Reconnecting With Your Spouse
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to recognize that day-to-day life filled with work and chores and kids and (stick your ball-and-chain problem here) can wear down even the most loving couple. You stop making an effort. You start focusing on the negative things in your relationship instead of the stuff that made you fall for each other in the first place.
That's what happened to my husband and me. It's not that we weren't in love anymore. It's just that it became extremely hard for us to show it by the time we finished our workdays; our long commutes; bathing, reading to, and tucking in the kids; and scarfing down leftover chicken nuggets for our (late) dinner. Kissing each other became an afterthought. Conversations were mostly tactical: Who's going to take Mari to ballet? Lila needs a new pair of sneakers already? How are we going to pay the tax bill?
The simple things we used to do to connect as husband and wife -- giggle over a glass of wine, kiss for no other reason than to feel each other's lips, make love sans one eye on the clock -- went the way of the public pay phone.
And so one day last year, in a rare moment of grown-up clarity, Nick and I decided we needed to do something to save our collective sanity -- and our marriage. We ran away. We sold our house in New Jersey and moved to Georgia, where life is way more affordable and a lot less hectic.
Now Nick works from home. While our 6-year-old and 3-year-old are in school, I run errands, write, and store up enough energy for mommy time after school. These days we can all eat dinner at a reasonable hour and get the girls to bed with enough wiggle room for us to spend quality time with each other.
A drastic decision? Maybe. A necessary one? For us, absolutely. Sometimes you have to do something bold to take your marriage back to the days when the two of you were giving each other the attention you both needed and deserved.
Of course, you don't have to move to another city to do this; much smaller moves can have a wonderful payoff. Consider stealing one of the following ideas to help you remember why you said "I do."
Contributing editor Denene Millner is the coauthor, with her husband, Nick Chiles, of A Love Story.