A very long time ago I was working at my very first job out of college and my husband and I had attended some kind of work gathering where my new friends and co-workers met him for the very first time. The morning after our gathering my co-worker Kathy (I’ll never forget her name) made a comment that has stuck with me for years.
She said this to me, “I was so surprised when I met your husband… I didn’t think he would look like that.” Her comment caused me to spin around in my chair and look her right between the eyes and I said to her, “And what exactly did you think he would look like?” And that lady with the poofy old fashioned hair said to me, “Oh…I just…ah…thought he would have glasses and look more uh…nerdy, I guess.”
I found myself speechless (which is a rare thing for me) as I wondered what would make her say such a thing? I wondered if maybe her preconceived ideas about my husband stemmed from the fact that she knew I was married to an accountant…but something inside of me felt convinced that it was more about me.
Maybe I was paranoid – I don’t know – because to be perfectly honest I have always felt really glad that my husband never caught on to the fact that he could have done much better than me. In our early years of marriage I was so insecure about it I completely smothered him. It was not good. I wanted him to be right by my side every minute just in case he might venture out and discover the secret that I hidden in my heart – that I was the luckier one.
So, given the fact that I felt I had pulled off the greatest scam since Frank Abagnale, I decided early on in our marriage that I should probably give him a little room to breath and determined instead to try to be extra nice, extra sweet, and extra fun. Isn’t that the way most young brides behave? I did a pretty good job for awhile.
I think somewhere around the time we had our third child I caught on to a few things. It was a time when our daily life verged on chaos and I couldn’t always maintain my oh-so-sweet personality as I found myself buried in the trenches of our life. Instead of my cheerful little personality I sometimes found myself vacillating between drill sergeant and drama queen. Kids have a way of taking a girl down.
And that was the time of my life that I also caught onto the fact that my husband loved me anyhow. He hadn’t been tricked and he had always known exactly what he had signed up for. Even though I wasn’t very perfect at all… he thought I was. I still tried my best – I really did – but three kids and a lab who lifts his leg on the ivory couch on a daily basis has a way of taking the sweet out of a girl’s personality.
I have a great marriage. I do. I still feel like the luckiest girl in the world and I love my husband more than I did when we stood at the altar and said, “I do”. But even a great marriage will ebb and flow. There are times when I would describe that my husband and I are “out of sync“. It’t nothing big – it’s nothing serious – in fact, it’s hardly noticeable. But when it happens I realize that neither of us is behaving like the young couple who used to feel like we were the luckier one.
We’ve been married long enough now that I can recognize it right away when happens. It happens when we are too busy. It’s when we barely have the energy to carry on a conversation when we finally have a chance to sit down for the evening. It happens when we fall into a routine that begins to feel more like a rut. It happens when we haven’t been alone just the two of us for awhile.
How do you recognize when you are out of sync with your husband?
It’s hard to put your finger on it and it’s easy to miss. It just feels sort of “off”. It’s when you fail to communicate on a heart level and you resort to conversations on more of a surface level. I don’t like it at all. It’s when you feel more like roommates than soul mates.
Here is the deal about being out of sync. As soon as you see it rearing it’s ugly little subtle head – you must -you must- you must nip it in the bud immediately. It’s the little things that add up over longer periods of time that turn into the big things that can threaten to take down your marriage.
It is imperative to stay in sync if you want to maintain a great marriage.
Ladies..let me tell you right now. You must pay attention. Your man will never recognize it when you are out of sync. Guys have a way of cruising along and they don’t even notice when there is more silence and less talk, when you are drowning in responsibilities and forgetting to have fun, and when you are snipping and snapping rather than kissing and cuddling. They have a way of just sprawling out on the couch after a long day and thinking everything is just fine.
And another thing – if you tell your man that things seem a little “off” he will simply look at you like you are a crazy person so I wouldn’t suggest going that route either.
After all these years I have discovered a few remedies for marriage. The remedy I am about to share with you will absolutely and unequivocally get your marriage back into sync. If you can apply the following remedy on a regular basis it will enhance your marriage in such a way that you will rarely find yourself out of sync at all.
Are you ready?
Get away for an overnight three to four times a year.
That’s it. And it’s huge. Let’s break that remedy into three parts.
Get away – Drive away – fly away – it does not matter. Get away from your responsibilities. Get away from work – the stress – the house – the laundry – the news – the tv – the routine -and the kids.
In Matthew 19:5 Jesus talks about marriage. He tells us that a man will leave his mom and dad and hold fast to his wife. I don’t think it’s hard for young couples to leave their parents. I think it’s much harder for them to leave the job, to leave the computer closed, leave the phone alone, leave the unhealthy friendship, the unhealthy lifestyle, or leave the kids at home once in awhile in order to protect the marriage.
On behalf of your marriage…leave it all behind and go.
Go for at least one night – Go as long as you are able but do not return home for at least 24 hours. Date nights are great but they are not good enough. Go to a hotel – or cabin – or a B&B – and sleep in another bed. Enjoy breakfast lunch and dinner somewhere other than your home.
Go at least three times a year and four would be even better – I’m not kidding. Don’t let five months go by. Getting away together is a fool proof remedy for marriage.
I am not going give you ideas as to how you can make this rendezvous turn into a reality for you. I remember the days of having three little kids and having very little money. We figured out a way to escape…and so can you.
I am not going to argue against your excuses. I am not going to go on and on about the benefits you will receive as a couple or try tell you the many ways that this remedy will also benefit your family. I am not going to tell you how much your kids won’t mind that you go. I am not going to tell you how quickly it will get your marriage back in sync. I will let you find that out for yourself.
Mark your calendars and arrange childcare. Scope out the places where you will go and research all the fun things that you will do. Even the hotel 3 miles away will do the trick – trust me.
Thank you, Jackie, for confirming a feeling that’s been nagging at me this past year. We are starting to get away more too, Even if it means my husband has to pull away from endless projects at work, that overflow into the weekend. Life is better when you nurture relationships!