Don’t you just love date night?
Holding hands. Conversation without interruption. Being out and about together. Taking your time for everything – especially that glass of wine. Acting as if you normally dress like this and have makeup on and are showered (yea, right? That would be something huh, moms?)
How easy our married lives would be if we could always live in the glow of date nights. If laundry and work and cutting the grass and toddlers and making sandwiches and paying the bills didn’t remind us that we have actual responsibilities.
It’s hard to maintain the afterglow of date nights when life happens. I always resolve myself at the end an evening out that I am going to keep these carefree feelings alive and show my husband how much I care for and love him EVERYDAY. Not just once a month, when we sneak out for an evening together.
Then my dreams face plant into reality.
In my usual frame of thinking, I am much too busy to put myself out there with my husband because the kids need a bath and their teeth brushed and to be put into bed. I have to clean the dishes. I have to feed the baby. I am much too busy to be expected to give anyone else anymore of myself.
Then by the time the kids are in bed, and there is any sliver of a chance of connecting with my husband, I am much too tired. It becomes one more chore on a checklist of things that require something of me. Doesn’t that just sound so romantic?
I struggle with being needed. And because the children sometimes scream like banshees and are relatively hard to ignore, I go out of my way to meet their needs (because I want the voices to stop.) That means I’m less inclined to make myself available for my husband, because his needs, theoretically, can wait. Because I’m exhausted.
Day to-day life, especially with children involved, is hectic and certainly not always romantic. And you’ll swear that your children are purposefully blocking any and every attempt at romance that you and the husband can muster.
I’m not talking about being a door mat for our husbands. I’m not talking about always putting them above ourselves. I’m speaking practically about the ways that we can love them, and put effort into our marriage, which is always a good thing. I’m talking about encouraging the romance and affection that you need, too, ladies.
It’s probably pretty difficult to get your mind into a “romantic” setting after you’ve cleaned up from a massive diaper blowout and you haven’t caught a shower. For me, sometimes the one thing I’d like most, connection with my husband, just doesn’t seem possible after a long day.
I need a slow build to get my mind in the right settings for romance. But, ladies, we need that connection with our husbands. And, to be frank, we need intimacy with one another. So often, we relegate it to the back burner when it should be a priority.
So, how do we live our married lives like we are in a state of perpetual “bliss”? How do we choose romance?
Show your husband that you care.
Simple as that. Right?
Here are a few ways to pursue your husband:
1.) Be glad to see him when he gets home.
I’m not talking about being June Cleaver. I’m not talking about the house being pristine and having a hot dinner on the table, which is already set. I’m not even talking about having real pants on, and not the sweats you live in for three days at a time.
I’m talking about stopping what you’re doing for two minutes, and welcoming your husband home. Ask him how his day was. Look him in the eye. Give him a peck on the cheek and a hug. Get close enough that he can smell your perfume (or your staleness, if it’s been a long few days since a shower.)
Don’t look at your husband like he is just an extra set of hands when he walks in the door, though I have been guilty of this on plenty of occasions. Look at him like he is your husband. Acknowledge that is there, acknowledge that you missed him. Then smack that booty.
Let him know you care.
2.) Do that thing that he wants you to do
Get your minds out of the gutter.
My husband loves it when I wake up early and keep him company while he gets ready for work. That sounds painful, doesn’t it? Parting with an extra 45 minutes of sleep is an effort for me. I don’t always succeed.
I’m not saying it’s this exact thing for the two of you, but there is probably something your husband would be bawled over if you did for him or with him.
Watch the game with him. Play chess with him. Keep him company while he washes the car. Make him his favorite dinner. Watch the t.v. shows he wants to watch. The possibilities are endless.
Don’t know where to start? Ask him.
3.) Be romantic with him.
Now your minds can be in the gutter.
Initiate. Initiate the romance. Don’t wait. Don’t wait for him to guess what you’re thinking. Don’t send subtle signals. Put the kids in bed, then wait a bit (probably more like an hour to be sure they’re really asleep, if you live in my house.) Then pounce. Or meander over. Or, you know, wink at him.
4.) Give him a break.
I know what you’re thinking.
You’ve been cooped up with the kids all.week., mostly inside because it’s been raining or someone had a cold. And YOU want a break from children.
Your husband just spend 50 hours at work this week, doing the same things over and over. He just had his bosses come over and tell him to do that report he spent two days on all over again. He just answered a telephone call from a less than pleased customer.
Newsflash: your husband does stuff, too, while he is out of the house all day.
So, sometimes, he wants to get out of the house and feel like a human being that isn’t running the endless rat race of the 9-5 (or shift work) work-force. Sometimes, he wants the house to himself for an hour so he can watch wrestling and wear the sleeveless shirts he doesn’t want anybody else to know that he has.
Sometimes, he wants to be Al Bundy, sit with his hand in his pants on the couch, drinking a cold one, watching the television.
He’s a peacock, you gotta let him fly.
5. ) Treat him like a person
Don’t nag him. Cus he’s grown.
Ask. Request. Suggest. Encourage. Talk to him like an adult.
Don’t nag him like he’s an extra child. Don’t harp on him. Don’t expect him to do things the EXACT way that you would do them.
Especially when it comes to how he interacts with the kids.
Let him learn to navigate the art of fatherhood all on his own. The kids may be wearing mismatched clothing and still be awake at 10:14 when you get home from a night out with the girls. He may not have touched the dishes you asked him to do. He may forget to take out the trash.
Whatever it is. Calm down.
Don’t treat him like a paycheck. Don’t act like your staying home with your children is a favor you’re doing for him. Don’t act like he owes you for everything (except for when you clean up profuse amounts of dog poop or puke.) Don’t act like he couldn’t get by without you.
Just be grateful when he’s there. The way you want someone to be grateful that you’re there, catching vomit at 1 a.m. or cleaning the goldfish crumbs out of the back of the van when it’s 90 degrees out.
Forgo the martyr act, and treat him like a flesh and blood person.