When you've been married north of twenty years, it’s easy to take each other for granted every now-and-again. The initial excitement and butterflies in the stomach return every once-in-awhile but for the most part, it's “business as usual.” That’s why I was surprised when, after twenty-some-odd-years of marriage, I suddenly found myself falling in love with my husband all over again! How? Read on . . .
A Photography Project
My father-in-law celebrated a mild stone birthday this year. My husband and his siblings decided to host a big birthday bash at a local country club. Prior to the event, my sister-in-law asked if I would help with the video tribute by rummaging through old family photos. I was happy to help, and welcomed the task. What I didn’t realize was that those family photos would make me fall in love with my husband all over again.
The task started out like any other—a lot to do in a little bit of time. I reviewed hundreds of photos and scanned important pictures like crazy. I cropped, edited, enhanced, and did my best to make those photos look their best. Spending so much time on a photo gave me the opportunity to really take it in. I looked at a number of photos of my husband as a baby, toddler, child, pre-teen, teenager, and young adult—his life before I met him. I decided to save a few of my favorites for my personal collection.
About a week after the party was over (it was awesome, by-the-way) I took a second look at the photos I’d saved on my computer. I found myself thinking what a cute “little guy!” The photos that captured my heart, though, were the ones of him as a teenager and young adult—wow, what a hottie! I wish we had known each other when we were seniors in high school; we would have had such a fun time together! I found myself daydreaming about going to football games, school dances, and combining all of our friends. Awe. . . . It would have been a blast.
One photo, in particular, captured my heart. It’s a photo of my husband in his graduation cap and gown. I loved that photo so much that I made a copy for my computer and cell phone. He looks deliciously sexy!
One evening, my husband came home after having a particularly difficult day. He was a tad grumpy and nothing I did could take him out of his dark mood. Normally, I would’ve been short with him and gone into another room, but that evening I thought about the graduation photo, and I wanted to make him feel better. I made his favorite meal, offered to give him a back massage (which her accepted), and when he would complain about something, I was empathetic and as attentive as I could be. I’ll just say that I turned that evening into a loving night.
The next day, when my husband got home from work, he actually thanked me for being so nice the night before. He was in a better mood, and that carried on throughout the next few weeks. Our relationship has gone back in time to when we didn’t take each other for granted. It’s amazing what one evening of putting him first did for us. It was like compassion was the secret relationship weapon that I'd never known prior to that day. I’ve learned that being selfish and self-centered has little room in a marriage, and, in the long run, will ruin it. Who knew that sorting through some old photos would have a positive effect on my marriage.
Luther Vandross "Always and Forever" Lyrics
It’s been several weeks since I discovered that photo and I look at it every now-and-again. The snapshot is now an indelible image in my mind, and I can see my hubby’s face and imagine what he looked like in that wonderful photo. What a gift I received. After over twenty years of marriage, I fell in love with my husband again. I can’t wait to experience the future with him and hopefully be a kinder, gentler wife.
Fall in Love with Your Spouse All Over Again
Although my situation is unique, there are other avenues you can explore that may give you the same outcome. For example, write a love letter to your significant other and ask them to reciprocate. The words you read or write could ignite that initial spark you once had for one another. Who knows, these “love letters” might even become a habit between the two of you.
This next idea sounds simplistic, but it can work: have a long, positive conversation together. Do a little preparation ahead of time and write down some questions or topics that will guide the talk to a positive place. This conversation is not the time to discuss the kids, work, or problems—leave that for another day. Keep the chat about the two of you (e.g. your history together; your feelings for one another; what you really like and appreciate about your mate; happy memories together . . . etc.).
Carve out some time from your busy schedules, pop some popcorn, and watch some home movies together. Relive your wedding, the birth of your children, your vacations, and other happy times you captured on video. Talk about how you felt during those periods in your life and remember the good times.
Schedule a game night and play your favorite board game together—just the two of you. Better yet, play a game of twenty questions and don’t shy away from any topic; one rule, however, keep it positive! Ask questions like: “What’s your favorite memory together?” “What first attracted you to me?” “If I was a character on (insert your favorite show) who would I be and why?” “If we could go anywhere in the world for a romantic vacation, where would you like to go?” You get the picture.
Falling in love with your mate is a choice. You can continue with your current routine or try something different. What will you choose to do?