My husband and I had an argument recently. The topic of the argument is irrelevant.
That’s a lie. I just don’t want to get into it.
It began early in the day and then I went out to run errands. I expected to be calmer when I arrived home but I wasn’t. Mostly because I didn’t feel like I was being heard.
I rehashed the issue with the intention of feeling satisfied with the outcome. Unusual for our marriage, things escalated from firm debate to shouting. Not with name-calling or condescension or anything ugly. That’s not how we do things. Just good old, what’ll-the-neighbors-think shouting.
That exchange didn’t leave me feeling happy that I’d finally been heard. No, I was angry at my husband for the rest of the day. The upside was that I did come away with the satisfaction that there’s still a boatload of passion in our relationship. There was an energy in the room that was almost invigorating. (Not that I was in the mood to do it, because I definitely was not.)
Do you ever notice that kind of energy if you argue with your partner?
When we met nearly 14 years ago, it was lust at first sight. Naive, bubble-head, 21-year-old that I was, I believed it to be love at first sight. But realistically it was all pheremones.
These days I’m no longer naive nor bubble-headed. (At least I don’t think I am.) The other stuff, though, has stayed the same. We’re just not as gross, slobbery and public about it.
How do we manage to keep things at a constant level given limited alone time, kids who don’t want to go to sleep, or simply being tired at the end of a long day? We don’t have regular date nights and no one’s dressing up like a dominatrix to spice things up (not that you asked) and still I’m nowhere near the point where I look at my husband like he’s my cousin. (Yikes. I hope that never happens!)
I think the most important element is not what happens in the bedroom but what happens outside it. For me, the “requirements” for feeling passionately have changed with time and circumstance. As a younger version of myself who expected nothing from a guy I had just met, those feelings came naturally and freely. Now, as a wife and mother who is continually doing for my husband in the way that role is typically defined, I don’t think I’d be consumed by passion if my husband didn’t first meet my expectations outside the bedroom. Since he anticipates my needs by doing simple things – asking about my day, taking over kitchen clean-up while I get the kids into their pajamas, or folding a pile of laundry I left on the bed – I’m much more likely to feel amorous than if he stretched out on the couch as I cleaned up the day’s mess of half-eaten macaroni under the table, LEGOs that migrate to every corner of the house, and shredded crayon wrappers.
Here are a few questions for you and if enough of you respond I’ll post a collection of your best answers (with a link to your blog if you have one) on Valentine’s Day …
Does it count as passion if there are strings attached?
Do you think maintaining passion in a relationship is a top priority or something that is bound to fade over time no matter what you do?
What’s your best advice on how to keep the fire going in your marriage or relationship?
Whatever level of passion you begin your relationship with (maybe you started out as friends), can anything be done to create it?
I’d love to hear!