A MARITAL TUNE-UP
I am delighted to share today’s blogpost with you from a reader who shares her findings on ways to ‘create sparks that last’ in her marriage.
Although Stuart and I share a lot in common, we have come to learn from each other as well. From Stuart, his thoughtful and considerate ways. From me, my humor, laughter, and how to lighten up. April 15th, 2022 marked our 39th wedding anniversary. Just. That. Fast.
Both recently retired—not together; we read not to do it together—we became hyper-aware of a new phase in our lives and marriage. It was as though we were left holding a simmering love, one becoming all too familiar (Storge) instead of our once robust, romantic and physical love. Our minds and bodies were struggling with this shift: How to keep ‘us’ alive as we aged when it seemed we were on a fast track to becoming roommates. Stuart and I decided to seek counseling in order to make an immediate change in the direction of our marriage.
From my doctor, we received the name of a couple’s therapist. We enjoyed five, one-hour sessions of what Stuart and I called our Marital Tune-Up. We gleaned much from each session, including: BEING CURIOUS. Assuming we know each other so well is not productive, it doesn’t encourage growth as a couple. ASK QUESTIONS. Do this instead of being reactionary. LISTEN. Take a moment to think about the next action. Are these difficult? You bet. But worth it.
Also worth it, yet perhaps the most challenging? Being honest about our aging process. We are no longer in our thirties, so live our lives truthfully, honestly—one that mirrors where we both are now, and as we age. This means re-defining our intimacy, including but not limited to taking time with each other, without distraction. Holding hands when walking. Touching when passing each other during the day. A kiss here and there. Stuart and I are putting these new and different manners of intimacy into practice, and by doing so we are bringing ourselves back to ’us.’ Here’s to the next 39 years. Okay, maybe a year at a time? (Stuart laughed at this.)
~ I love her honesty about midlife marriage being about keeping ‘us alive as we aged.’ It certainly is an all too familiar scenario with later-in-life relationships.
Let us know which of L’s Marital Tune-Ups you found helpful. Or perhaps you’d like to add your own in the comments.
If you’re looking for ways to keep the spark in your marriage alive, I have a fun Date Ideas freebie and a romantic date-night-in playlist for you to enjoy:
Happy weekend everyone 💃