Now I know what you’re thinking. Once you’re married, it’ll be different. Things change when you have responsibilities. We have that now. We have three amazing kids that we are raising, a teenager, with all that fun, an almost teenager that is going to hit that stage MUCH to soon, and a “thinks” he’s a teenager who has more then a few years before he gets there. We’ve had our house (Well, 3 of them to be exact) and all the joy that comes with that. the household chores, the bills etc.
Let me describe a conversation I had with a married friend of mine last night:
S: How’s (wife) and (kids)?
W: Kids are great! I’ve finally got them all to myself for the weekend.
S: Oh yeah? Where’s (wife)?
W: She’s gone camping. Thank God! she’s driving me nuts!
W: She’s just always here! And she took my pillow camping with her!
S: So? Its a pillow.
W: But its MY pillow. Its just one more thing that’s not MINE anymore. Its MY pillow. I’m not going to be able to sleep without it tonight. I think I need a drink to calm myself down.
S: Over a Pillow?!?
She’s always here. She stole my pillow. REALLY? Come on!!
Here’s a couple more actual complaints I’ve heard:
(Husband) doesn’t listen when I tel him to do something with the kids.
(Wife) wants me to be the one to ALWAYS (insert chore here) why can’t she do it?
(Husband) doesn’t help around the house.
I love ALL my married friends. You guys are great! And I know that marriage can be tough. But if you could allow me a second to say something…
You get to share EVERY day with your spouse in some form or another. You wake up together. You fall asleep together, you share a meal together. At some point today you will have the ability to hug your spouse. To reach out and hold their hand for no reason.
I am a country apart from my spouse. The option to just sit and hold hands left 9 weeks ago when he did. I can’t share sections of the newspaper with him, I cant call him over to read a silly email over my shoulder. We cannot sit and enjoy the silence of a morning coffee/tea together or the chaos of getting the kids ready for school. I would LOVE for him to be close enough to steal my pillow.
Don’t take each other for granted. I know most of us have busy schedules, I know there are mornings that it feels like you don’t have enough time to breath. But fitting those moments in are something you NEED to do.
Set your alarm for half an hour earlier so you have those 30 min to talk to your partner about plans for the day. Those last few minutes in bed too important to you? Then set aside time after the kids are in bed. I know laundry is calling. I know those dishes need to make their way to the dishwasher, but after ALL that is done, 30 min extra isn’t such a big deal. When you are driving somewhere and you have those moments together in the front seat? Take advantage of them. Make your kids lunches/pack their bags the night before so that you can have those few moments before school starts.
Some of the “rules” in our house are our “5 more minutes rule” in the AM’s. When setting our alarm for the morning, we usually try to account for those 5 that turn into 15 min’s. The alarm goes off and we automatically say “5 more minutes” then we spend that time talking about our plans for the day, things we need to get done etc. Those 5 min usually run a little longer, and eventually Hayden comes and joins us, and we talk to him about plans for HIS day, and what he’s going to do. Then we get up and sometimes it makes us a little more rushed, but we get through it because those “5 more min” are so important to us.
We also have our “days” chat. That’s what I used to call it when Hayden was little. When it’d be his bedtime, I’d lay down with him and and he’d say “lets talk about days”. and he’s tell me what things he did at the sitters and I’d tell him something about my day. Shel and I adopted the same practice almost by accident. With a set of little ears around the house (or 3 sets as the case may be) there isn’t always a chance to talk about things that need to be talked about. So we started talking about them before we’d go to sleep. That kept up for a little while and then we found ourselves saying “So what do you want to talk about tonight?” Our nightly no holds barred talk have gotten us past some pretty major stuff.
We hold hands while we’re watching TV, or driving in the car, or reading books. When we’re sitting at the dinner table, one of us will rest our foot on top of the other ones. Its just a little thing but its a special thing for us.
Maybe its because we spent so much time apart already, its funny what loving someone for 15 years can do to your perspective on things. Maybe it that we both have counselling Backgrounds, maybe its because we’ve both got some pretty heavy baggage, but those little things make our day and the big things, we don’t sweat. We don’t fight about money, or about household chores. The big stuff, we sit down and talk through.
Now… who’s turn it is to take Bernie out, or Who takes too long in the bathroom… Don’t get us started.
Oh.. and P.S… Wes, its a pillow! Get over it!