Bring yourself back to the days where you were smitten by the thought about seeing their face, where hearing their voice would immediately put an ear-to-ear smile on your face. What happen to those days? Being in love with your spouse is never lost, it’s only prioritized differently as time goes on. Not saying that’s right at any level, but that’s life. It’s ineviteble.
Marriage is more than just a couple becoming one in all they do. It’s a business at the end of the day. You both invest time, your mind, body and soul. We, as a couple, do not search for monetary profitability but for something strikingly similar. We ultimately search to take in more value from whatever we put out; you give some, you take some. Being business partners, I’d expect when I put forth X amount of effort it is returned in equal or greater value. Everyone has to pull their own weight.
Now you’ve gone back and forth, giving and taking. What do you do at the end of the business day? Cash in! With all these “brownie points” from doing your Honey-do list of sorts you gotta spend it somewhere right? Can’t go spend it in real life, so how do you cash in? Reward yourselves together. Indulge in a night out together, grab an ice cream cone, watch a movie, it doesn’t really matter what you do. Just do it together.
Just because you tied the knot and you’ve got a bunch of mini-me’s running around savagely doesn’t mean you should stop dating your spouse. Take a second and think, when was the last time you surprised him or her with a small token of your appreciation. No, I’m not talking about the last time you bought them something they wanted without them asking. Some may find that sufficient, but really when did you do something meaningful for them that allowed them to sit back and think, “damn, I am appreciated… He does think of me.”
I’m just as guilty as the next guy. I get so hypnotized by my every day life and my A to Z tasks that I forget that there’s a woman who loves me dearly that sits behind To-Do lists and daily chores. She gets me when others don’t understand all the silence. Why do I neglect her the way I have? I blame my work schedule and all the stresses of daily life. That’s a lie whether I were to admit it or not. There’s no excuse. She’s given so much of her life to me, yet I’ve only continued to take, take, take.
Now we’ve established how shitty it is to be the average husband, what do we do about it? Do we just nod our heads in agreement? Each situation may be different, some may just need to do the dishes when it’s not their night to do them while others will take some vacation time to spend one-on-one time with their spouse. But whatever you do, be more than average.
Being the first of my friends to be married, I was the first of us to blaze this trail. At times it felt like I was explaining the color purple to a blind man: Things just didn’t make sense, they were hard to figure out. I didn’t have much to look out to when I needed to find my way. So naturally I messed up a lot, figured out how to reconcile.
I’ll admit when Pinky and I were dating, I was one creative sonovabitch! There would be so much going on, but I would find a way to make or say or do something that reminded her that I was the one she wanted. Why? Because I didn’t want for one moment her to forget that she was loved and appreciated. Now being married, it was almost drowned out and it was almost an assumption. “Yeah she knows I love her, I tell her all the time.”
Was that the message she was actually seeing? After careful debate and a recount on votes, I was wrong. Sure I tell her every day that I love her, and often I remind her that she’s appreciated. What do I actually DO to show it? I’ve taken advantage of her kindness and have lacked returning the favor. Sure, I buy what she wants, when she wants. I take days off she says I need for events, I oblige when she wants to go somewhere I’m not exactly a fan of. But what do I do outside of the box?
That’s on the agenda for Repairing What’s Broken 101. It was well worth fighting for years back, it’s still work fighting to keep. We all need breaks between the rounds, but take a knee, breathe, collect your thoughts, hold on tight with white-knuckle grip and get ready to roll with the punches.
“I was born the moment I fell in love with the world, because I knew, somewhere, someone like you existed in it.”
— R.M. Drake, Broken Flowers.