way. A problem that we’ve run into before is just running out of time in the day. Sad I know. It gets to be midnight or even 1am, and we’ve got 1 or both kids still not asleep, work starts in about 6 hours and we need some sleep of our own. What do we do? A lot of times, we’ll tough it out, go without an extra hour of sleep and get it done. But sometimes you’re just so exhausted that you can’t make it. So we came up with a new idea. Sex while the sun is up. Before you make dinner, before you get into the evening route, before you’re even settled in from work, go and have a quickie. Why not??? Give the kids a snack, hand them a toy, hell tell them to color you a picture and then sneak off. Then if you still have time and energy later, all the better! I’ve actually known guys who have cheated because they were being deprived of sex for such a long time. They don’t get to experience the closeness, they don’t feel as loved (physical love is a big part of love), etc. They’re searching for that connection, and they find it in someone else.
So make sex a priority. I know it’s a lot to ask, but it will really prevent you from falling into the “excellent roommates” problem with your marriage. You don’t want to just be living with your best friend, or an acquaintance. You want to be living with your lover. If you don’t consider your spouse your “Lover” then something has gone wrong. When you look at your partner you should see your best friend, and the sexiest person you can think of. If it’s not the case, then keep looking. I can say without a doubt, that I’m more attracted to, and interested in, my wife than any other person I’ve met in this world (and i’ve met a lot of people). It may sound odd, but when I’m having my little sexual fantasies throughout the day, which I think most guys do, I’m thinking of her. If we’re at the beach and there’s bikini clad chicks walking around all over the place, my eyes are glued on my wife. If you’re not like that, then rethink some things. You shouldn’t have to settle, ever!
So in the end, I guess I’m trying to say (as I always do) don’t get stuck on titles. I don’t care if they’re your wife, or husband, or fiance, or just a sex buddy. If they’re not truly right for you, then drop them. Really think about this to. Don’t give the reflex reaction like someone just tapped your knee with a hammer. Think about it. If you could choose anyone to be next to you right now, or in bed with you tonight, would it be the person who is wearing the ring you gave them? Or would you keep looking?