Taken for granted – To give little attention to or to underestimate the value of, to fail to appreciate
My husband and I are enjoying a revived honeymoon period in our marriage. We have been together for twenty years and married for eighteen. If you had asked if I was happy in my marriage a year ago, I would have said yes. However, a year later I can honestly say I am much happier.
What changed in the year was my appreciation for being married. Not only being married, but married to a someone one who works hard, is committed to his family and a fun person to be with. I changed my attitude toward marriage.
A year ago my husband and I had an incident. It was not major, but it was negative. Misinformation was told. Trust was broken. In my twenty year relationship with my husband it was the most painful experience we have gone through. It was the kind of event that made us question our marriage, not so much to end it, but where was it going and could it continue as is. We were both sad, angry and confused.
My husband and don’t fight often. We argue and bicker, but not big, drag out fights. This situation was a big fight. It was a disagreement on how something should have been handled. Both sides remained firm in their own belief and unwilling to compromise. Usually when we have argued in the past, one of use would give in. Not this time. My husband feelings were of anger and frustration. Mines were of sadness and disappointment. Our feelings overwhelmed both of us for a long time.
When I think back to our difficult time I wonder how we made it through. Within the last two or three years we have seen several couples within our social circle break up. Couples who have been together for many years, some even longer than us. Watching people you love end their relationship is hard. For the longest time I didn’t ever think my husband and I would even be in a situation where we would be unhappy, but that was before the incident.
After our disagreement, we realized in order for our marriage to continue happily we would need to make changes. Big changes. We could no longer expect our love to stay strong by doing the same things. If we were to stay together we would need improve our appreciation for each other and not take each other for granted.
Having children has had a huge impact our relationship. Prior to the boys we were a couple who spent large amounts of time together. My husband and I are best friends. We get along well. After the boys arrived we shifted our time and energy to care for them. We have always been very hands on parents and have done all the work of parenting by ourselves. Our priority was meeting the needs of the children first and everything else after that.
The problem with our style of parenting was we were exhausted. Making sure three boys are fed, healthy, schooled and entertained is very challenging. At the end of the day my husband and I had little energy, time or money to spend on ourselves. Over time my husband and I began to view each other as business partners in the business of raising three boys. Our children thrived but our relationship slowly became one of two people working toward a goal.
In some ways I am glad we had a falling out. It was a wake up call to changes we needed to make. The boys are older and do not need as much caretaking. We needed to shift away from caring from them and for them to do more themselves. We also needed time alone. My husband and I do not feel comfortable leaving the little guy with many people, but we do trust the older brothers. We realized both older boys were very capable to care for him on a much more frequent basis.
On Fridays my husband has elected to work from home. At first it was a challenge to for both of us to work in the same environment. However, now it is something we both look forward to. I love have a co-worker for the day to talk to and so does my husband. Usually we both finish our work early and head out for lunch. It is extra time we get to spend together.
The results from our simple changes has been profound. We still place our children high on our priority list, but now we also make sure our relationship is a priority too. The more time we have spent together the more romantic feelings have increased. Feelings that were pushed aside for many years to care for children, work, pets and the home. It has been a slow process to rekindle old feelings, but it’s working.
Both my husband and I parent’s divorced when we were children. The one thing we have always wanted for our boys is a home where the two parents stayed married. However, we do not want to stay married for the sake of being married. We both want to be in a relationship with someone we are in love with, who we know loves us back.
Sometimes my husband and I slip back to our old ways of putting everything and everyone before the two of us. But it doesn’t last. Friday comes every week and even if we miss date night we have one day each week to spend alone.
If someone asks me if I am happy in my marriage today I say yes. Yes, because I like the guy I spend my life with and yes, because he is the one I am still in love with.
I work harder to not that for granted again.