This post is going to be about not taking your spouse for granted. However, I’d like to start by bringing up my mother. Weird, right?
A few years ago, my daughter received a beautiful bed for her room. My friend’s daughter no longer needed it, as at the age of twelve, having a pink and purple castle bed that reached the ceiling was not cool. We measured the dimensions of the room, rather inaccurately, before receiving the bed to make sure it would fit. My mother’s advice, after seeing picture of this thing, was to make sure the ceiling was tall enough.
“Mom! I am thirty three years old! I’m a doctor! Don’t you think I know what to measure to fit a piece of furniture in my house?”
I think you can guess where this is headed…we had to cut part of the top of the bed off to fit it in Maddie’s room. Again, my mother was right. My mother is always right. Since then, fortunately, I finally learned to listen to her. This leads me back to the topic of my spouse.
This June was our ten year anniversary. As for most working couples with young children, having time for us was low on our priority list this decade. There have been too many distractions making “the nest” – personally and professionally. Right before our anniversary, we had a visit with my parents. My mom took the opportunity to give me some advice.
“Remember, as much as you love your children, they do leave. And then, you are back to just the two of you. That relationship is the most important.”
Even we all know this in our head, it is frequently difficult to act like we know it. Additionally, when you are not super connected, it makes those difficult times of life, all the more difficult to navigate. You know what I’m talking about. I decided to really listen to what she said and that after ten years of marriage, resetting priorities was long overdue. For our ten year anniversary, I would give my husband the gift of time.
Over the next ten months (for the ten years), we would have a special activity around the nineteenth (our anniversary is June 19th). And it would happen come hell or high water.
We reflected on the adventures we’ve had together – looking for lost luggage with the Federalis with machine guns in Mexico, trying to climb to the top of a volcano in Ecuador, getting lost until sundown, and having to hitchhike back to civilization. Scuba diving on Maui. Skiing in Poland. Spain, Prague, wine tasting in Santa Barbara…So. Much. Fun.
I started to plan. This month, we are going to a gardening class where they provide lunch from the greenhouse where they teach. Next month, we have a swing dancing class. The following month, a bike trip to Amish country. And so on, and so forth. Just planning these activities has re-sparked the excitement in our relationship. It is like no time has passed at all. Perhaps our new pattern will last beyond these next ten months.
The moral of the story is, listen to your mother, and connect with your spouse now. Don’t wait til the chicks leave the nest.