On Sunday we were at Joe's parent's house and his sister made a comment about how I portray him on the blog. She said something like, "I laugh when I read her posts because she says so many great things about you and gives you a lot of credit, but I know how you really are." (I'm sure I completely misquoted that, but I tried, sorry Kristi!) When I write my posts, I try to share the real story of our marriage, who we are and things we're trying to improve in our relationship, but I also never want to complain about my husband or share with the world the frustrations I sometimes feel toward him. That being said, today you're going to get a real view of some things from our marriage, and I hope it doesn't make you think any less of Joe, me or our marriage. You should probably just think we're extra awesome and down to earth or something.
^^So happy and in love, minutes after getting married!
Yesterday I shared how falling in love changed my outlook on life. When we fall in love, we tend to view that person through rose colored glasses. They can't do anything wrong and we're constantly amazed by their greatness! Unfortunately, we all have to leave Cloud 9 at some point and plant our feet firmly on the ground. What happens then? A question posed at the end of the third chapter of The 5 Love Languages really made me think.
Look back on that point in your marriage when "reality" set in and the initial romantic feelings faded. How did this affect your relationship, for better or worse?
I approved this story with Joe before sharing it with all of you!
The first thing that came to mind was Joe, and how he so lovingly "saved" his farts for marriage.
Sorry mom, I just can't resist telling this story!
When I was dating Joe, I heard stories about his .... talent (???) from everyone. His mission buddies, his family, his friends, they all had sympathy for me and the fact that I would be living with his bodily functions for the rest of forever. I always laughed because I didn't know how exaggerated their concerns were, they'd tell me it wasn't too late to turn back, and Joe would tell everyone that his farts were sacred and he was saving them for marriage. That's how Joe does romance, and I think at one point he said something about not giving away all of his secrets, wanting to save some surprises, or some other silly reasoning like that. I wasn't sure whether to be nervous or not.
The morning after our wedding, I woke up next to the love of my life, happier than ever! We snuggled and talked and just enjoyed not having anywhere to be or anything to do for the first time in months. Within a few minutes, it happened, Joe let one rip in the middle of our precious moment and just like that the romance was gone. Reality set in and our new life together was off to a running start.
^^He's really charming in spite of the flatulence, I promise!
For the first year of our marriage, I was really enthusiastic about my wifely duties. I loved to plan meals, go grocery shopping, cook dinner and pack lunches for my husband. I didn't make the same recipe twice that entire year and I was really proud of myself. Our apartment stayed pretty clean, we did a lot of fun things together and I planned lots of little surprises for Joe. We were aware of reality, but we were still very much in the honeymoon stage of our relationship.
Pinpointing exactly when that excitement faded is hard to do, but at some point during our second year together, I became lazy in my role as a wife and didn't care as much as I used to. I wasn't cooking dinner as often, and when I did, my sweet husband would tell me that the meals were too fancy for his tastes and he wished I would make more simple dishes. Joe started leaving socks around and I stopped putting the clean laundry away as soon as it came out of the dryer. We fought about cleaning ALL the time; whose turn it was to make the bed, our personal cleaning tactics. Yes, we are that pathetic. It was like we stopped trying to impress each other, even though we didn't really need to in the first place.
We still fight about the cleaning, usually once a week when Joe goes on his big cleaning spree and I don't feel like joining him, or late at night when I'm in an organizing mood and he's not jumping up to help me. (We talked a little bit more about this in our vlog) Joe wishes I'd wake up to Howie's growling when he wants to go outside in the middle of the night or early in the morning and I wish that Joe wouldn't come home and scatter his wallet, keys, and lunchbox all over the house rather than putting them in their designated places.
^^Obviously we're really classy people.. just look at us.
Being married is hard work, and it isn't always romantic and full of love as I might make it out to be here on the blog. We argue, we get annoyed with each other, and sometimes we just don't feel like talking to each other. But I wouldn't say that the love has died or that the romance is gone. After the honeymoon is over and you start your life together, reality will set in, but that doesn't mean that the romance and love you felt for each other when you first fell in love has to go out the window.
Our marriage isn't perfect and it probably never will be, but we both try hard to get our relationship as close to perfection as possible.
How do you keep the romance alive in your marriage?