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This week at Start Marriage Right, where I’m a regular contributor, I’m writing about those slumps we get into in our marriages, you know, the ruts carved by routine and the mundane of life. It’s that path we create in our daily lives where we forget how much we love, want and need the people who share our living space.
Committed, selfless relationships are counter-cultural. We don’t see them flourishing much anymore, and when we do, we often wonder what the secrets are.
I can’t tell you I’m in love with my husband every day, that I feel gooshy, whooshy feelings of adoration every waking moment. So I don’t have any secrets for maintaining the seemingly drug-induced infatuation state of the first years of dating and marriage.
But the commitment my husband and I made to love each other six years ago, in sickness and health, mean and nice, rude and affectionate, no matter how much bodily fluid covers the floor, no matter the state of our bank account, this commitment leads us to creatively invent new ways to love each other. And maybe more importantly, to rediscover each other.
Here’s an excerpt from my latest article, and you can read the entire piece right here.
When we were dating, the infatuating love I felt for my husband was intense. It started strong and only grew. It felt like an electric force field radiated from him. The closer I got, the weaker my knees, the quicker my heart rate. He couldn’t touch me without me getting chills.
Needless to say, dating him was my life’s greatest exercise in self-control as we wrestled with our chemistry and attraction to each other while waiting for marriage for sex. It felt like trying to contain a fire.
The day we married, we exchanged vows, and I could sense him as an extension of me. Our lives, once parallel, were united.
My smile could’ve split my face in half. Finally, I had what I’d been longing for. It felt like we could finally let the fire out.
After we married, we moved into a tiny apartment downtown. I went to school, and he went to work. We shared a bed and a bedroom and a closet and a dishwasher. Before long, the sound of his voice was no longer simply whispers of affection but sometimes a reminder to wake up for class, pay a bill or a gentle but slightly annoyed request to put my toothbrush away.
As we added people, responsibilities and careers to our lives, the chemistry of our young relationship grew more difficult to access.