“Kiss me! We don’t kiss enough anymore.”
“Well that is because I don’t like you that much.”
Then we laughed our stupid flirty “we’ve been together long enough to know we’re both kidding” laugh and kissed, and went to sleep.
I remember when “we” were new, I would lay next to you and watch you sleep. I would run my fingers through your hair, trace my fingers along your eyebrows and forehead, and shoulders. I would have to stop myself from waking you up just to say, “I love you.” Because we weren’t there quite yet.
I was, but we weren’t.
Now, 7 years passed, you don’t even make it to our bed before falling asleep most nights. I try to pry you from the couch, “Come get in bed, love” before kissing your head and leaving you there, too tired to try & coax you any further. You’ll make your way there soon enough.
Some nights, I’m in bed well before you. Tired & aching from chasing the baby around all evening, I feel like though I’ve only aged one year, my body has aged ten. I retreat to our cozy bed, curled up in blankets, blinking my way through a mindless show before drifting off to sleep. And I know you’re out there. Engrossed in a show that I care nothing about. I wonder to myself why you would prefer to spend your time out there, watching whatever stupid show is on, rather than here with me.
But then I realize, I’m doing the same. I could just as easily join you there on the couch. Whether or not I pay any attention to what the television has on, at least I’d be near you.
“Why do I have to be the one to reach out to him?? He doesn’t even care if I’m spending time with him or not.”
So no, I guess I’ll just stay put. Because that’s easy. It’s easy to sit & stew in here alone, in the dark, and grumble about how I don’t actually care if we’re spending our evenings apart. I’m tired, anyway and I’d rather try & get some sleep before the baby wakes me up in the middle of the night again and I’m forced out of bed once more to comfort her. Because it’s easy to fault the ones we love and not ourselves as if marriage isn’t a two way street and the man should always always always court the woman. The man should always make the first move. I did nothing wrong, it’s him!
“Why should I be the one to make the first move?!”
Because this is marriage.
So I go, I get up. I set my pride down on the nightstand and join you in the living room. Even if you are asleep. I run my fingers through your hair, across your forehead, and your eyebrows, and your shoulders. I wake you up and tell you “I love you”. I curl up beside you under blankets and drift to sleep there. So what if we’re not in bed? At least we’re together. Then I feel myself let go. Of all the pent up resentment, the anger, the hurt feelings.
That is the vow we made to each other. Where one slacks, the other picks it up. Because marriage doesn’t care if you’re the man, or the woman. Marriage cares that the two of you are partners in this. Marriage cares that both of you make the effort. Because having a baby has added layers of stress to our lives that we didn’t even know existed, and we can’t let that defeat us. Because I know that this is just a season in a very long life together.
Because no matter what happened today, I will forget about it tomorrow. And tonight I will not try & coax you off of the couch and into bed, but I will join you.
Because this is marriage.