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When I first met The Husband, I was instantly attracted the moment I laid eyes on him. We were seventeen and I was at a dance with another boy so that I could spy on a third boy, but the minute I saw The Husband I forgot the other two boys were even in the room. We had a great night of laughing and dancing and flirting our little hearts out. But we didn’t date then. Life rolled on and we didn’t see each other for three more years.
When I walked in to that pool party the summer after my sophomore year of college, I immediately picked The Husband out of the crowd, not because he hadn’t changed (he’d grown about a foot so he was close to unrecognizable) but because I felt in my chest the same thing I felt the first time I saw him all those years ago. Instant attraction. For the first few years we were together, we were inseparable and the chemistry between the two of us was almost available to the human touch. We needed to be near each other, with hands or feet or anything touching, whenever we were in the same room.
Then, we got married and our lives got busy. Then, we had kids and our lives got busier and our days even more full than we could have ever imagined. We were tired. We were strung out and used up by everyone else in the world, so being near each other and touching became less and less of a need and more and more of another task on the to do list.
I love The Husband more today than I ever have. Physically, he has changed from the tall and skinny 24 year old I wed to a stronger, thicker, bald-is-beautiful 40 year old, and I dig it all. More importantly, he is an incredible father, and really, what is sexier than that? Attraction and love have never been our problem. Time and energy are.
Now that our kids are a bit older and our jobs are more secure, we haven’t slowed down at all, but our energies have shifted a bit. I don’t feel so used all the time, as there aren’t small people literally pulling at me for attention and needs. I’m rested. I’m active. I even get to put on makeup once in a while. As for The Husband, well, he’s killing it at work, he’s happy at home and he’s made time to take care of himself as well.
It seems we’ve hit a sweet spot, not just in our parenting, but in our personal life as a couple as well. We’re trying to capitalize on that. You hear all the time that in order to make a marriage work you need time to reconnect emotionally and physically. I remember, when my kids were smaller, those articles and editorial news pieces suggesting date nights and cuddling were one more thing to add to the list of What I Should Feel Guilty About Doing Wrong as a woman. We had no time and then we had no money for anything short of sitting on the couch watching television. So, that’s what we did.
Then, something funny happened. In the middle of the chaos of our lives, The Husband got laid off from a job. It sounds terrible, but it turned out to be the thing that saved our marriage. Suddenly, he had all this time. And while the stress of job-searching can take a toll on a person, the stress of the previous job had wrecked him so much, those few months jobless turned out to be almost like a vacation. He relaxed. He got to know us. He learned about the neighborhood where we had lived for four years (since moving for said job) and he began to rediscover who he was a member of our family and I remember why I couldn’t take my eyes off him all those years ago. We took long walks. We ate lunch together. We sat up late into the night just talking. We made time for (ahem) other stuff that had fallen into the cracks of a chaotic life.
He’s been back at work for over two years now, at a job much different than the last. This one doesn’t suck the very marrow from his bones, so there is something left when he returns home at the end of the night. We’ve made a commitment to each other to make sure we still have days like those blissful ones where he was out of work. We make sure we still take long walks. We kick the kids out of the living room for “adult swim” on weekend nights where we reconnect over a glass of wine and conversation. We also carve out time of our busy weeks and weekends for (ahem) other activities.
This Christmas The Husband got me tickets to a Broadway show and a babysitter. For Valentine’s Day, we’ll spend the day in the city, see a show, eat an incredible meal and spend the night in a clean, quiet and romantic hotel. It will be reconnecting at its finest and we’ll have the time and space and privacy to get a little (ahem) creative in our reconnecting. A few short years ago, I never would have imagined such a thing. Lucky for me, The Husband could, and he made it happen. So we could keep making it (ahem) happen for our marriage and ourselves.
For more great ways to add a little (ahem) to your marriage this Valentine’s Day, visit K-Y.com. Check out the K-Y® YOURS+MINE and the K-Y® DATE NIGHT pack at Walmart.com for discreet purchasing. Feel free to share your ideas for staying connected in the comments below. We could all use a few (ahem) ideas.
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.