My Daily Roadtrip

Doing the things I did in the beginning …

It’s probably because Shun-Luoi and I will be celebrating our 5-year anniversary soon … or because the mentor who I meet with twice/month and I talk regularly about marriage …

Either way, I have been thinking about how I related with Shun-Luoi, some of what I’ve been learning over the pats 5 years, and things I am just realizing about marriage that it seems I should have picked up on about, oh … 4.5 years ago!

One thing I am learning is that continuing to “pursue” or date your spouse does not come all that naturally. It is all too easy to basically become business partners or roommates … you discuss the kids, the finances, your schedule(s) what’s on the news, etc. But to really keep pursuing his/her heart and affection? That’s beyond being business partners or roommates and can be easily lost in the day-to-day grind. A book about marriage that I am currently reading discusses how it’s a good idea to regularly do the things you used to do at the beginning; back when you were dating, engaged, or newly married. I thought it was a great idea …

So, yesterday I got out my card-stock, scissors, and markers and made a little gift for him. I will sometimes put together boxes to send to friends with new babies, creative thank-you cards, or fun things for the kids, but I sadly realized yesterday that I will not just as often do the same for my husband. But, I soon remedied that by making him a little date idea board!

When it comes to dates, Shun-Luoi and I will often get a sitter for the kids, but then more or less fly by the seat of our pants when figuring out what we’ll actually do that evening. Because we don’t plan ahead and we’re often tired by the end of the day, we will, more often than not, default to going to dinner and then a coffee shop. Don’t get me wrong – we love doing both things, but we have both agreed that we need to get a bit more creative in our date-planning. For example, for my b-day date, we went to dinner and then to a basketball game to watch our local high school play. While, beforehand, going to the game didn’t sound all that fun, I was so glad we went because we had a blast! We figured that neither of us had been to a high school game in about a decade and it was so fun to talk about the emotions and memories it brought up for each of us (on a random, but funny note – during the pre-game warm-ups, they were playing loud, booming music and Shun-Luoi leaned over and said, “I know this makes me sound old, but … is that music really necessary??” We both laughed!)

With that being said, I decided to make the date board (I gained some inspiration from an idea I saw elsewhere) so that, when we had a date planned, we could “spin” the arrow (?) and have some creative ideas at our fingertips. I planned a date for us last evening and over dinner, I gave him the gift, which he enjoyed receiving. And what did it “cost?” Some mental creativity, a few paper materials, and about 20 minutes. Seriously – that’s it.

Maybe your spouse wouldn’t enjoy a homemade gift, but would appreciate something different (it may not even be a gift), but that’s not the point. The point is to think back to how we treated our significant other when we were first dating or married, and do those things again. I am already seeing that it will take forethought and discipline to do so, but I know it will be worth it on so many levels. After all, I didn’t marry Shun-Luoi to gain a business partner or a roommate – I chose him to be my husband … and because of that, I want to treat him as such.

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