In all my past relationships, I’ve cheated.
I never wanted to hurt anybody, and granted I was cheated on too… but I guess that was no excuse. Everything starts out wonderful, you’re in love and blissful, and even though they might treat you like shit, you kind of ignore all of that because you’re in this state of wanting this person. The fuzziness always wears off, and then eventually you realise this person isn’t giving you what you need or want. So you go out and you get attention off somebody and it’s amazing… but you’ve grown that attachment with the person you love so you can’t leave. Well that was how it was for me, and then I cheated. There was no spark, and I always liked the fresh feeling of something new.
But when you choose to marry someone and have kids with them there is no cheating. It’s not a throwaway relationship where a little slip up means you can kinda get away with it. There’s more than just the two of you… you have a life together, a home together, you made life together. You married them because they were the one that didn’t treat you like shit. They are ‘the one’.
You stay together because you love each other, and I mean really love each other. The commitment, whether it’s on paper or not, is real.
But the hardest thing though, is getting what you want or need now. Your life isn’t just dependent on the needs of each other. It’s dependent on the lives of your children.
You have the needs of your children, your work, your health, your wellbeing… there’s no time now for us to be concentrating on fulfilling what the other ‘needs’. It’s pretty hard to keep things fresh, especially when you’re like me and have no idea.
There is no longer walks in the park holding hands, they are replaced with pushing prams or chasing children.
There is no longer drives to the beach, but drives to practice games and dance classes. Gymbaroo and story time…
Is the romance dead? No.. it’s just dormant… and it doesn’t feel “fresh” it feels more like my armpits. Unfresh.
I felt like we were two angry chihuahua’s that were both unsatisfied because we felt disconnected.
So I guess I wanted to fix it. I wanted to work out how to keep it fresh. (Say fresh again Laura, say it one more time ?) I didn’t want to repeat old relationships, mainly because I’m madly in love and because I guess I’m not that person anymore…and divorce is expensive… and being a single mum is hard… I mean I am being honest here (I suppose because I enjoy marriage too?) So here’s what I found and what I ‘trialled’…
So the first point I was told was touch. I was advised to do more touching… imagine that, a mother who has sticky fingers all over her all day, should touch more. As much as I love affection, some days I couldn’t think of anything worse.
But apparently that works. Apparently the more you touch your partner the more you are connected and the less likely you are to cheat. So I started just touching my husbands arm when I talked to him. I was cool with that… and there was one time I did it and he looked at my hand and smiled while he kept talking… I don’t think he even realised he did it, it was a little bit of a subconscious acknowledgement, and he was more loving after that, he even told me he appreciated me and felt appreciated… so it must work?
I also slapped his ass and he didn’t react… go figure…
But I went a week without doing it, and we were less, I dunno, ‘connected’. We didn’t feel as close.
The second point was to spend as much time together as you can. Buzzzzz wrong!
I always thought the key to a happy relationship was doing as much as you could together, but for me, it isn’t. (Sorry ex boyfriends…)
The key has been spending time apart and putting ourselves first. Instead of listening to that advice and trying in vain to spend more time together, I started doing more for myself, started going places, relying on my partner to look after the kids so I could enjoy my nights more. I went to the gym, I started doing things that made myself feel better, getting manicures, pedicures etc… rarely but still…
He did the same.. he ate better, felt better…got pedicures… just kidding, you seen his feet? (I kid babe, we both know mine are the hobbit feet).
And then we came together and we appreciated that time. (He even banged me 5 times in 3 days, just like it used to be. ?)
I found the more time we had to ourselves, the more time we had to be ourselves and then we had more to offer each other. We felt good as people. You know the saying if you don’t love yourself you can’t love anyone else? Well I think that’s how it applies… we spent time loving ourselves… (sometimes I spent extra time loving myself, know what I’m saying? ?)
So maybe the key isn’t to be in each other’s pockets…maybe it’s spending that time apart to reconnect with ourselves and our own lives.
We make sure we have time with the kids as a family, time apart… but time together? We managed that too. I think to date nights at least once a month is important.
How? I hear you say… (lol way too much coffee today)
A friend and I implemented the ‘date night roster’
I don’t have anyone to really watch the kids so a friend and I thought up the date night roster where we take turns to watch each other’s kids, once a month, and then we swap. So one weekend I watch her kids, the next she watches mine. They come over at whatever time and watch your kids until you come home and then you do the same for them. (I mean you get it, but when I read this back it doesn’t make sense.)
It was great. It’s someone I trust. I planned to put the kids to bed so she could just Netflix and chill, but my daughter was unsettled, but as she is an experienced mum she insisted I go and she settled my daughter and my husband and I had a date!
It was the best!!!
After fighting all week I expected it to be awkward, but we both had a few wines and we enjoyed each other. We laughed, ordered everything on the menu, and went home content…. (we didn’t bang 5 times, too tired…) I felt like we were in love and I felt like it was fre…freckin awesome!
So do I have the answers to keeping it fresh? I don’t know! But touching each other a little more, spending time apart and managing a date night once a month with a baby sitter is working…
And things are fresh as a daisy. ?
And we both know how lucky we are…