Tuesday, August 30, 2016

How to Stay in Love When You’re Married with Kids

Spending years loving someone often reveals hidden quirks that help keep a relationship alive.
Dissecting your relationship (rather than your partner) to find these hidden gems can be quite a fun exercise. Here are some of the mundane, quirky, and loving habits that keep my husband and I close.

Keeping it hot in the kitchen.
While waiting for our pasta to boil, you can usually find us making out or even fondling each other while the kids aren’t looking.  I don’t know what it is about the kitchen, but cooking together always brings out our sexy.

Text you in the morning, text you in the evening, text you at suppertime.
Texting small messages like “I love you” or “thinking about you” throughout the day has become a routine that never gets old. My husband once described my texts as “small Christmas presents”. And who doesn’t love the gift of words?

Cuddling on the couch.
We have a ridiculously large couch that is better suited for a family of nine rather than our small family of four. Still, on nights when we aren’t quite ready for bed, my husband and I jam ourselves into the corner, with legs crisscrossed on top of each other, and affectionately watch television together.

Holding hands at dinner.
When we go out for a bite to eat, we unconsciously hold hands. We’ve done this from our first date and this endearing trend has yet to die.

Before bed, we snuggle up to each other and read together.  It’s not sexy. It’s just love.

Gaming at night.
After the kids are in bed, we use nighttime as our playtime. When we’re finished reading, we turn down the lights and begin our oddball version of fun. You can catch us competing in games like: who can slap the other’s bare ass the most, who can whisper the oddest noises into each other’s ears, or who will win the nipple tweaking contest.

Sex might not actually qualify as an item on this list of habits because, for us, it is not a scheduled ritual, but rather a spontaneous activity that is always on the table. Rather than making sex a task on our to-do list, unplanned sex keeps us intrigued and excited.

In some cases, the day to day course of a marriage can fall into dull routines. However, taking a few moments to appreciate the habits that form out of love can continue to boost an already strong foundation.

Based on this list, it seems as though our habitual marital activities are centered on touching, flirting or simply having fun together. We’ve found that we don’t need grand gestures to show that we still love each other.

Small daily presents are a constant reminder of how great we are…together.

*This piece was published on The Good Men Project on August 30, 2016.