After a truly exhausting day I plopped down on the couch to feed our baby after tucking all the kids into bed. I looked across the room at my husband who was watching a show on his phone. Thanks Hulu (eyes rolling). We both looked at each other, but didn’t exchange a single word. We both went about our business, him on his phone and me feeding the baby, while playing a game on mine. After about 30 minutes my husband asked me if TJ was still eating and I nodded (I mean he was sleep eating…) he then turned to walk into our bedroom. I heard the TV go on, and then the electric toothbrush start… I knew he was headed to bed because he had the same routine every night.
TJ continued to halfway eat… If I wanted, I could have put him to bed, but I chose to just sit there and feed our baby. Eventually he finished, but I continued to sit there for another 40 minutes just holding him because I didn’t feel like going to bed, at that point I realized two things: 1. that I somehow had become really passive with my marriage, that I would rather sit on the couch alone than climb into bed and snuggle with my husband and 2. I really needed to change.
Deep down I knew I really loved my husband more than anything, but I felt like somewhere along the lines I forgot how to really love him, maybe it was while we focused all our efforts on blending our family (you have no idea how difficult this is unless you have done it), or maybe it was the move half way across the country from everything I had ever known, or maybe it was adding two more kids into the mix, or possibly it was just that “mom life” had finally taken a toll on me. Whatever it was I was at a crossroads in my mind, 1. that our relationship could continue down this path and we could be great friends raising our kids together, or 2. I needed to change and figure out how to be “in love” with my husband again.
Every relationship, no matter how strong goes through what ours was going through, where you get passive in your relationship, when things are less about passion and love and more about friends raising kids with one another.
At that moment I knew it was up to me to decide… And here’s what I did!
Make the Choice to Change.
At that very moment I made the choice in my mind and in my heart to change. I wanted to work at what we had and not get back to what we once were, but better than what we were! As I consciously made that choice I instantly felt a little happier, even though I knew that it would take a lot of work and effort.
Apologize for being so Distant and Cold.
For months I had been pretty distant from my husband and I think the more distant I became I naturally became cold to him. I was no longer the happy wife that was glad to see him when he came home from work or the one who sought out welcoming him home with a kiss after a long day. So that night I climbed into bed with tears in my eyes and apologized for pushing him away for so many months. This was a turning point for us falling back in love with one another.
Look for the Positive in All Things
I began to evaluate my life, not just my marriage and I came to realize that I had become fairly negative in general. I was negative about myself (my hair never looked good, my clothes were ugly), I was negative about things going on (the house was always dirty, the light was always red when I was running late), I was negative about my husband (he’s always late to everything, he works too much) and I realized that I had allowed that negativity to really affect my day to day life, especially with my marriage, so I decided that I needed to look for the positive things that were happening around me. I just refused to let negatively seep back into my life.
Stop Dwelling on What He Doesn’t Do, but Dwell on What He Does Do.
My husband is an amazing man. Every night he cleans up after dinner: he does most of the dishes, he sweeps the floor, and cleans the counters. I know many wives wish they had husbands like this, but I got caught up dwelling on the fact that he didn’t clean the pot that I left on the stove. So every night when he was done I would huff into the kitchen to clean the ONE pot that was not cleaned. I got so stuck on what he didn’t do rather than what he did.
I know that it is so easy to look at a situation and pick out what isn’t being done rather than what is, but this type of thing is harming to our relationship. Rather than saying, “my husband NEVER changes poopy diapers” say, “I am so grateful my husband changes some of the diapers to help me!” Rather than me saying, “my husband ALWAYS forgets to clean the pots,” I need to say, “I am so grateful that my husband helps me so much after dinner so I can get some other things done.” Dwell on what he does do rather than what he doesn’t do.
Appreciate the Small Things
In a world where we are all overscheduled and running around like crazy it is hard to appreciate the small things because we might begin to just expect them or we just overlook them because we are too busy! My husband a few times a week will just randomly send me a text that says, “I Love You!” Nothing more nothing less… I used to really appreciate these messages because I knew he was thinking about me right then and that he took the time out of his day to send it, but then I got to a point where I wasn’t as appreciative of them; it was sort of like oh that’s nice… “I love you too…” We need to appreciate these small things because as we appreciate them we can understand just how much our husbands love us!
Stop Being Offended All the Time
If you ask my husband I am the most sensitive person he knows. My husband loves sarcasm and I love to become offended by it… I realized to truly fall in love with my husband again I needed to be less sensitive when we are joking around. When I decided to do this, we became closer because he wasn’t afraid to say something that would cause me to not talk to him for several hours and I wasn’t looking for ways on how I could be offended.
Put Your Husband First.
With so many kids and so many schedules this was one of the hardest things to do for me, but it is the most necessary when it comes to falling back in love. When we first got married we were able to still spend a substantial amount of time together just the two of us. He knew he was my number one priority, but over the years this shifted a bit. The little kids needed me more, the older kids had more activities that they needed to be driven too, my husband and my life got busier with various things and we were giving each other what was left, which equaled on average about 15 minutes a day. When I decided to put my husband first, we grew closer together. On busy nights I make one of his favorite dinners, rather than what the kids want. Rather than asking what the kid’s want to do after the yard work is done on Saturday I ask my husband what he wants to do. Rather than pausing a conversation we are having to answer one of the kid’s questions, I simply tell the kids to wait because we are talking. These simple things allow your spouse to know they are first in your mind.
Stop talking and Start Listening
As women we love to talk and we love to solve problems. My husband would come home from work and I would want to do all the talking, but I realized that in order to fall back in love I really needed to listen. I needed to listen to what he was thinking, feeling, and struggling with. This allowed me to have more compassion and love for him. It allowed me to understand better his snarkiness after a long day because he was stressed about a project happening at work.
Stop Comparing Him.
Comparison is an evil thing! It robs you of all your happiness and will eventually eat you up! Love your husband for who he is! Don’t wish he looked like your celebrity heartthrob or did things like “John Smith” down the street. Accept him for who he is and don’t look back.
Made Date Night a Priority.
Date night is now a necessary weekly event in our home, because Date Night is cheaper than Divorce! Date night allows us to reconnect after a busy week. It allows us to enjoy each other’s company uninterrupted. It shows us that we are a priority to each other! And it shows our kids that our marriage is important as well! Date night for us is never super fancy, but it is our way of getting out and reconnecting as a couple.
Falling back in love is totally possible! I know because I have done it! Yes, it is hard at times because sometimes you think it is easier to just stay where you are, but I promise you that as you work on strengthening your relationship you will fall more in love than you were to begin with and in the end you will be so much happier!
So what do you say? What are you going to do today to fall more in love with your spouse?