Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dating my boyfriend

Are you confused by this title?  Well, it's really dating my husband.  My husband Jimmy.  But here's a few things that I'm starting to realize as each day, week, month, year so quickly passes of being married.  Not so much "advice" just thing that we have found we have to make sure we do:

1. You have to date keep dating each other - just like you did when you were boyfriend and girlfriend.

September 2005 - Brooks and Dunn concert
Hanging out in Manhattan in September 2005
Valentine's Dinner (met in Topeka) 2007
When you first start to date someone it is SO fun.  Remember when you first meet someone or remember when you met your significant other (or spouse)?  Think about some of your first dates.  Oh.my.gosh. I mean for most of us we are talking head over heels.  I remember Jimmy and I went to a movie called "Must love dogs" as our like second date.  Then we drove ALL around Kansas City until like 1AM talking about things.  Just because we liked each other so much we didn't want the night to end.  I wanted to know everything about him.  And he wanted to know everything about me.  Never a dull moment.  Smiling ALL the time.  And when we kissed goodbye, all I could think about when I was walking to the door was about the next time I was going to get to see him again.  It makes my stomach flutter and my heart happy just typing about it.  Those dates set the foundation for what is now our marriage 6 years later.  Those first dates for anyone - whether you married them or not - are just so dang exciting.  And what made them so exciting was the anticipation, the unknown and the desire to either continue to get to know that person or to run away from that person as fast as you can (trust me....I had a few of those in my dating days).  So guess what?  I truly believe you have to work to recreate those dates and moment even X number of years later.  And I mean dates.  Like you dress up, go out to dinner and talk to each other.  I try not to be cell phone couple (even though Jimmy will say that I'm addicted to facebook on my phone) when we are one dates because I try my best to revert back to that 19 or 20 year old girl when I first met Jimmy.  We stole the surprise date night idea from a friend I work with and really - it was one of the best things that happened to us.  Even though we have been majorly slacking in it lately (even this weekend I chose to go hang out with our nieces and nephews and forgo the surprise date night on Saturday...), I do think they are super fun and important.  Even trying to incorporate it into Jimmy's Christmas present this year....but you get the picture.  Go on dates.  Have fun.  Pretend you are not adults, you don't have the 17,000 responsibilities and worries and concerns that are going through your head each day.  It's worth the effort.  And the smiles.

2. You have to work hard at being married. And sometimes it's hard...
Yep, this face says it all.
This statement is so interesting to me.  When you get engaged - you hear this statement from the brutally honest people, but also the people that love you most.  They congratulate you and tell you how incredibly happy they are for you.  And then they take a look at their spouse across the room and give them a little eye roll (a fun eye roll, but yet still an eye roll.  Aren't sure what this looks like?  Just ask my husband or really probably lots of people's husbands) because they know.  They know it's different when you are married.  I'm not sure exactly what it is that is different (lots of things are different when after you say the I do's), but it's like you enter this "married club" and all of a sudden after a few years, months, weeks, or even hours (haha), you seem to get it.  You get it that sometimes you drive each other absolutely insane.  Sometimes you feel like that person is doing (or not doing) everything they can just to make you want to scream.  Sometimes you feel like you want to wring their neck because you are supposed to be living this life and maintaining your household together - but one too many times you feel like it's just you doing it or they feel like it's just them (yes, I admit that it does go both ways).  And all of a sudden you realize what everyone was talking about.  Like how about 3 weeks after we got married and Jimmy had finished moving in and we felt more settled, that was the moment that I got sad because I felt like I "saw" him less now even though we lived together.   I mean literally it was the weirdest thing ever.  What am I talking about that I see him less?  We just got married, we freaking live in the same house now...we are together ALL.THE.TIME.  But guess what?  What was missing was that QUALITY time.  That time that when you aren't together all the time you spend texting each other, talking on the phone about how each other's days were or going on dates and staring into each others eyes (you know you love that part).  So there, I admitted it.  Two weeks into marriage - we were already doing an abrupt change.  I wasn't about to let us get "comfortable"...let alone just come home EVERY night and retreat to separate rooms to watch separate TVs (now if you for one second think that doesn't happen at least once or twice a week in our house, you're wrong....because it does and it feels so darn good to sit...what I was trying to say that it's not allowed EVERY night.  Because I like to talk to my husband and watch TV or movies with him or spend time with him every now and then....). Long story short, it's important to recognize that it's not always easy and not beat yourself up for not being perfect.  Life is that cool that you can realize what is going on and redirect in a blink of an eye.

3.....and sometimes it's so darn wonderful that you can't stand it.

There are moments.  It's as if time stops and you never want that moment to end.  In the beginning of a relationship it can be that first time that your significant other picks hanging out with you over going out with his/her friends (which I thought was a huge deal because who wants to just stay in when you're in college?!?!).  Or when you get in a big fight and you are an hour apart and he drives that hour on a weeknight at 9PM even though you insist you won't see him because you have class at 8AM.  But he still comes even if he gets to see you for 10 minutes to talk in person - because he wants you to know that he cares.  And you still to this day swear that might have been the moment you looked back on and realized that he was "the one" because you were worth that 10 minutes to him then and you always will be.  The moments that he introduces you to his family for the first time (and how nervous you were) and the moments now when you are with that family and feel like life wouldn't be complete without his family (now yours too) in your life.  I could go on and on and on.  I really could.  

Here's a few "on and on": How nervous and handsome he looked when he asked me to spend the rest of my life with him.  When he tried to put my wedding ring on the wrong ring finger in our wedding ceremony and I couldn't stop laughing.  Knocking our first wall our in our house together - having no idea what we were getting ourselves into.  The date nights out.  The date nights in.  Hanging out with old friends, making new friends and laughing with all of them.  When things get hard and you start to cry and you know that you look ugly crying - but all he's thinking about is how upset he is that you are crying.  The look on his face when you say you love him more than anyone else ever.  The weird language you have created with each other that other people need a dictionary to interpret.  Watching him play with his nieces and nephews and imagining the day when he's a father to your children.  Talking about the fact that your future children could quite possibly have bright red, curly hair with glasses and braces - and smiling thinking about how your personalities will come out in them.  Going to church together and praying together.  And kissing goodnight.  Every night.  With each other. 

Yes, you have to keep dating all the time.  Married or not married, keep making sure that every once and a while you go back to the way you felt on your first couple of dates.  That feeling that you couldn't get enough of.  Remember why you fell in love.  No it's not going to be easy to be married.  But guess what?  In my opinion...it's worth every up and down, smile and tear that come along with the ride.  So this month of thanksgiving and every month after - I am going to remember to be thankful for my husband that I really love - even the moments when I might not like him very much (dirty dishes and laundry will do that to anyone....) - and make sure to revert back to circa 2005 every once and a while.  But also remember that we can have that same spark in 2011, 2012 and ON and ON and ON...

Baseball game in Oklahoma (summer 2006)!
Christmas Dinner 2005 
Royal's game in 2006
Summer trip to OKC in 2006
Christmas dinner 2006
Jimmy's 22nd birthday (2006)
Senior year date party - 80s theme (2007) 
My 21st birthday - wow.
Date party 2006
Condo kisses 2008

P.S. Where did my desire to post this come from?  Check out this blog and read about her marriage story.  I stumbled upon this and found it to be an interesting story about marriage and how they continue to work through their issues to make their marriage whole again.  And reminded myself to be thankful for my husband and continue to work on our marriage each and everyday.

1 comment:

  1. So sweet Brittany! Can't wait to see ya in a few weeks :)