I LOVE MY MARINE!
Like, seriously. I crave his hugs when he’s gone and I still get girly excited when he walks in the door. But I made a BIG mistake that sucked out some of the passion in our marriage. I didn’t realize how much he loved me back OR how much he actually wanted to be around me. I didn’t realize that he still enjoyed dating me and missed our time together. I didn’t prioritize that aspect of our lives because, well, I was busy with the kids.
Raising twin toddlers (they were two at the time), I thought he understood that I was just trying to keep my head above water. They were born in Okinawa so we’ve never had family nearby to help and ONCE AGAIN, we were at a new duty station. I’m trying to create new friendships, build trust, learn the area and fight what I call the “lonely’s.”
I was educating the kids at home, hauling them to playgroups, library story time, trying to keep the house clean and, at the same time, cook a smokin’ dinner. Let’s not forget that I run a business too. Shouldn’t I get the BME award (Best MOM Ever)? According to him, yes. He would never deny that I am a great mom, but one day he said:
“I feel like you put the kids before me.”
If I could have sucked in ALL of the air on ALL of the Earth I would have. That’s how BIG my gasp was! But after I got over being offended and LISTENED to WHY he felt this way, then I totally got it. Being the best mom and a sucky wife is No Bueno.
Because, think about it, we could have hired someone to do all of the things I was doing for the kids, but he needed me to LOVE him. It’s like me accepting him going to work everyday and doing the heavy lifting around the house as an act of love, without him ever fulfilling my heart needs.
So we had a lot of hard conversations. After figuring out what’s important to both of us, we are back on track and better than before! Since I’ve been on both sides of this, that makes me a pro, right? Here’s my advice.
3 Romance Rituals to keep your FIRE while raising a Family:
1. What’s your ONE THING?
It’s the moment you take daily to come close. Busyness can create accidental distance. The nature of military life already pulls our families apart for periods of time. But everyday activities only add to that. Think about it, you’re usually yanked out of your sleep by your kids either crying or calling your name! You’ve grumbled a goodbye to your spouse and from this point you’re in action/routine mode.
How do you intentionally come close? For my husband and me, it’s when he walks in the door. He knows that my love language is affectionate touch. HUGS ARE HEALING! We embrace and it’s coupled with a few deep sighs and neck kisses. And we can melt our day away in each other’s arms. Our kids are so used to it that they stand next to us and hug each other until we are done. I LOVE IT!
2. Leave a LOVE trail…
This is pretty fun because you can be SILLY and/or SEDUCTIVE! Here’s how the love trail works. Leave post it notes in their boots, send sensual text messages or just tell them how much you miss them. A love tap on the bum while you’re passing in the house is a healthy reminder too 😉
3. Make bedtime COUNT
We try to keep a routine bedtime (we’re fluid between 8-8:30.) But we can look at each other sometimes and know, “Okay, tonight will be as early as possible.” That’s ADULT time. Do what you do! Make it as romantic as possible or keep it simple. The important thing is that it’s just the two of you!
BONUS** If you’re one of the lucky ones, you have at least one person who lives nearby that you trust to watch your babies. USE THEM! Start small by asking them to watch the kid(s) for an hour while you both go for some ice cream and a walk. This alone time is PRICELESS.
I love my children. But one day they will leave. And I can’t let my love for them jack up my marriage…so I have to love my spouse even harder!