My husband and I have been together for over a decade. We started dating when we were in high school. Needless to say, our relationship has changed over the years. More than once actually.
We were polar opposites. We hung out with different crowds, liked different things, had a different idea of a good time; yet still we were drawn to each other.
We were not good for each other. Not quite to the point of toxic, but neither of us had figured out what we wanted, let alone how to have a healthy relationship. We were just teenagers for crying out loud.
Inevitably, our pettiness and immaturity won out, and we broke up. I even had another “serious” relationship. That relationship lasted long enough to show me what I didn’t want from a partner, and long enough for my dear husband to realize that he did want me.
We decided that we wanted to be together, and we have been together ever since. That was 2009.
We were young, carefree, and blissfully in love. We went out almost every night. We came and went as we pleased. We would make trips to Walgreens at eleven at night for candy if we wanted to watch a movie. We didn’t really have any responsibilities except to each other.
He was my boyfriend.
&& he was fun.
Fast forward a few years, and our first son was born. We were seeing each other in a whole new light. We were parents for the first time, and we had a responsibility to take care of the new life that we created. This was the first time I remember looking at my husband as a provider. Watching the bond form between him and Mason is something that I will never forget.
He was still my boyfriend && he was still fun.
But he was also a father.
Once our second child was born, our entire family dynamic changed.
Gone were the days of going out to dinner on any night we pleased. We no longer had the ease to run to the store at 9:00 at night if we wanted to. Packing up two kids and trekking out onto the town was significantly more difficult than when we only one. Not to mention that somewhere along the way we moved out of his moms house and got an apartment. So not only were we exhausted from taking care of two kids, but we also had new bills to pay, and double costs of raising a child.
I worked over 50 a week at that point, for a company that was open 24 hours. I worked a lot of crazy hours. Yet every night when I returned home, I would find him waiting for me in the living room. Sometimes he was awake, sometimes he was fast asleep on the couch. But no matter what time it was, he would wake up and we would talk about our days before eventually giving into the exhaustion and heading to bed.
This is probably a good time to point out that our sex life was still rather active. Especially for a couple that had two kids. But we were young, and we were still in that “honeymoon” phase (even though we weren’t married yet).
The year after our daughter was born, we bought a house. Four months after we bought our house, we got married. By this time, we had been together for six years. We didn’t have a big fancy wedding. It was modest. Small really. And we didn’t go into debt doing it. We were back to our normal lives, living out our daily routine before I even received any documents with my new last name on them.
But none the less, when I looked at this man in front of me, where I used to see a carefree teenage boy, I now saw the father of my children, the provider for our family, and my husband.
We didn’t have the time, or the money for a lavish, romantic honeymoon. At that point, the thought of spending that kind of money on a trip that would only be a few days seems absolutely absurd. Not that my husband is really the romantic type in the first place.
Looking back, the biggest impact on our relationship came when our third child was born.
Now we have three tiny humans that depend on us for everything. We have responsibilities to each other, to them, to our jobs. We have car payments to make, a mortgage that seems like its always due, credit cards to pay off, utilities to keep on, insurance to pay for, etc.
We have more daily obligations than time allows. We have to keep our independent hobbies to stay sane. There is rarely time to spend on ‘us’.
Yet, we are okay.
We don’t argue. We never really have.
Our sex life may not be what it used to be, but I will tell you this:
“When Big colors, he rarely stays inside the lines.”Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City
There was a time when we wouldn’t have thought about going to bed without the other. These days, we are pretty okay with it. Our schedules don’t usually line up. Sometimes, not only do I go to bed without him, but he is just coming to bed when I am getting up for work.
Some nights after the kids go to bed, he will go off to the garage and work on one of the many projects he’s got going on; and I will sit inside and write, or do my nails, or do some arts and crafts, or whatever else I might be working on at that time. Haha.
Other nights, we will sit in living room, with the tv on, both on our computers, not saying a word, while sending each other random memes we find on the internet. And we are perfectly content in our silence.
Someday, the children will have grown, our financial situation will be less stressful, and we will be able to work less, and be together more.
Together – – without the exhaustion. Without the endless yells for mommy and daddy. Without lunches to pack, homework to check, and dinners to be made. Without laundry to be folded, dishes to be done, and groceries to be gotten.
He knows how much I love him. And I know how much he loves me.
And for now, that is enough.
**How do I know he really, really loves me? He always washes the dishes, and he lets me nap. ; )