Does Romance Still
Flow in Your Marriage?
A widely believed myth is that marriage gets boring and stays that way. This is only true when things get too familiar and predictable. Granted, we like routines and it’s nice to know that we can count on our spouse being there when we go to bed and wake up. But this doesn’t mean that after you realize he’s (or she’s) the one that the fun has to end.
It means to notice when it’s time to add excitement to your marriage. When an activity you used to enjoy on your own or as a couple no longer lights you up, it’s time to try something new--on your own or together.
If you enjoy your job, hobby, or other activity, you’ll sparkle. Your aliveness will be contagious; it will spice things up for both of you. So take a break from a routine. Do something different, even if it feels uncomfortable.
My husband and I were vacationing in Maui with our son, then a toddler, which kept one of us on constant duty. While I took a snorkeling cruise, my husband watched our son. I love snorkeling in warm water, exploring the pristine habitat of fish. It had been years since I’d had the opportunity to do this.
This time, as usual, I kept swimming, searching for fish. I seemed to be working very hard for the reward of finding an occasional fish that would rapidly move out of sight.
Soon a current was jolting me toward hazardous sharp coral rock. When I resisted, it pulled me closer. After what seemed like an eternity of struggling, I noticed scores of fish beneath and around me, tiny black and gold striped ones and larger gray news, all swaying gently, so peacefully, like a metronome, slowly moving back and forth, toward the shore, toward the open sea, yet just a foot or so in each direction.
I stopped fighting, became part of the swirling melody, as the fish and I and the sea rocked back and forth for a while. Boundaries disappeared; we were one. As I lazily allowed the ocean to hold me, face down, relaxed and continuing to breathing through the snorkel, one group of fish after another came to me. Striped, bright colored, and speckled fish, and, long, thin iridescent blue ones.
Soon I drifted into deeper water. As began to float out to look for more fish, something made me look back. There they were, almost touching me—the most striking fish yet, in a rainbow of colors and sizes.
I sensed they were telling me: Let go. Stop trying so hard,
I experienced a keen insight. I wanted to remember it, let it guide me. This is what I realized: I don’t have to drive myself so hard to get what I want. I should trust that I will get what I need without knocking myself out. Blessings are in store for me; I just need to allow myself to be present to receive them.
Helicopter over Maui
As our time in Maui neared to an end, my husband said he wanted to do something exciting. He suggested that we splurge on a helicopter tour of the island. So up we went, with mufflers on our ears to mute the sound. We viewed the huge Haleakala volcano from above.
The pilot bluffed us into thinking we’d crash into a cliff he headed straight for. As we held our breaths, at what seemed like the last minute, he took us high enough to clear it for a narrow escape. Okay, he knew what he was doing; his job was to manufacture thrills for tourists. That’s fine. He gave us an unforgettable, albeit hair raising, experience.
Your Adventure Can Be Anywhere
You don’t need to go to a far-away place for an adventure on your own or together. It might be trying a new sport, arranging a picnic, acting in a play, taking a class, going somewhere new, flying a kite, or any one of a countless possibilities for whatever out of the ordinary experience you’re game to try.
When you venture away from what’s familiar, you’re likely to discover new things about yourself and your spouse. You’ll add romance to your marriage. Each of you, and your relationship, will grow.
Thanks to Linda Bloom, Adrian Fried, Jim Levine, Phyllis Levy, Diane P Reynolds, R. Mordey Richler, Arlyn Serber, Audrey Moira Shimkas, Susan Sommerville, and Dan Wile for commenting on "When Silence is Your Best Response" article featured in February's Marriage Maven's News & Views. Anonymous comments also welcome.