Dear Ms. Mix & Bitch,
Hello, my name is Georgia, I’m 29 years-old and have been married for six years to my childhood sweetheart. I feel guilty writing in because I read your blog and I know how many of your readers are looking to find “the one.” Christopher and I met when we were nine years old. I was the girl-next-door. Seriously, we lived right next to each other growing up.
We always liked each other, and started dating at fifteen (that’s when my parents would allow me to date). Chris was my first love, first kiss, well, you get the picture. There were times we broke up and dated other people, but never for very long. I’ve only slept with one other guy, and it was horrible, and I went running back to Chris.
We got married right after college, and now we have a 5 year-old and an 18-month old. Don’t get me wrong…we have a great life. He’s my best friend. But I feel like I’ve missed out on something. There’s no one else, but I think about it all the time. I don’t want to lose what I have, but I’m starting to freak that I never gave myself a real chance to see what was out there. Everyone thinks we’re the “perfect couple” – I’m even afraid to bring up these feelings to Chris. What do I do to make this feeling “go away?” – Georgia
You have just described what everyone in a long term relationship has ever felt.
I know you didn’t get a chance to ride all the A trains coming into town back in the day – and now you wish you could. I’ll give it to you straight, my overly-ripened Georgia peach…are you listening?
No matter how many people you’ve slept with,
No matter how many different ways you gave it to each other,
It’s never enough.
Monogomy can easily equal monotony. Frankly, I am both elated and shocked that I’ve been married for more than 11 years myself…because you are speaking to a recovering endorphin addict. I lived for the rush of a new romance, perfectly shown here…
My heart simultaneously aches and beams over this one.
No matter how hot you start, eventually a couple becomes more about friendship than adrenelin. Add two young kids to the mix and you can easily downshift into co-parenting status in a flash. I really don’t think couples have a clue as to how having babies can totally trip up a marriage. Fantasizing about other men is the perfect mental vacation for a young mother who never got to sew up her wild oats, barley, and other whole grains 😉
I’ve been there.
Which is why I am going to insist you talk to Chris about your feelings. There’s a gentle way to share this stuff together, by prefacing your comments with your love and commitment to him. My guess is by getting all this out of your head, being genuinely heard by your man, AND MAKING TIME TO BE GROWN-UPS, will steer you back to where you want to be.
To be perfectly blunt, now you’re really in it. What I mean by that is you spent your childhood and adolescence in varying stages of a hormonal haze – topped off by the frenzy and excitement of being a new bride and new mom. You’ve been living in a heightened state of excitement, and now you are in a life-stage more about routine and responsibility. Now you two are going to have to be diligent and creative about reconnecting regularly. And I do mean “you two.”
I personally sunk into a major depression several years ago when I felt I was carrying the emotional bulk of my relationship alone. That’s as gentle as I can put it. David and I survived the crisis – after being in counseling twice a week for over a year. Unfortunately, it took for me to get to such a dark place for him to really hear me. I share this story because I don’t want any woman to go through what I did. Today, my husband and I are better than we’ve ever been, but that doesn’t mean I have closed our own book and declared “happily ever after.” Here are some hard-fought truths I have learned…you get these instead of a mix today:
Share Your Fears with Your Partner – Not Just the Hearts-and-Candy-Parts
Even a bit of daylight into the darkness inside your head helps a lot.
Negativity gains strength in solace.
You are BOTH Responsible for Keeping Romance in Your Lives
Guys usually roll their eyes at this one because they feel like they’ve won you already – why do they have to continuously date their own wives? Because if you don’t, then she won’t. Understood?
No Matter How Broke You are, Make Time for Date Night
Get a friend or relative – or join a babysitting co-op if you can’t afford a sitter – to watch the kids. Even if all you can afford is a bagful of Taco Bell, order that shit to-go, bring a blanket, and have a picnic in the park. The point is – be inventive. Money sure makes for nice trimmings, but your creative soul is what lies at the core of any romantic night out.
Do Not Let More Than Two Weeks Go By Without Having Sex
Most of my girlfriends can go much longer without it – which I will never understand (I have the libido of a teenage boy) – but even if you’re not all about the huffin’-and-puffin’, the closeness you share can blow your house down – and any other walls you’re holding up.
The Greatest Joy – and Biggest Test – of Any Relationship is Having Children
This does not mean you don’t love and adore your little tykes. But let’s get real…changing diapers, waking up at all hours, potty training, temper tantrums – just to start – completely messes you up. Add a whopping layer of job responsibilities and money issues, and it’s amazing to me how resilient couples can be. That said, finding enough time and emotional energy for your marriage can seem like an impossibility.
Guess what? It is impossible. Do it anyway.
With All This Said, Your Partner is NOT Your Entertainment Committee
Meaning, find other things – besides him or the kids – that fulfill you. No one can be everything to us – and putting that kind of pressure on a marriage dooms it to hell.
Until next time kids….