Marriage is work.
I’ve heard this so many times but in the 12 years I’ve been with my husband, I never considered any aspect of our life together “work.”
We share a lot of the same views when it comes to our short and long term goals. Our relationship advanced as our careers took off and we became parents. But still, we’ve been on the same page for the most part.
So where’s the work?
The other night, as we carried out a discussion we’ve had AT LEAST 20 times, I realized the answer to this question.
I have a partner in life. No question. Wouldn’t want to spend a single day in this world with anyone else. But what I do not have is a romance novel marriage. And that’s okay. I don’t need that.
But, honestly? I need at least a little romance.
And denying that would be lying to myself and the man I love. I saw this quote and it totally resonated with me.
So I did what any Penelope would do: I made a list.
Not a list of complaints. That’s not going to get us anywhere. No, I needed to stop telling my husband simply to “be romantic” and make him a list of ideas of HOW to do that, concretely. No guessing.
I asked him if he’d be okay with a list of ideas and he totally was! They can’t read our minds. But they can read a list.
List of activities that qualify as “quality time together” (for me):
- Go to a comedy club
- Run together
- Go on a Sunset Sail on the Bay
- Go wine tasting
- See a movie
- Go on a picnic
- Do a hike in Muir Woods
- Have a candlelit dance in the living room
- Book a couples massage
- Have a bubble bath
- Go sightseeing in San Francisco
- Have dinner/drinks out
- Go to a cooking class
- Enjoy a baseball game
- Go on a day trip to Half Moon Bay
That’s it. Just 15 ideas he can refer to when I’m saying we need some quality time. This way, he doesn’t have to work so hard to figure out what’s getting my panties in a knot and I don’t have to work so hard to get him to “get it.”
This part of our marriage is work but we’re doing it. I’ve been honest (not passive aggressive) and he’s been receptive (not defensive).
Up next: me asking him for his list. Only fair right?
I’ll get back to you after I’ve reviewed his list and ordered my nurse costume. I’m okay with that.
It’s work. Our marriage is worth it.