There is a post I read a few months ago which was written by a lady in her 90’s offering words of wisdom. She said ‘always respect and make time for the person who agreed to spend the rest of their life with you’. This struck a chord with me as I feel it is so natural to take those we are closest to for granted.
When my husband and I met and fell in love, we were one of those disgusting couples everyone hates a bit. There was no limit on PDA, we were obsessed with each other and inseparable. I remember texting him after work saying I was going to the gym and he would beg me to not go so we could see each other right away. We would sit up chatting until 6am, just engrossed in each other. Hanging onto every word – thinking wow this person is amazing. I remember him telling me he had to go to Poland with work for two weeks. This was just way too long so his company flew me out for a long weekend. Delighted by the free trip but what a total sap!
We have travelled, partied and enjoyed so many laughs. Now here we are 8 years later married and settled down with kids. It is no longer just about each other – we have two little people relying on us and a house to run. All that carefree time we had to enjoy together seems like a distant memory. Gone are the nights sitting up chatting till all hours. Just when we start to really let our hair down on a Saturday night, we realise it’s 1030pm and we better get to bed soon. Who knows what will happen in the night with a teething baby and 3 year old prone to 6am wake ups (weekends only of course). As for trips to the cinema, nice meals together, long walks chatting hand in hand – they are currently on hold. Our 3 year old dominates any chat at meal times and any suggestion of a night away and the grandparents quickly change the subject. As for any mention of business trips to Poland – my first reaction would now be ‘nightmare I need you to stay and help me at home?!’
Pre kids we would get dressed up for each other on a Friday night and enjoy a nice meal, a few drinks and some serious banter. Now we often have our PJ’s on by 730pm. By the time both kids are asleep and we have tidied up the carnage, we are ready for bed ourselves. We are lucky if we can keep our eyes open in front of the TV some nights. How times have changed! I used to think it was a bad sign when couples had separate rooms. Now I understand that this can be totally necessary where sleep is concerned. Our spare room has been a God send this year and when guests were staying I found the hubs on the sofa the next morning. For the first 6 months of the year I often had another little man in my bed.
We both know that the wee people have to come first at the moment. How can we stay close though when we barely get any quality time together? When couples get tired and stressed it is so much easier to have a good moan. I remember Dad saying to me ‘Jojo men can’t stand a nagger, always be nice to the Mr’. In many ways it is reversed gender stereotypes in our house. My husband LOVES a good nag, especially when it comes to domestic issues – cleaning. I like to nag about other things like my desire for him to let his hair down a bit more – rather ironic as he is bald. We are both perfectionists in some ways and not in others and both OCD in our own weird ways too.
I should be focusing on all the amazing things he does to help yet I often find myself giving out new lists. Lists that he has so little time for. I know he often does the same. Then of course when you REALLY know someone, once the honeymoon whirlwind calms down you realise they are not perfect. They have flaws like everyone else. It can be so tempting to try and change a person. If only they would be more spontaneous, flexible, tidier, chilled out, patient, caring (I am just going with lots of words here my man is very tidy and caring ha).
With the stresses of life it can be so much easier to focus on the negatives in a person. What about all the good things? There are many days I thank him in my head and forget to say it out loud. How bad is that? To stay in love I remember why I fell in love. That top banter, that beautiful soul, those gorgeous big blue eyes that I am lucky enough to see in both children everyday. I need to listen and show as much interest as I did in those early days. Even with all the current madness – can I not just devote an hour a day to my marriage? I need to put my phone away – upstairs out of sight. That thing is getting dangerously close to taking over my life. It is far too handy – MyFittnesspPal, Nike running app, WhatsApp, messenger, twitter, facebook, Instagram, wordpress, my music, my camera…..you get the picture?
I need to write love letters again. Letters like this –
Hey hot Daddy, thanks for all you do by the way. I know I don’t say it enough or tell you I love you as much as I used to. I used to think stressed people were rude. It can be easy to forget to say thanks when you are run off your feet. I want you to know though that I do love you. Even when I moan and shout, if I ignore you or seem distracted. Without you life would suck. I watch you with both kids. They adore you. You make them laugh so much when you dance around having fun with them. You love spending time with them and that shows. You prioritise spending time with them over anything else. You could so use more time for yourself to have fun, unwind or get things you need but you choose not to.
You rush around like mad trying to keep the house clean and lovely for us, our family and friends. I tell you to relax, it can slip every now and again. Or we can make cut backs and get a cleaner. You take so much pride in things though and deep clean a shower like no other! If I am shattered you let me lie in over the weekend and make us an amazing breakfast. Sorry for the times I forget to tell you how much I love your poached eggs or the way you make a great cup of tea.
You have supported me in my goal of getting fit again and given me the space I need to train wherever possible. Thanks for always encouraging me to be the best I can be. I value your honesty and love the way we can be straight talking with each other. Thanks for taking an interest in my passions you don’t necessarily share. I probably bore you some nights talking about all my plans.
You love getting to cook me nice meals over the weekend and you cherish our times we stop, open a bottle and chat. I do too. Thanks for working so hard to support our family. I am proud of you. You are super smart. I hope you have noticed I have been trying to listen more carefully when you talk about your job. You used to be a dosser apparently (surely not) but your ambition blows me away.
We annoy each other at times. We shout, say things we don’t mean in the heat of the moment. They say arguing is a sign of closeness. We know each other so well and have been through so much together. Some days we can’t be bothered making an effort. I know though that deep down we would be lost without each other. Thanks for being such a great guy and sticking by me through the incredible highs, the day to day routine of life and the lows. I love you x
What would your letter say? The world is full of a lot of crap. Let’s focus on the good things in people. Life is too short x