romance

I Had To Remind Him To Hold Hands (And It Made Me Mad)

  A couple of months ago, my husband and I were driving to a restaurant on our monthly date night. I was super excited because, well, I got all dolled up for the occasion. I had on a shortish lacy, off-the-should dress with my hair done and a lipstick that made my mouth look all kissable. I had on perfume and heels. We got a friend of ours to baby-sit the kids and had even rented a fancy car for the occasion. I felt beautiful, unstoppable. I felt fierce.

  So here we are in the car on our way to strip on the beach where the restaurant is located. I darted my eyes sideways to steal a glance at my husband. His eyes are on the road and music is playing in the car as he sings along. I scroll through my Facebook feed for a few minutes, then put my phone down and sigh a bit dramatically.

No response.

I roll my eyes and reach over to lightly place my hand over his on the gear stick. I gently roll my thumb back and forth over the back of this hand.

Nothing.

Finally I couldn’t take it anymore.

“When we were dating you ALWAYS used to reach for my hand when you were driving,” I exploded.

  Jono glanced over at me in surprised confusion. “Matter fact, you actually used to get mad at me for not holding hands with you more often in the car. I guess now that you got access to booty any time now, there’s no need for any of that,” I went on.

  You might think I was overreacting at that moment, but believe me, that conversation had happened several times before, and here we were again.

  He quickly grabbed my hand, squeezing and caressing it with him thumb. He had that sheepish grin on his face that he gets when he knows he’s wrong. “I’m sorry babe, you’re right.”

  I leaned back in my seat as I tried to calm myself down and decrease my rising blood pressure. His thumb started working it’s magic in seconds and I looked over at him again. “Let’s not be mad, okay mama?” he continued. He went on for a few minutes to admit that he isn’t as physically affectionate as he used to be but that he’s working on it, that it has nothing to do with me and it’s just him having a lot on his mind, etc.

  Our date night continued smoothly after that exchange (can’t waste a baby-free night ya’ll!) but it got me to thinking (again) about how time impacts romance in marriage. 

  See, when we were dating, living several blocks away from each other, sleeping in separate beds (with separate bank accounts), we couldn’t wait to be with each other again. Whenever we were together we would hold hands, hug, and sit super close to each other because we knew that eventually we’d have to separate until the next time our schedules allowed us to spend time together. Things got even MORE intense when he left on a year-long mission trip.

  But when you get married, the dynamic changes. You go to sleep together. You wake up together (hello morning breath!). You brush your teeth at the sink while your spouse does their business on the toilet, and you even wash their dirty underwear without blinking an eye. In a word, you get FAMILIAR.

  That’s when it gets really easy to take your spouse for granted and stop treating them the way you did when your love still felt new. It’s like a gradual transition from making out while saying hi to just “Hey, did you remember to pick up milk at the store? ” When you see someone all the time and they become a part of the environment around you, it’s natural for some of the spark to fade.

  That’s why BEING INTENTIONAL matters. You have to start reminding yourself about the things that attract you to your spouse. You have to revisit the memories you made together and recount the things you’ve gone through as a couple, the obstacles you’ve overcome. You have to move appointments around on the calendar so that you can leave work early and spend some time alone without the kids.

  Being intentional about keeping the romance between you and your spouse going isn’t easy. You may have to put alerts on your phone to remind you to do the special stuff until it becomes second nature again. But that’s okay.

  Every couple that’s been married for more than a couple of years eventually has to start being intentional about keeping the romance alive in the relationship. There’s no shame in that. What is wrong is when you don’t make an effort to recalibrate and get things back on track. A romance-less marriage eventually dwindles to basic cohabitation, a roommate with occasional benefits.

  If you noticed that you and your spouse have lost your spark, it’s okay to get upset and voice your concern. It’s okay to fight for your marriage. That means that it still means something to you. It’s okay that I got passionate about my husband not holding my hand because it shows him that I still crave his touch and want his full attention. It reminded him that our romantic connection is still important to me.

So fight on friends! Keep that flame going.

Till next time,

Kay

My Marriage Had Become Stale and I Didn't Even Realize It

A few weeks ago, I was listening to a podcast by my favorite motivational speaker as I was driving to work. One of the points he made was about how a lot of married couples put so much money into their businesses and “the grind” but aren’t willing to put the same amount of money into their marriages.

As I reflected on my own marriage, I came to a scary realization: my husband and I have spent A LOT of money on growing our business, personal development, and even electronic devices, but not even a fraction of that amount on our own marriage. It was really sobering. I realized that we hardly ever put any real effort into planning special moments for one another aside from the yearly stuff: birthdays, anniversaries, etc. When I got to work I texted my husband about the podcast. He was listening to it too and thought it was amazing, but I guess the marriage part hadn’t hit him as hard as it hit me. “We need to have a conversation about this,” I wrote.

Later on that evening we both talked about the fact that we had gotten so comfortable with each other that we had started taking each other for granted. Our friendship was such an open, honest one that I guess we had started settling for a good friendship and slowly stopped putting effort into the romance and spark of our marriage. Instead of being proactive about keeping the spark going in our marriage I began resorting to reading romance novels and watching romantic movies. I was content watching fictional characters enjoy the romance I was too lazy to create in my own life. Pretty pathetic eh?

To be honest, we had these conversations before, but when I stopped to think about how much money we were putting into everything EXCEPT our marriage, it made me realize that even though others may see me as a sort of relationship “expert,” my marriage is just as vulnerable as anyone else’s.

The truth of the matter is, it’s easy to fall into a rut. When both spouses are busy with the demands of a nine to five career and kids-not to mention extra stuff like school or starting a business-it’s very easy to put your marriage on the backburner. Paying bills, spending time with your kids, and ensuring financial stability for the future are all very important things. But the most important thing is your spouse. After all, your kids will hurt just as much if you and your spouse grow apart and decide to get divorced. Launching a business successfully won’t have as much meaning if you lose your spouse along the way.

So how can we make sure that we invest in our marriages and keep that spark going between us and our spouses? I found that the answer is simple: be intentional. Applying it is a whole other thing though. What does being intentional about keeping our marriages healthy and happy look like?

Close your eyes and imagine your wedding. How much time did you invest in planning for it? How much money did you invest into making that day beautiful and special? Now open your eyes and commit yourself to putting just as much money and time into romancing your spouse. Here are some suggestions:

1.  Keep a wish list. Have a box in the house dedicated to this. You and your spouse can put slips of paper where you write down things you enjoy doing, places you’d like to visit, or a meal you’d like to try. Every month, you can pick something from the box to do together, or plan for each other.

2. Schedule quality time. Have a shared calendar on your phones where you schedule your date nights and other special times together.

3. Plan ahead. Once that date is on the calendar, make sure you plan everything else around it, including work stuff. Nothing is more important than your spouse. So act like it. Planning ahead will ensure that you don’t put each other on the backburner anymore.

There is no such thing as a perfect marriage, but by doing these things we’re helping make our marriage a HEALTHY one, and that’s what we hope you all strive for as well.

Till next time!

Kay Gus

P.S. We get REALLY transparent in our e-book “Love Me This Way.” Download your FREE copy by clicking here if you want to know what it really takes to love your partner.

P.P.S If you already have the e-book, we wrote a follow-up 7-day devotional to help you put the principles from the e-book into practice. Whether you’re single or already in a relationship, this guide will help you dig deep into yourself and put in the work you need to have healthier relationships. Click here to check out "Working On ME."