My essay below was originally published on DigitalRomanceInc.com a few years ago, (to update the story, my husband Terry and I have been married 7 years now), and I’m proud to say everything I wrote here applies as much today as it did when it was first written!
When I first sat down to pen this piece, I questioned whether I have any right to write this since my hubby and I will be celebrating our 4th wedding anniversary this October. “Does someone who is barely out of newlywed territory get to tell the rest of us how she keeps the romance alive?”, you might ask. Maybe not, but I will anyway.
We don’t treat each other like brother and sister. Many couples become so comfortable with each other they begin to behave more like bratty siblings than mature lovers. She stops shaving her legs or wearing that sexy dress he loves, he laughs maniacally while passing gas in her face. She starts burping aloud at the dinner table, they start going Number 2 in front of each other. My husband and I care about remaining attractive to each other. Whenever the dynamic in a romantic relationship becomes more familial, as in more like parent/child or brother/sister, sex appeal and sex usually go out the window, because who wants to sleep with their mom or sibling?
We are more supportive and positive than critical. Many people are petrified that the one they love will take them for granted, so they don’t freely give compliments because they mistakenly assume that making their mate feel secure in the relationship will lead to a big ego and cheating. They wind up sabotaging the relationship by being more critical than loving, because who wants to make love to someone so unloving? My hubby and I are quick to verbally note when the other does or says something wonderful, but we step back and think twice before being harshly critical. I tell my husband on a regular basis how thrilled I am that he exists in the world. He often tells me I am the best thing to happen to him. We build each other up, because we want to see the other happy and successful.
We don’t let others come between us. My husband is my priority, and I am his. That means, when other people show signs of expecting to come before my spouse, it’s my job to make it clear that they don’t. If someone else tries attaching themselves to one of us, it’s our job to safeguard our relationship by keeping each other prioritized and never acting in a way that dismisses the other’s feelings.
We show each other physical affection every day. There isn’t a day that goes by without kisses and hugs, and we still have sex multiple times a week. Even when we’ve had a fight, we prioritize resolving the issue and we’re back to healing our connection. We often rub each other’s backs and feet while watching a movie. It’s one way to stay connected.
We balance time with each other and time with our son. Our 4 year-old is the light of our lives, and we truly enjoy being parents. But we discussed early on, before our son was even born, how crucial it is for parents to not let parenting and its inevitable stressors keep them from staying connected to each other as lovers. If we let our identities become lost in parenting and lose touch with what brought us together in the first place, we run the risk of weakening the ties that keep the romance alive.
There are no guarantees in life. Being married doesn’t guarantee that one of us won’t fall out of love and find someone else, and knowing this keeps us from taking each other for granted. Romantic love is a garden and we can choose to either give it water and sunshine or neglect it, and too many couples mistake their vows for a guarantee that the garden will survive without water and sunshine.
3 thoughts on “How My Husband and I Keep the Romance Alive”
Ms La Pointe (Liz), What a great recap and analogy of nurturing a relationship to keep it exciting, alive and interesting. I had this at one time with a partner (wife of 20 years and High school sweetheart) where each day I would undress her with my eyes no matter where I was. It’s important to note that the impulse and desire (key word) never diminished for me. However, at a high school reunion an old common classmate was taken with how good my wife looked after so many years and because he was unhappy and unfaithful in his marriage he felt no reason not to encroach on mine. Mind you, this was an old friend of mine for many years. Of course I could tell over the next 6 months that something was amiss as when you have been a close/romantic couple those vibrations never go away and if they do then there is a reason for it. Well, There was a reason and it came to no surprise when things were uncovered. I then made the bittersweet decision to forgive and try and reconcile and spent the next 9 months doing everything I could to reignite the spark and romance that once was so overwhelmingly powerful between the two of us. As it only lasted another 9 months before she coughed up the next confession and at that point part of me died. When you give so much of yourself and share that with someone else you ask yourself a question which is “what exactly do I have left to offer anyone else”. I have struggled for several years since this divorce trying to figure out what went wrong and what my responsibility in this was and its been difficult to move into other relationships. I have dated and had several relationships but they all seem to fail when things move too quickly as things do in today’s world.
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that I can appreciate what you describe and entering into a marriage should be a lifelong commitment. When there are bumps along the way that is only natural but strong foundation of Love, Trust and respect should be able to not be derailed so easily. Without these three elements I’m afraid to say that the sky is no longer the limit for happiness. It becomes a waiting game of deception and chicanery between two people who were once completely connected. I am inspired by your youthful and inspiration perspective and it appears that you and your husband are on the same page and share similar feelings. That is awesome and I wish you the best. My former relationship was what textbooks were based on with how two people can become one while maintaining independence for everyday life. We share 3 wonderful daughters and at least that is my takeaway from what was once the most important and compelling thing in my life. Your readers should truly read that piece a few times and try to understand the undertones and the meaning of what you are putting forth. I know I did and only wish I still had it to give to people to let them know that desire, sharing and understanding can go a long way in any relationship that has ups and downs. I refer to it as the roller-coaster of life with top speeds, twists and turns, good feelings, excitement, letdown occasionally but mostly you get off the ride holding the hand with the same person you got on the ride with. Wishing you and your husband a lifetime of family happiness and good memories to share together.
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Thank you for reading and weighing in! Hindsight is 20/20 and we do the best with what we know. Divorce is so tough but usually a good thing, even if it feels heartbreaking at first. I’m glad you shared this profound insight!