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Monday, January 08, 2007

It only takes 15 minutes

I miss my husband. I miss talking with him, connecting with him. I miss sitting on the couch with our legs intertwined while we talk about our days--the mundane, the exciting, the regular stuff that is the bulk of our everyday lives. Sure, we have managed date nights here and there, but I don't want to be married only on the weekends.

During my first writing date with Aspiring Writer Friend, we talked much more than we wrote. Actually we did not write at all. That does not mean we didn't accomplish anything. We talked about writing. We talked about what we want to from our weekly dates. For her, she wants to flesh out ideas to turn into essays to submit to various publications. I need someone to bounce my ideas off of for my non-fiction book.

But that's not all. We talked about our pasts. We talked about our kids. We talked about our marriages. One of the things that came up was that it is difficult to stay connected with our spouses when there is a never-ending list of things to accomplish in our lives packed with play dates, trips to the park, and laundry. When Father in Chief comes home, we eat dinner as a family. Then it's medicine time, bath time, book time, and bedtime for the kids. We clean up, watch a bit of useless television, check email, and if we're lucky, we read for five minutes before succumbing to our exhaustion. There is so little time for ourselves. There is even less time for our relationship. AWF nodded as if I had just recited her life. Or at least it was her life until recently.

She recently initiated a new rule in her house. As soon as the kids are in bed, they sit together and talk for 15 minutes. No kids, no television, no computers, no distractions, no agenda. I immediately brought her simple idea home. The first night was horrible. We couldn't understand each other. We couldn't see each other's points of view. We couldn't hear each other. We fought. Probably because there was so much pent up stuff to talk about. It was a total failure. But we didn't give up.

We're only on day five, but I'm in it for the long haul. I want to be married forever and I don't want us to be strangers. You know, those old couples sitting in restaurants in total silence who ran out of things to say during the Reagan administration. This means we need to talk. We need to stay a part of each other's minutiae. What a simple and obvious idea. But when you have kids and jobs and responsibilities, it's not always easy. And maybe, just maybe, we'll eventually get to that other thing that only takes 15 minutes. One can dream anyway.

1 comment:

  1. Hi sweetie -

    We did this a while ago (before kids) when our jobs were getting stressful and our our lives seemed to be taking us away from each other. We started "board game night" - where we played a game together each Friday and spent some time together, instead of just parked in front of the TV. Now that we have 3 kids and stress is creeping back into our lives, I think it's time to restart this weekly ritual. Although maybe not board games this time - just some light music, some wine and time enough to relax and say what's on our minds.