Has your ’I Do’ become ’Not Now’?

Remember those first days after he asked you? After he asked you to be his bride, his better half, or–as Phoebe from “Friends” so beautifully put it–his lobster? In those days, you would be happy to do things with him, go places, listen to him just to hear his sweet voice. These may or may not have been your favorite things to do or places to go or even things to hear about but you did it just the same. You enjoyed it whether you liked it or not.

Now fast forward. You’ve cut the cake and said “I do,” celebrated your first anniversary (complete with eating the year-old-freezer cake. Who came up with that tradition?), you’ve gotten a dog, gotten rid of the cat, you’ve had a baby, you’ve feathered your nest. Has your “I Do” remained? Or has the evil twin “Not Now” crept into your marriage?

It can invade in an instant or it can slowly make it’s way in without your even noticing. The “Not Now” is perhaps one of the silent killers of marriages. How do you know whether or not your marriage is contaminated? Ask yourself the following questions:

• Am I willing to try new things? A new hobby, new restaurant, new sport?
• Do I treat my husband with appreciation? Have I said thank you for the little things he does?
• How long has it been since we’ve been on a date (uh-hmm, that is, without the kids)?

It is easy in the busyness of life, the stress of work, and the demands of children to allow everyday activities to suck the life right out of your romance. Before you know it, you feel more like business partners than you do marriage partners. If this is you, take steps now to kick your “Not Now” out the window! You owe it to yourself and your spouse to live up to your marriage vows and start saying “I Do” again. You can start with these suggestions:

• Get in the habit of thanking your spouse for things you have been taking for granted–i.e. taking care of the lawn, being a hard worker, giving the kids a bath–whatever roles he has taken on in your household routine.
• Start asking for the “High/Low” during dinner or before you go to sleep. High: best thing that happened that day. Low: worst thing or situation he encountered.
• Do something spontaneous. Surprise him with a gift for no particular reason, get new sexy underwear (or at least throw away the ones he hates. I know, they’re comfortable but you can find some cuter than those!), plan a day trip for the two of you and don’t tell him about it until you are ready to leave–have his bag packed and waiting in the car.

Don’t take these days with your “lobster” for granted. You are the one he picked to spend the rest of his life with! Take steps today to keep your marriage relationship fresh. You may even have some fun in the process.


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