by Grant Porteous, LMSW
In the beginning there was dating, and the dating was good. There was time, and mystery, and fun, and playfulness. There was spontaneity, and passion, and desire, and there was talking about things late at night and being with one another at every opportunity. And the man and the woman didn’t even notice all the things that connected them so closely, nor could they call them by name, but they liked the things… a lot.
Then came the marriage. And the marriage was good… at first. The first part of the marriage was good in similar ways to the dating, and the man and the woman didn’t notice when the changes began to occur. And along with the changes came children, and bills, and careers, and mortgages, and car payments, and other things that began to rob the man and the woman of their time, and also of the mystery, and playfulness, and passion, and spontaneity. And most of the things that they liked a lot but could not call by name, which connected the man and the woman, began to disappear. And the man and the woman said… “this is bad.”
If you can relate, if things used to be good and now they often feel bad, then maybe you’ve fallen into the trap that most of us have experienced at one time or another in our married lives. Maybe you’ve traded in the wonder and joy and passion and sense of connectedness you used to find in your spouse – the things that go along with eros, or erotic love – for something ‘safe, stable, normal, and predictable.’
While ‘safe, stable, normal, and predictable’ make a wonderful box in which to raise kids, make the bills, do careers, and pay a mortgage, those same things can be the antidote to all the stuff that once upon a time helped us feel so close and connected. We don’t mean it to happen, of course, but it will if we’re not very, very careful.
And if you can relate, you also may be wondering, “can I get it back? That thing we had, can we get that back?” The answer is “yes… and no.” And, not without paying attention to the right things and making those things once again – as they were in the beginning – a priority