Every relationship, at the beginning, is so fun, exciting, and passionate. When Eric and I first started dating we spent almost everyday together. It was during the summer, so we would bike ride around town and in the park, go swimming, hiking, out to eat. He would bring me flowers and buy me dresses and write me songs. I would buy him little gifts that made me think of him or write him love notes. It wasn't really what we were doing, it was just that we were doing it together.
Of course, love and our relationship progressed. We got engaged. We got married. We had a baby. We had two more. Our relationship has changed and grown in so many ways.
One thing that we've fought, and are continuing to fight, it to keep the "flame of romantic love" alive. Most marriages are challenged with the same thing. Spending every second together, cuddling, making dinner together turns into paying bills, making dinner while he holds the babies, waking up in the middle of the night, and taking care of our children first. All of the passion grows in to comfort and friendship, which is good. The danger is for it to turn into monotony and a "roommate" relationship.
Most people would tell you that this is normal. Yes, it is. But, that doesn't mean that it has to be. Is it possible to keep romance and passion alive for 5 years? For 10? Forever? I say it is, but not without hard work. To have romance continue through the years you must be intentional. It isn't something that's accidental or just happens. Cesar Castellanos says, it takes, "words, attitudes, and attention to small details." It isn't necessarily the big celebrations or gifts, but just connecting at every possible time. Things like touching as you walk past each other, saying I love you, texting, or holding hands.
I don't want to wake up one day, 10 years from now, and realize that I'm not in love any more. I don't want to be bored in my marriage. I don't want to wish that I could go back to the time of passion, or even worse, try to find it again with someone else. I choose to be passionately in love with my husband everyday, for the rest of our lives.
If you've found yourself getting monotonous in your marriage I'll give you a little assignment that I gave my disciples. Everyday this week do something above and beyond. Do something to make your spouse feel special, that maybe you wouldn't normally do. Some of the ideas they had was to leave a note in his lunch, have sex, text "I love you." The opportunities are endless...it's the effort that counts!
**What do YOU do to keep romance alive in your marriage?