“I need a reset” I repeatedly said to myself sixty days into my marriage. Yes sixty days prior I had married my person, my moon and my best friend. Our love story spans over 2 decades, the stuff you watch on the big screen. Okay, maybe the small screen; but my love and I have many stories of success, challenges and everything in between. So how do I come to such a statement a couple of months after I said I do? What did that statement mean for me? Trust me I was asking myself those exact two questions when I started to think of resetting. At first I thought maybe this is a flag or some sort; I mean who gets married to the love of their life and then say “oh boy I need to reset something”. Did this mean trouble for my relationship? Did I make a mistake? Is this a warning sign of our marriage demise? Yes, I was my own worst enemy because I didn’t naturally think positive. I decided to take a step back and pause that overbearing thought. I added more run days through my favorite trail spot. When I run outdoors it helps me to think and feel connected to myself. I use the silence and distance from the world to pray and think. It was with my runs that help me understand what I was telling myself.
You see I love my husband, I am in love with my husband; have been in love with him for two decades. We are different in personalities but its the similarities that we do share that makes our friendship special. Up to our wedding we had been together for 4 years; living together for 3 of those 4 years. We share 2 Bullmastiffs and through our marriage I gained a daughter. We had went through the “honeymoon” phase years ago. We had settled into the routine lifestyle with the predictable behaviors. We had championed against countless arguments and we had hit our groove. Something happens in all that life – I fell out of like for my husband. I mean I love him, I admire him and adore him beyond words ; but I just didn’t like him as much as I did before. The day-to-day relationship life routine drained a part of the fun and spontaneous elements of our relationship. The disagreements to the who turn is it to pick up the dog poop in the backyard; the countless debate of why placing the toilet seat down is important to complaining of that bowl of oatmeal not being washed out. Our work schedule differ leading to seeing each other only for a few hours each day.
I realized that I treated my husband differently when I use to like him. I remember when we first start dating, I would be out somewhere like the mall and I would see something that I thought he would like; and I would get it for him. If i stopped at a coffee spot, I would bring him a coffee as a surprise. When we would watch a movie and I saw him stiff up a little, I would go grab the massage oil and massage his back for him. There were countless gestures I did for him because I wanted to. It made me smile anticipating his smile or his look of appreciation. I never once thought ” what am I going to get in return”. Never once. But then two months after getting married; I had become a spouse who expected something in return. If I gave my husband a back rub; not only did I expect him to give me one back; but I expected him to know that he needed to give one back. If I offered my husband a cup of coffee , I was looking for him to in exchange do something for me. Somehow I had turned our relationship into a barter partnership; without even recognizing it. I felt if I am doing something for you and you don’t return the doing then you are under appreciating my value. The funny thing is I never thought that when I was in full like mode. This confuse me, love is much deeper than like; so how could this be the issue in my marriage? I came up with an answer for that , which I will discuss in a later blog; but what I came up with after that was that I needed to reset myself. I needed to get back to liking the man I am deeply in love with. I just needed to know how to do so.
I turned to my past experiences. I am that woman who you probably know in your own family or circle of friends; that woman who is always talking about her upcoming “new” thing she is trying. She could be starting a spiritual journey, a well-being journey; food transformation like becoming a vegan or vegetarian. Maybe she is cleansing her life by way of ending a relationship or volunteering. This woman gears up for random new changes. Well I am one of those women, I have done the spiritual cleansing, the vegan journey, the 30 day squats; 30 days sit-ups, 30 days what ever is interesting to me challenge. There are sayings like “it takes 21 days to break a habit” ; of course there are articles out there that states 21 days is a myth and that it actually takes 90 days for the human brain to reset itself and shake off a habit. I tend to lean towards 30 days when I want to get into a habit of something. The result of my 30 day phases normally has a pretty good lingering effect. Who knows maybe 90 days would be more effective. Maybe one day I will give that a try but right now I like my focused 30 day completion ability. I figured that if I wanted to truly act on this issue in my relationship that I should turn to some of trusty resources and proven abilities. As I was running one day; it hit me; I am going to show my husband my love for 30 days. Everyday my husband and I say “love you” when we leave each other, when we talk to each other on the phone and when we see each other; but I wanted to go beyond.
I decided to sit down and really write out what the objective was for this 30 days of acts of love. One of the things I wrote in big letter was “no return”. I didn’t want my husband to feel the need to do something back for me; in fact the only thing I wanted my husband to do was just receive my acts of love. I wanted him to just be on this ride as a passenger. I know that we show each other love in various ways but I wanted to get back down to basics; I wanted to see if I could get back to that selfless act of showing my affection. I wanted the gestures to range from little gestures to big planned out gestures. I had many thoughts leading up to this. Would I naturally be wanting to do something, solely on the purpose of seeing my husband smile? Would this make me like my husband in the intensity I once did? I didn’t know. But I knew it was more than worth a try. I could go on for the rest of my life with my husband just loving him; and have no regrets, and create many memories with him by my side; but continuing our love story with the additive of liking him as well ; that just would make our love story even richer and amazing.
So my thirty days of acts of love has been going on for a week today. Just a week and the change in our relationship has been dramatic. The first day I thought about twenty different things to do for him, almost over thinking it; which made me a little on edge. I took a minute to just meditate and let it go until I felt the want to do something for him. He arrived home having to work late and came into the living room; after dumping pasta in a pot for some dinner; sat on the couch and tune in to a recorded football game. I walked in the kitchen and finished cooking his pasta for him; he came behind me and hugged me and said thanks babe. I use to cook for him when he would come home from work late and leave it out; but over time we had come to the fend for yourselves mode. I hadn’t realize that there was more late work nights than normal coming home times; so the eating together and having food ready had diminished a lot. I simply didn’t realize it. His smile made me realize at that exact moment, how incredible I thought is smile was and how sexy I thought his smile was yes over a pot of boiling pasta. Afterwards as I saw him sit and watch his game, work clothes and shoes still on; I went upstairs to our bedroom, and grabbed some lotion; went back downstairs; took his shoes off and gave him a foot massage. So many other nights, I would see my husband on the couch unwinding, and somewhere along the line ; I stopped seeing him; instead I would just walk past say hey moon, love you and continue my daily routine. That night, I wanted to do something for him. I didn’t think about myself. I just wanted to see my husband relax.
Each day of gesture of love made me look at my husband in the way I use look at him. I started to just think of random things that he might like and each day I found myself smiling at him. My acts of love ironically gave me what I needed in return. I didn’t need my husband to do anything to get me to like him again. He didn’t need to prove himself to me, or be a different version of himself; the reality was I needed to remind myself of why I liked him in the first place. I needed to bring myself back to that feeling, not time; but emotion. I had lost the point of it all; under bills, conflicts, pets, house chores and everything between. I didn’t need to find liking my husband because I never lost liking him , I simply forgot how to. It takes the desire and conscious choice to actively create change when change is needed; and to reset when reset is needed. What were my 30 days of acts of love? I will post a blog after my 30 days is completed with my final thoughts of it all.
Love is sweet. Love is sour. Love is dreamy. Love is reality. Love is Everything and Everything in Between.
~Love, Light, Positive Energy