Keeping the Flame Alive

January 12, 2009 at 7:52 am (Daily Life) (, , , )

I’m very lucky that Chris and I found one another; there isn’t a day that goes by when I’m not grateful for our marriage.  Sure, we have rough patches here and there, but they usually happen because one or the other of us violates the ‘unwritten rules’ of our union.  Since life is about to change so drastically, and I can’t predict what effect it’ll have on us or whether, a few years down the road, we’ll be so involved with our kid(s) that we forget the simple principles that have made the last five years so good, I thought I’d write a post about all the things that make us work:

Butt grabs: Poor Maia is probably going to think grabbing someone’s ass is an acceptable form of showing your interest in them, with as much tushie-touching as we have going on around here.  Smacks, pinches, good old-fashioned gropes — it doesn’t matter, but my hands go to his rump almost subconsciously and I’m not sure he’s ever walked past me without returning the favour.

Embrace the future with optimism: Everyone has dark days.  Sometimes those dark days aren’t just behind you, but they seem to be ahead of you too.  It doesn’t matter; everything will look up eventually, and you need to be looking towards those brighter days with hope.  Chris and I refuse to be motivated by fear, paranoia, or worry (of course, we don’t have a child here yet to make us feel like our hearts are walking around outside of our bodies), and we also try very hard to keep level heads and avoid being naive or starry-eyed about life.  We feel like there is nothing the world can throw at us that we can’t handle as long as we stand together and support one another — the entire united we stand, divided we fall concept.

Never say something you don’t mean: A lot of couples threaten each other with ‘breaking up’ or ‘divorce’ or any other way of hurting one another, just out of anger.  Neither of us has ever threatened something like “I’ll find someone else” or “you’ll come home one day and I’ll be gone”, because neither of us would follow through and it’s completely unproductive to scream emotional blackmail at someone you love just to hurt them.  I think everyone has learned that lesson the hard way, whether you were the one making threats or the one taking them, and after both dealing and taking that pain, I won’t do it anymore.  When I speak, I mean what I say; so does he.

Make each other laugh every day: Chris is way better at making me laugh than I am at getting him to laugh, but fortunately when I dissolve into laughter he tends to follow.  It doesn’t matter what we’re laughing about, whether it’s the karma of pirates drowning after holding a tanker ransom, the way Joss goes into a frenzy for this certain clucky chicken toy, adding our own commentary in between CNN newscasters, or one of the hundreds of in-jokes we have — there is friendly laughter in our relationship every day, and it’s part of what keeps us close to one another.

Share the bed: No matter how pissed we may be at one another, no one has to sleep on the couch.  It’s our bed.  We both deserve to sleep in it, and even if we fall asleep with our backs turned to one another in annoyance, it’s still better than one of us being in another room.  Although, I admit we rarely go to bed angry at one another, because of the following principle…

ALWAYS kiss and share an “I love you” before bed: There have been nights where I said “I love you” in the dullest possible monotone because I was just reciting it by rote, and there have been nights where our goodnight kiss probably resembled two chickens pecking at each other moreso than a loving couple saying goodnight to one another.  It’s still a reminder of our physical and emotional connection, and a reminder that no matter how angry we might be at the situation we’re in, it’s temporary and we will move beyond it.


  1. Maria said,

    Man, send some flame this way. We could use it.

  2. Gala said,

    All wonderful guidelines to live by. Keep it up–only another 60 or so years together! 🙂

  3. Cara said,

    Great post! We follow the same guidelines in our marriage. I can’t imagine sending my husband to another room to sleep. Don’t go to bed angry.

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