My husband Scott and I have been together for almost twelve years and married for almost ten.
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It’s been fun, it’s been a journey, it’s been hard and frustrating at times, but mostly it’s been a brilliant adventure with one of my best friends.
Over a weekend in June, Scott and I left our daughter with my mother at our home in Brooklyn, and we flew across the country to San Diego, California to attend a wedding.
We were both looking forward to the three days and four nights of celebrating, exploring, and relaxing.
It’s the first trip Scott and I have taken together without our daughter in a very, very long time.
It was a throwback to a time when our lives felt uncomplicated and less stressful.
Scott and I do almost everything with our daughter, and we treasure our little family of three.
We love to laugh, dance, create and explore, but because my daily routine consists of all my energy and focus going out to my daughter, my husband, my work, my clients, my staff and other responsibilities, I’ve forgotten how to tap into that deeply rooted passionate love I have for Scott and our relationship.
Without the need to make sure that everything in our lives is running as smoothly as possible, I found myself inherently tapping into feelings, in all honesty, that I haven’t felt in a while. It wasn’t a conscious decision.
The feelings I had felt similar to when we first started dating – the excitement, the desire, the pure joy, and love…but better! Now the bond is stronger and more secure.
When you attend someone else’s wedding, you can’t help but think about your own.
When I heard the officiant talk about the journey of marriage I was reminded of the roller-coaster ride I was on with my life partner.
Marriage isn’t easy and I don’t think it’s supposed to be. The challenges allow for both partners to grow individually, and as a couple.
Hardship provides the opportunity for transformation so that when the pendulum swings to the side that holds anger, frustration, and resentment, it carries the power to swing back with an equal amount of force that is charged by respect, love and connection.
It’s easy to get caught up in our hectic lives and there’s nothing wrong with that necessarily.
I love the life I have with Scott and our daughter, and I wouldn’t change it, but having time alone with the man I married has woken up some feelings that I’m so grateful still exist.
I was reminded of how profoundly I love my husband and surprised myself with the awareness of a desire that’s not only survived after all these years but has matured and flourished.
What a gift this trip was that allowed me time and space to honor how far we have come and that the journey is only getting more interesting.
I challenge you to brainstorm some new ways that will allow you to connect with your partner in ways that you don’t normally.
Ways to connect that are fresh, that are different from how you connect with your friends, colleagues, and even your best friend.
If you’re feeling a little stumped, here are 5 tips to help you out:
1. Get Away Together
You don’t need the excuse of a wedding to get away without the kids or fur-babies.
Plan a weekend just for the two of you, book an Airbnb, and explore a new area you’ve always wanted to visit, or go back to a favorite spot for the two of you, that you haven’t had a chance to visit in a while.
2. Turn Off The Electronics
Plan one night of the week where you normally veg out in front of the tv, or play on your tablets, and plan an electronics free night.
Agree on the night and come up with some alternative options on how to spend the evening together.
You could each come up with a couple of ideas, write them down, and then pull the winning idea from a hat to keep it fun and spontaneous.
3. Gaze Into Each Other’s Eyes
Decide on an amount of time, say 2 or 3 minutes, set the timer on your phone, and sit quietly facing each other while you gaze into each other’s eyes.
You can hold hands, you can smile, you can cry – but don’t say a word during the exercise.
Afterward talk about your experience with each other, what feelings were triggered, and how you felt before and afterward.
4. Cook Dinner Together
If you have kids, this can be a great exercise to do after the kids are in bed or when they’re with the grandparents at a sleep over.
Look in cookbooks or at recipes online together and decide on what you’ll make.
Or maybe it could be something you used to make together when you first started dating.
Do the grocery shopping together, pour some wine or lemonade, light some candles, play some music, and get cooking!
5. Have A Dance Party
Or better yet, go out dancing. Something we do a lot in my household (with our daughter) is have dance parties.
We crank the music and go crazy. It’s an amazing way to burn off steam, connect with each other, and have a blast.
It’s also easily done alone without kids and can be a very sensual way to connect – even if you’re rockin’ out to ACDC!