In the spirit of St. Valentine, I am resurrecting this previously published post that has new meaning today as I thrive in my tenth year of my MARRIAGE. Love is in the air but it is hard earned and consistently challenging so Cupid and chocolate are always welcome.
Previously published February 2010
I just had a difficult conversation with my husband. It was the kind of talk that can lead to a bad situation. I’ve never been one to hold back. I don’t believe in the idea that there are some things you do not share with your mate.
I’ve been in a needy state lately. Some days find me wishing that I could have more of the kind of attention that the first few months of a relationship gives you. And while my immature thoughts are kept in check, they still exist. It’s hard to grow up. It’s even harder to realize after ten years with someone, that they are never going to see you as new. I like new. It gives me the opportunity to be fabulous. It makes everything possible in a way that old hat does not provide.
Back to the difficult conversation. I told him I wanted to sit down and talk. I could almost see the cogs and wheels in his brain shift towards catastrophe. “It’s nothing bad. No affair or anything.” I proclaimed. “I’m just having some unsettling thoughts about us and about marriage and I want to talk them through with you.” I could tell this was not going to flow as anticipated.
I discussed my feelings. I tried to explain how my thoughts were drifting towards the newness of relationships. How I wanted to be perceived as vibrant and sexy. How I wanted to meet someone that thought I was fantastic. I attempted to break down my emotions in a way that would not conjure hurt. I tried to tell it like I am. I could hear the disappointment in his voice. I knew this was not the usual husband and wife banter. I had touched on something that so many people feel but never share. Honesty can be unsettling.
I reached out to him about my neediness. I told him I preferred that I preferred HIS attention. The inescapable fact of marriage is that it is possible to get bored. Sometimes mates get bored; even soul mates get the blues.
In the midst of my confessions, something interesting happened. He said, “Me too.”
For a moment, I wanted to get offended. What does he mean “me too”. Aren’t I the best partner ever? How could he be feeling the same thing? Doesn’t he know this is MY internal crisis?
Then I had to laugh at myself. Suddenly, I wanted to give him a great big hug and feel the comfort of the last decade. I actually felt relieved when he shared his lack of contentment within our marriage. I felt like we were having a real conversation, like real friends. I’m not afraid of either of us wanting life to be better. Sometimes, you have to fine tune a marriage.
We agreed to increase our relationship health checks to monthly instead of annually. I told him how happy I was to feel close enough to talk about the hardest subjects. We both left the conversation feeling thankful and aware of the work ahead to be done.
I wanted to tell him my inner most thoughts because he is my partner. We share this experience together and to me, that means the whole experience, not just the pleasant parts that fit into a nice box.
I love my husband. I still get butterflies when I see him barefoot and shirtless wearing jeans. I don’t want to change him; I just want to grow with him. As for new, well that’s why they invented shopping.
————–UPDATE: five and a half years later…
I’m in love. We are still keeping it real. Staying in honesty. Having difficult conversations. I’ve never been closer to anyone. Once you can break through the need to be safe in a relationship you can be FREE in your relationship. To your wild success!
————– An update two years later…
I’m in love. I still find my best friend by my side everyday as we raise our children and manage our dreams. Everything worth having is worth the hard work required to maintain. The happiest of Valentines to everyone who might not have had a Hallmark moment today. Keep the faith. Forge ahead. Love is on your side.
And if love is sweet, here are my favorite links of the day: