Ever have that not-so-fresh feeling?
NO! Not THAT! I mean with your significant other.
Unless you are just exceptional, there comes a time in every relationship, be it a marriage, dating, partnership, whatever, where you just aren’t firing on all cylinders anymore. Things start to get too comfortable. The butterflies don’t make an appearance as often (or at all.) The lines of communication are open, but the connection isn’t as clear as it used to be.
You always hear that marriage takes work. What you don’t always hear is that you have to work on it, not to maintain the good, but to strive to make it better.
Against my better judgment, I’m going to put us out there. We (Team Duncan) weren’t doing so well. We still talked about almost everything, but we didn’t talk about the really important stuff. We were still the couple that our families look up to as the model of a perfect marriage, but we kept the not-so-perfect side out of view. We appreciated what we did for each other, but we didn’t tell each other that we truly appreciated their contributions to the marriage—their sacrifices for the betterment of our family. We loved each other, but we got comfortable and stopped showing each other that we were still in love.
It got bad, folks. Very bad.
I recently spent a month away (due to my job), contemplating what needed to be done next. I had already set the ball in motion just prior to me leaving. Yes, I am indeed talking about the big ‘D’. Plans had been made on both sides about what to do and where to go next, yet they were half-assed and insincere. I truly believe that both us knew there was enough left to rebuild, but I had turned cold to trying. There had been so much time on the downslope that I didn’t know if we could recover.
Then one night in a ‘coming to grips’ talk session after I returned, everything came out. For the first time in years we were completely honest with each other. We truly talked. Things were discussed that had not been uttered in our 9+ years of marriage—our fears, our concerns, our joys, our… selves. There was no longer a need to placate each other’s egos. No need to hold back for fear of hurt feelings.
It was incredible. Almost likening the first time we had met. We had a deep, meaningful conversation that reconnected us at a level that would have been impossible not more than an hour prior.
So we agreed that there was still a foundation.
Anyone who knows anything about building structure knows that if the foundation is good, everything else can be fixed. So we did what we needed to do. We left our lives temporarily and just went away by ourselves. The destination was relatively unimportant, but we chose a small mountain resort town a few hours away. There was opportunity to walk some trails, enjoying nature and each other in it. There was opportunity to shop stores we were not accustomed to. There was opportunity to see each other in a light that we had not been washed in for quite some time. There were no distractions. No kids. No work.
Virtually no Twitter (*wink*).
It was a necessary reconnection.
We talked. We may have thrown away a few pennies on some slots. We walked. We talked. We enjoyed each other’s company. We talked. We loved. We re-learned how to enjoy each other. We re-learned how to appreciate each other.
People, we are here to tell you that even when the flames die out, there are embers. They sit—smoldering—waiting to be uncovered and have fresh air blown across them to re-ignite. There are seeds of potential. You just have to give them a chance to grow.
Things are no longer too comfortable. The butterflies have made (several) appearances. The lines of communication are open, and the connection is so much clearer than it used to be.
We always heard that marriage takes work. What we didn’t always hear is that we had to work on it, not to maintain the good, but to strive to make it better.
Things are much better, folks. Much better.
Here are a few pictures of where it all happened. Enjoy more on my Facebook page. It is truly a beautiful place—for many reasons.
So what do you think? Have you been here? Have you, too, overcome and seen each other the way you once did? Have you found love again? Tell me (us) about it.