This week, my husband and I will be married for 25 years. Time flies when you are raising nine children together!
A few weeks ago, we were blessed to be able to celebrate early by going on a cruise. It was only the second time in the 25 years that we were able to get away for more than a night and our first cruise together. The experience was magical. Perhaps it was so magnificent because for a whole week I did not have to prepare or clean up any meals. Or maybe because I would leave my room for breakfast every morning and return to find my bed made and bathroom clean. No doubt the powdery, white beaches and crystal, clear waters of the Caribbean islands had a lot to do with the romantic atmosphere. But mostly, our trip was wonderful because my husband and I could be, well, just Paul and Kelly – for a whole week!
I must admit I was nervous about what we would talk about for a whole seven days. I did not want stories and concerns about the children to dominate our conversations. What did we talk about before children? I think it was about having children! I remember how excited we were about what our life together would be like. We could never imagine all that God had in store for us!
I confided my concerns to my sister. She suggested that I look up the Love Map questions or some other questions for married couples. It would be fun and interesting to see how much we really knew about each other after all these years. So, I printed out some questions and took them with us. Every evening, I read a few, then Paul and I would discuss them at dinner. A couple of things happened:
- I realized that sometimes Paul knows me better than I know myself. For instance, the question was simply, “What is your favorite movie?” Easy one. My husband loves The Godfather. For myself, I was thinking Mom’s Night Out. I love that movie – I laugh hysterically every time and still tear up at the wisdom of biker and tattoo artist, Bones. My husband, however, said “Lilies of the Field.” How could I forget Lilies – a classic, my all-time favorite movie and actor. My husband knows me so well.
- There are some stories about my husband that I had not heard yet, and there were some stories about me that I had not told him. We learned something new about each other.
- Mostly, though, we knew the answers. What a good feeling it is to know that my husband and I do communicate, connect, and listen to each other. Even if we knew the answers, it was still fun to go through them and talk about … us!
While Paul and I do not get the chance to do special trips often, we do make time for each other. I admit, in the beginning of our marriage, with so many little ones, it was difficult. Our marriage suffered a bit because of it. Paul felt left out, as the children became my focus and took up most of my energy. When he approached me about his feelings, I realized we need date nights. My mom and sister were wonderful in volunteering to watch the children so that once a month Paul and I could go out together.
Moms, please, take time to be a couple. Don’t find the time; make it. If you have to find anything, find a sitter for the children. Go out with your husband. He needs your attention, too, and you deserve time out. So, print out some questions, pick a quiet little restaurant or picnic place, be in each other’s presence, and talk … about you two.
And if you do, I would love to know how it went. What question were you most excited to ask? What answer were you most surprised to hear?
Copyright 2019 Kelly Guest