It’s been 10 years. Yes, I know! I can’t believe it either! We’ve been together for longer, although we often debate the actual amount of time (there is a dispute about when we were officially dating). It’s been a wild ride, and we’ve shared a lot of ups and downs. But lately, I feel more disconnected from you than ever. And it scares me to death.
Everyone hears about the “7 year itch” where you reach a point in your marriage that you wonder “what if”. I never had that, and I don’t think you did, either. When I was down, I sought help with your unwavering support and moved on. When our sex life was drab and dry, we worked through it and came out stronger on the other side. When you hit a low in your work or health, I was right there, trying to help you through it by talking, supporting, whatever you were willing to work with at the time. We have been been each other’s cheerleaders, therapists, and comedians. We have swooped in at the last minute to save the other from going insane when it came to our kids. And we’ve survived it all.
That’s my main problem lately, though. We are surviving, but nothing more. We don’t put in any more effort than is necessary and it’s starting to make our lives feel mundane, typical, suburban life. We laugh about it often, about how we are just going to “survive”, but what if that is all we end up doing? What if we lose the flavor of our relationship to the day to day business of trying to hold our family together? What if we never feel the way we felt before?
I know that a marriage is work. I have heard that for years, heard that you have to make it work and put in effort on your marriage to make sure that everyone is happy. You have to communicate. You have to make sure that everyone’s needs are met. You have to plan time for just the two of you. You have to make date nights. You have to take time to yourself, too, so that you can function within your family life. But I feel like neither of us have done this enough lately. We’ve forgotten how important it is to spend time with just us, to replenish our R & R time so that we can be the best parents we can be, as well as the best husband and wife team that we are able to.
So, husband, as I write this, I wonder how we can get back there. How can we go back to the times that we were happy to be together? That we wanted to communicate? Will we ever get back there? I know we may never return to what we had before kids, because our lives have changed so much and our relationship has evolved. But I want to do more than just survive with you. I want to enjoy you. I want to spend time with you. I want to strengthen our relationship more so that we last another 10, 20, 30 plus years until death do us part.
I need your help to get there, though. Meet me halfway. Ask me what I need. Ask me how my day was (or continue to, as you do this daily anyways). I need you to continue to support me but also to push me to my limits so that I can achieve higher levels of success in my professional career and feel that individuality beyond my family needs. I need you to schedule a date night, or even suggest it, so that we can solidify our relationship but also so we can laugh together and remind ourselves why we love each other. Let me have some true mommy time, where I go and get out by myself, to get a pedicure or just wander the aisles of CVS, but suggest it to me so I don’t feel guilty about going out and finding myself without the mom attachment for even a short stretch of time. Put me first every now and again, instead of our kids, because it’s ok to put them to the side for a moment so I feel like the queen (of the house) you say I am. In return, I promise to do the same for you so that we can make it to our golden anniversary. Because marriage is not a sprint, it’s a marathon, and we have to train ourselves to stay the course.