“The Family” – Article 4, This Thing Called Love
As I sit here and read this article describing how in one woman’s eyes, her marriage is not even close to what we have all come to expect, I realize that I can identify in so many ways.
She goes on to talk about how her and her husband no longer sit and have white wine and salmon, and that the perception of romance after marriage and children is very different than the previous life they had known.
She states, “Let me be clear: I still love my husband. There is no man I desire more. But it’s hard to sustain romance in the crumb-filled quotidian that has become our lives. The ties that bind have been frayed by money and mortgages and children, those little imps who somehow manage to tighten the knot while weakening the actual fibers.
…. If this all sounds miserable, it isn’t. My marriage is like a piece of comfortable clothing; even the arguments have a fuzziness to them, something so familiar it can only be called home.”
I myself (as well as my current husband) have been parenting since becoming legal age, and I don’t mean to buy alcohol. So needless to say, any kind of adult relationship that we would have experienced never happened. Neither of us has ever experienced sitting with a glass of wine, or even juice for that matter, and participating in the romance that most people think of. It has always been a life of big bird and teddy bears, which has now become driver’s education and other teenage expenses. At the ages of 43 and 37, we are desperately anticipating the independence of our children so that we can make those experiences happen for us. And though sacrificing a “normal” adult life and “normal” dating and romantic interactions may seem like a real bummer, we see it as an advantage. We have made our mistakes, raised them up, and by the time we get our chance to have “adult time”, we will be without pressure and that much more grateful for it.
I know for me, reading this woman’s passage gave me a very good feeling. It was the first time I had ever seen it displayed so romantically that her marriage was like a comfy set of clothes, and I liked that. For me, it rings truth for my daily life. I don’t feel that I am lacking, even on days when my husband and I barely run past each other at home, running in our own directions; pulled to our responsibilities, we still let each other know how much we look forward to seeing each other. No matter how tired at the end of the day, how frustrated, how broke, no matter what, we are absolutely smitten with each other all the time. I don’t know what could be more romantic than that. The fact that we can barely see each other and know with certainty, feel no loss, and without complaint, genuinely miss the others face, or hand holding, or even the simple things like keeping the bed warm or snoring. We are grateful for our lives together on a daily basis. And someday, someday we will do those things that most dating couples do, maybe not; but I know one thing, we will still be in love. We will still feel cozy like a fuzzy warm sweater.