My husband, David, and I have been married now for a little over 10 months. Now, trust me, I don’t claim whatsoever to be an expert on marriage, but I’ve learned a lot these past 10 months about myself, my husband, God, love, and what it actually means to love and be married.
It’s really funny when people that are older than us give advice or some sort of insight about life, yet we so easily brush it off. It is so easy to not believe them or listen to them and say “Nah, it will be okay, we won’t be like that,” despite the fact that they have already experienced life and we have yet to. Whenever people see a cute old married couple, the common response is “Wow, that’s great! How did they do it?” Usually, the answers are things like laughter, love, and perseverance. I remember, when I was little, asking my mom how she and my dad had stayed together for so long and how they survived some arguments and hard times they had been through. She would always tell me they just kept going. Even if sometimes they didn’t “feel” like being romantic or sweet to each other, they still loved each other and were committed to each other, and they knew those lovey-dovies would come back eventually.
And the thing is, it really is easy to disregard this kind of information until AFTER you have been through situations yourself. For David and I, it became about working to keep out of our ruts. It is human nature to settle into a routine. Sometimes that can be a good thing, like when your morning routine gets you out the door on time and helps you stay in the “employed” status. Other times, though, that routine can become a rut and make life stale- especially in marriage and love. A love/marriage “routine” can make it very difficult to feel good and be romantic, especially when you’re going through difficult times.
In our marriage, our “rut” became a tempting resting spot because of our insane schedules. When David and I come home from working two jobs a-piece, it is much easier to plop on the couch and zone out while watching TV than it is to hold a stimulating conversation about life and our day.
This past month we barely saw each other because of our schedules and our lives slowly began to shift from routine to “rut.” Our conversations became “How was your day?” “Good. Yours?” “Good.” “Good.” And after a short period of this wonderful conversation I think we both began to feel like something needed to change but neither of us could put our finger on it. The stale was seeping into our attitudes towards life and each other.
It was really hard to come to that realization and it took some painful moments of heated discussion but it was a blessing in disguise. By the end of one of our “heated discussions” we were finally able to identify and put our finger on the problem- we had BOTH let the stressful and tiring long hours we were working become an excuse to be selfish and stop working to romance each other.
So, from one young newlywed couple to the others out there, NEVER stop trying to romance each other. The realization has really helped. The flames in both our eyes and attitudes are back. We realize things won’t always be perfect (trust me, we know), but even in the rough patches and the stressful moments, if we both keep trying and if we both put our hope and faith in our Lord, Jesus Christ, things will turn out right. I can’t wait for the exciting road ahead.
…and as I go back to re-read & edit this almost 10 years later…I just laugh because I had no clue what I was talking about.