If you leap into your husband’s arms when he comes through the door, this post isn’t for you.
However, if you begrudgingly hand the baby off to your husband when he comes through the door, this post might be for you. If you find yourselves like ships passing in the night, this post might be for you. If you passive aggressively start leaving all of the empty toilet paper rolls on the bathroom counter to see when he will throw them away, this post might be for you.
If you have ever, at any point, said to your spouse that you feel more like roommates than husband and wife, well then my friend, this post is definitely for you.
My husband and I have been together for ten years, married for seven of those, and overall, we’ve had a happy marriage, but like all marriages, it requires work. On several occasions throughout the years, we’ve hit a lull, leaving the kisses to quick pecks before work and before bed. Our attention is thrown into our child and our work, leaving just a fraction of energy for small talk after putting our child to bed. We’re devoted to one another, of course, but also devoted to the glow of our cell phones as we lay side by side.
We’re co-existing, not cooperating. We’re roommates, not romantic partners. We’re in a season, and there are ways to survive it. Here are several of the ways I’ve found to survive the roommate season and come out thriving:
- Get out of your own head. You know what I’m talking about; the self-pity, the feeling that something is wrong with you, and your spouse just isn’t into you. He’s into you, he’s probably just exhausted and tired, like you. And if you are feeling down on yourself, maybe do something to make you feel good too, like a manicure, pedicure or some new clothes.
- Do something unexpected for your spouse, for no reason at all except to generate good feelings. The other morning my husband woke up in a bad mood, which usually puts me in an equally bad mood. Instead, I made it a point to get him some breakfast and waited in my car outside his work to deliver him some Chick-fil-A and an iced coffee. And a few days later at work, he in turn surprised me with cookies and flowers.
- Let them know that you are thinking about them or just wish them well. A handwritten note in their lunch, an out of the blue text, or just something to say, “Hey, I’m glad we ended up together.”
- Plan a trip or even revisit a spot that meant a lot during your relationship. It took nearly three years before my husband and I took an overnight trip away from our daughter for the first time (not for lack of wanting to, but just trying to break away from the day-to-day duties of life). Our first trip was a bust due to some pregnancy complications, so I made him commit to taking another trip before baby #2 gets here. It was truly wonderful, and something I wish we could do every actual season.
- Come clean. The longer we’re together, the more I realize that I’m just wasting valuable time I could be a partner rather than a roommate. Same goes for my husband. I’m not doing either of us any favors if I keep staring at my phone, avoiding my feelings so I’ve started being upfront when I feel like we’re getting off track. It’s awkward and never fun, but neither is the roommate season. Bouncing back is so much better.