Written by Tawny May
When we were “just friends” and dating, my husband would frequently tell me that he appreciated how “down” I was--ready for an adventure, chill enough to do nothing (when applicable), easy-going, and the antithesis of demanding. I took pride in that attribute and really tried to embody it in our relationship. I remember hearing him describe me to his friends, and I’d blush when he told them how good I was for him.
We dated, courted, got married, and basically just swam together in a sea of bliss every day.
But you know how it is--life happens...you can’t stay in your proverbial Kauai forever. Years passed. Work sucked. Free time was scarce. A baby was born. Responsibilities mounted high.
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And suddenly I’d “lost the chill” (as popular memes these days say). I was barking orders at him, correcting how he cared for our child, and demanding his attention. I wasn’t helpful in suggesting things to do for fun or places to eat for date night, I most certainly wasn’t flirting or doting on him, and I was probably just a big old wet rag to come home to each day. And what’s worse, I wasn’t “down” for fun anymore.
Last week, he asked me--spur of the moment--if I wanted to go to Moana (on a day when he normally had meetings galore but was miraculously free), and I said no. For no apparent reason. Just recently, he was trying to capitalize on a friends wedding and plan a way freaking dope trip for us to AUSTRALIA… and I told him to go alone. “It would be too much work with a baby,” I said. To heck with carpe diem! Who needs adventure, anyway?
Cue Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley. The song, "Remind Me," hit me hard--in a good way. I was putting laundry away (bane of my existence) while listening, and I smiled a little, thinking about our own version of this song.
Do you remember the way it felt?
Remind me, yeah remind me
All those things that you used to do
That made me fall in love with you
Remind me, oh baby remind me
Since when did I say no to a spontaneous movie night with my lover? And who was this person nixing an adventure to the land down under?! Wasn’t I chill and “down for whatever”?
As I was begrudgingly folding his socks, I realized that I wasn’t that girl anymore; I wasn’t acting like the gal my husband fell in love with. But I want to and I will be her again. I need to loosen up, find the chill. I need to say YES more! I want to listen better. I want to focus on what he needs. I want to have alllllllllll the fun with him and not just worry about the mundane tasks of life!
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I know I’m not alone in this. It is so easy to get into life’s routines, work, and responsibility, that we end up unintentionally neglecting our partner, our relationship, our marriage. But it’s okay--we can course correct if we’re intentional about it. Think back to when you were falling in love--what qualities did your partner like about you? Are you still exhibiting that behavior? Could you do anything to be more like you were then**?
Nurturing one’s marriages is a journey; it requires relentless effort day in and day out. So if you’re like every ordinary old couple needing a little more ZING in your marriage, think back to those dating days. Because hey, going back to the beginning is a good place to start. :)
Go ahead, re-embody the good of who you used to be. Remind your lover why you fell in love by being more of the person who he/she fell in love with.
**Disclaimer: Some of our actions or qualities from dating-times should stay in the past. I’m referring to the remarkable attributes or tendencies we admired in each other back in the dating/courting days that may be hiding dormant somewhere (maybe under all that laundry?).
Photo Credit: Caitlinn Mahar-Daniels
"You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly."
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