Friday, February 14, 2014

A Real Love

I wasn't planning to write a Valentine's Day post, but reading some others made me feel like a should. I have loved Valentine's Day forever. It's a big, fun day for me. But I don't have a mushy heart-shaped story to tell today. I want to talk about our real love.

I saw an infographic on pinterest the other day and it made me feel a little bit better about my relationship with Mr. GG.

We are squarely in the 67%, but who's to say whether it was infertility and IVF, having a premature baby and a 5 months hospital stay, or just who we are that has put us where we are today.  I do think the first two play a small role, but in some ways, they've made us closer.  The biggest factor is our (different) personalities.

The key though: we love each other and want to be married. I don't see that changing any time soon.

But we've got some work to do to make our marriage fun again, to really get the real love back.

The good news is that we are trying and we didn't really stop trying. The keys for us are hot tub time (where we actually talk to each other) and date nights...even if it's just dinner and a movie. Family outings are also really helpful.  What we need todo is both be nicer to each other (mostly in how we talk to each other).

I went to a wedding a couple of weeks ago that was mostly a disaster, but the ceremony was one of the best I've witnessed. Mr. GG was more focused on betting the over/under on the length of the ceremony with his friends, but I was listening and the officiant said two things that were not revolutionary, but they really spoke to me.

1) Marriage is not 50/50.  If you expect 50/50, you'll always be disappointed because people tend to overestimate their own effort and underestimate the other person's. Mr.GG actually does a ton and I really do recognize it...I'm just not sure whether I say it out loud enough. He needs to hear that I value the amount of time he spends taking care of Dylan. But he definitely undervalues what I do and I want to be appreciated too.

2) Put your partner's needs before your own. I'm sure this can backfire in some situations, but it's something we need to do more. It feels nice to give (if you don't feel like it's all you do) and giving breeds giving. We used to be more like this. Having a child has definitely been a factor in this one. It's harder to plan ahead to do something nice for Mr. GG when I'm living moment to moment. And I am really bad at planning ahead and making decisions which ends up paralyzing me and making nothing happen.

The wedding felt a little bit like therapy and it was nice.

My husband is not an emotional person. At all. And I have sort of always known that and I need to work to keep accepting it because that part is not going to change. (And don't think he's not funny, silly, caring, or any of that other good stuff.) He's just not emotional. He is much less than effusive in expressing his feelings.  And I think this is squarely where my issue lays. I need more than I'm getting. I need to feel the love.

And he needs things from me too.

I'm not exactly sure how to close this because it's a work in progress. It's our real Valentine's Day story. Our marriage is a work in progress...which is a good thing!  But we still have a lot of room for improvement.

So maybe I should get to planning some kind of V-day surprise for tonight like I have been contemplating...still a few hours left.  (We're going out to dinner tomorrow night.)

I think it's harder to talk about our marriages than infertility or sleep or feeding issues and just like in every other area, there seem to be perfect soul mate couples everywhere you turn. But there are many, many more couples who care about each other but have to work to make it work. Let's be real!


  1. I love this post. You are right in that we don't talk about our marriages enough. I firmly believe that good partners who are always trying to make it work, are the ones who will survive. It's SO much more than hearts and roses when you have been together for a while and especially when you have a child. Thanks for this.

  2. This was a very brave post to post. I appreciate it your realness. Marriage is hard. And marriage is a commitment two people make to work very hard to stay together. Too many people throw around the d word when times get even a little tough. I applaud you.

  3. I loved this post, too. You are so right, it's hard to talk about our marriages, but not doing so leads us to believe that others' relationships are perfect and there must be something wrong if we struggle. But that's not true at all.

    My husband made a comment the other day that we wouldn't still be together if it weren't for the kids. I told him not to say that, because it sounds like we're not happy together. And truly, marriage is a ton of work, and if we didn't have kids and a house we probably would've given up by now. But I'm glad we've kept working on it, because I love him and I'm so happy we're together. And to me, the depth of the relationship and the experiences we've shared are more important than the romance of a new relationship. (he said he was really saying the same thing)

  4. OH my word....we are Hot tub time and Date night people too!!!! We agreed to put our marriage before our kids a long time ago because only good things can come from us having a really strong bond. We still have our peaks and valleys and our two kids take up tons of our time because they NEED us. But we very much make a proactive effort to not let the children and their needs/wants overshadow us and our relationship. It helps that we have a really great freindship and completely enjoy each other. And...yes...marriage is not 50/ needs to be 100/100!!!!