Help Me Solve a Marriage Issue!
It had been one of those weeks.
It had started with each and every one of us coming down with a summer cold.
We ran out of tissues.
And paper towels.
But not toilet paper.
Then, one evening, the big dog got skunked. That was the night I realized we’d used up all of the baking soda and peroxide (a common home remedy for skunked dogs) the last time he was skunked. So I washed him with dish soap outside with a hose in the middle of a thunderstorm. It didn’t take the smell out even a tiny bit. So then I crated him, drove to the store, bought supplies, and washed him again. And again. And again.
And then I disinfected the crate.
The following morning, the little dog ate my kid’s birthday present. While I was talking the kid out of murdering the little dog, the big dog ate her breakfast.
The kid was still crying when I dropped her off at camp that morning.
Days later one of the dogs came down with a throwing up thing. I’ll spare you the details, except to say this: we still did not have paper towels at that point.
The evening of The Day the Little Dog Kept Throwing Up, I sat on the couch in a daze.
“Do you have any beer?” I asked my husband. “I could use a beer.”
“In the basement,” he said.
I walked down. There I found a box of very cheap beer. That’s when I remembered that my husband, a beer connoisseur, had switched from the good stuff (microbrews) to the cheap stuff in an effort to help us save funds. Now, I am generally very good at living a frugal, simple, downright no-frills existence, but one of my weaknesses has to do with beer, wine, cheese and chocolate. I’d rather not eat or drink those at all than imbibe in the cheap stuff.
I brought up a few cans, put them in the fridge, and said to my husband, “I put some in the fridge for you. I’m not having any, though. I just can’t bring myself to do that.”
He teased me into drinking one. Then he asked, “Was it really that bad?”
I had to admit that there were worse things.
The following night, I was watching WWE with the kid when my husband walked into the room with two beers in hand.
“I went to the store and I got the good stuff today, just for you,” he said.
“Aw, that’s so romantic!” I said, taking one cold one off his hands.
That’s when I questioned myself, “In what kind of a marriage is this a romantic gesture? How romance starved are we that I think that this is romantic?”
Now, don’t misunderstand me. I’m not minimizing my husband’s gesture. It was incredibly thoughtful of him, and, yes, I’m the one who is always preaching to notice and appreciate the small gestures. All I’m saying is that something about him bringing me a beer made me realize just how little we romanced one another in general. There had been a time when we had a date night once a week. But then my main baby sitter changed her phone number. When I found a new sitter, she informed me that she would only baby sit during the week, that weekends were reserved for her love interest.
Weeknights are dang near impossible for my husband and I to have a date night. I could go into why, or you can just trust me on this.
I’d like to have more romance in my marriage. I’d like more closeness. I’d like more affection.
And I’d like to do it without having a date night.
It seems it should be possible to have romance between the hours of 8 p.m.—when my husband usually gets home from work—and 11 p.m., when we go to bed. It seems it should be possible to pull off this romance EVEN IF we have an 8-year-old kid and two dogs who may or may not be throwing up, getting skunked, or chewing on something that isn’t theirs.
Don’t you agree?
That’s why I’m asking for your help. I’m guessing some of you have this evening romance thing figured out. You are good at it.
Will you please share your secrets with me? I’d like to have dozens of ideas from which to choose.
And, yes, of course, I’ll let you know how it goes.
Related Reading: Over at TheNinjaWife, there’s an interview with Bethany Riechmann, whose husband Dustin writes the Engaged Marriage site. In it she talks about the ways Dustin romances her.