I Really Miss the Romance in My Marriage
After completing the 10th step in my son’s bedtime ritual, I said goodnight and collapsed on the couch, with our youngest in tow. I was exhausted, but instead of sneaking off to bed, I figured it would be nice to spend some time watching a show I liked rather than the normal cartoons. My husband came over a few minutes later, we stared at the TV — until I fell asleep before the first commercial break. It seems we may have forgotten how to “do the romance” — and I’m kind of missing it.
Before having our kids, we were the "cool couple" who knew how to relationship. We did pretty well when it came to taking time out during our busy schedules for date nights, random drives on country roads, and lazy mornings in bed. Rushing out the door, we would even rush back for a goodbye kiss. Clearly, we had the romance of daily life down.
In the beginning of parenthood, we managed to steal time for one another - even with a newborn
But not long after, those lazy morning in bed turned into my nap times. And instead of rushing back for goodbye kisses, we rushed back for the baby bottle or diaper bag. Clearly, we weren't as cool as I thought.
One morning I woke up and our oldest was two and our youngest one...well, it seemed that sudden anyway - probably from lack of sleep. I saw how my husband and I had settled into a routine where our tender expressions of love were replaced by discussions of how that person's day was or what needed to be done around the house or what bill needed to be paid next.
Had our ability "to do the romance" been thrown out with our son's diaper bag?
My partner is still my BFF. It is this friendship that got us through worrying about how to care for our son and worrying about how to care for each other - and I wouldn't change that. But I miss the times when a cuddle or sappy sentiment was spontaneous. I end up feeling lonely without them. Those thoughtful acts keep our relationship feeling significant and provides me with a sense of belonging. Was it too late to put back those daily gestures that the business of parenting has replaced?
So, I tried to rewind to the days when romance came as easy as staying up past 9:00 pm.
Once again, I gazed lovingly into my husband's eyes, and instead of returning my gaze, he asked if we were having a staring contest. I asked him if he wanted to play a game together on the Xbox and he said he would rather play on his pc. I kissed him on the forehead like we used to do, and he just continued with his conversation on discord. It had been so long, he didn’t even notice.
I thought stepping back into our old mushy habits would be an easy fix, but I guess even the best of habits can fizzle when not practiced. So, now my husband and I are working on finding those little romantic touches, because it turns out, he misses them too. Maybe it’s not too late for us to be “cool” again. At the end of the day, that spark of romance needs to be carefully cultivated — before we both fall asleep on the couch.