Just before bedtime the other night I read this blog post about maintaining that loving feeling in marriage. They say it takes a lot of work. Making time for each other, talking to each other, staying out of ruts or getting caught in routines. Couples should support each other in their interests, the article says, and resist taking each other for granted. They should be open to spontaneity, surprises, and exchanging positive energy.
I texted the article to Micah, just for kicks, then left the room to manage my dental health.
A few minutes later, as I stood with my electric toothbrush in my mouth, waiting for the 3 buzzes that indicate a job well done, Micah jumped out from the behind the doorway. “Surprise!” he said.
“I love you I love you I love you!” I said, toothbrush still buzzing.
Who says maintaining that loving feeling takes a lot of work? Pshaw!
But seriously though. Sometimes I get caught up in not wanting to change too much. I want to be as young as the day we were married. Part of me even wants to be that girl who shopped in the little boys’ t-shirt section of the local thrift stores simply because that’s who I was when I met Micah. Part of me wants Micah to never ever wear a pair of blue jeans because that was something I loved about him when we were dating. But that is exactly how ruts are created and boredom is spawned and pretty soon you’re sitting on opposite sides of the couch texting your friends when you could be cuddled under a blanket
feeling each other up doing crossword puzzles.
And then I remember how much I love the look of pleased surprise Micah has when he sees me try to doll myself up. Or how proud he is of me when I try something different and new. Or how much I love it when Micah gives up another piece of his college days in exchange for something more professional.
I am afraid, I think, of ruining things by not being the person I was when we married. But that’s because I forget how fun and exciting it is to evolve together, to encourage each other and watch each other succeed. Even if it’s in something as silly as unlocking the next box in “Cut the Rope” or as trivial as trying a new pair of earrings.
Maintaining that loving feeling may take some work, but it also takes a lot of courage.
What do you think? Do you have a hard time growing up and growing together? Or is it something that comes easy to you?
(The photo captures the moment Micah beat me at Scrabble, just after Christmas our first year married. We both lived through it and no one had to sleep on the couch.)