Hubs and I were lying in bed last night discussing our anniversary and how, for the second year, we just kind of skipped it. I was reiterating that it was really no big deal. (In case you missed a facebook post or are new to the page here is why. Our anniversary is June 9. A year ago my father passed away on June 6 and his service was on the 9th. This year as we remembered my dad’s passing, my husband’s father was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Celebrating took a backseat.)
“If I need a ‘special day’ to feel loved by you, then we are in trouble and wouldn’t be having a ‘special day’ at all. I think we do a really good job of letting each other know we love the other every day of the year.” I joked.
He starts to laugh and says “OK, since we express our love for each so other so well 365 days, next year we should go in opposite directions and do something for ourselves. If we take care of ourselves we can be better for the kids and each other.”
“Nice try, but I think we do a pretty good job of getting ‘me’ time throughout the year as well. I like spending our anniversary together, even if you power wash the deck and I clean the house and do laundry.”
We laughed a bit more, said ‘I love you’ a few more times and settled in to sleep.
Maintaining a quality relationship with your spouse is hard enough after 17 years of marriage. Like many couples, we fall into ruts. We take each other for granted. We lose the appreciation we once had for the small things. Add in a child with special needs (Autism in our case) and it becomes even more difficult. After a day of therapies and tantrums, intimacy is often the last thing on our minds. When we crawl in bed sleep is all we long for.
I adore my husband. He is my best friend and an amazing man. He is kind, compassionate, affectionate, genuine, funny, dedicated, honest, loyal and, in my opinion, pretty sexy. He is a patient father. He spends time with the boys. He is has been a scout leader for eight years. He helps the boys become the men we want them to be, the men we know they can become. I know he feels the same about me. But that doesn’t make it easy.
The hubs and I have made an effort, we actually have to think about it and remind ourselves, to make time for ‘us.’ Sometimes we go out for lunch or dinner; sometimes we steal a few moments in the middle of the day, sometimes we are lucky enough to get a weekend. These small encounters allow us to rekindle our relationship and enjoy each other the way we used to.
We also take time for ourselves. Again, small things; I may get a massage, he may go to the shooting range, coffee or lunch with a friend or just time alone to unwind, going to the gym or taking a yoga class.
It is not easy to find time for ‘me’ or ‘us.’ But—we have discovered that if we take care of ourselves, our personal needs for time away, time with friends, time to unwind and leave our hectic demanding life behind for a few moments, we are better for each other. When we are better together, our marriage is better and our relationship grows. When our marriage is better we are better parents.
Take a few moments for yourself today (even if you have to hide in the closet or bathroom—I’ve been there too). Do not feel guilty or selfish in doing something for yourself. You deserve it, your spouse deserves it, and your kids deserve it. You will be a better person overall.