Do you remember when you first saw her? Do you remember how your heart jumped in your chest and you suddenly stammered for words? Do you remember how you began to scheme to “accidentally” meet her?
You remember. You checked with her friends to find out if she was dating anyone. You found out if she knew who you were. You knew if you asked her out, she would go out with you.
While you were scheming, she was scheming too. She arranged to accidentally be in the same place you were so that, if you wanted to ask her out, you could.
Arranging accidental encounters is exhausting! It’s a lot of hard work. But you were going to meet her no matter what it took and she was going to allow you to meet her, no matter how hard she had to work.
You couldn’t wait to be with her. You couldn’t think about anything else.
Life happened. First, you both got jobs. Now you get up early, work hard all day, and come home exhausted. You bought a house and there’s always something to fix on the house. The weekends are now reserved for all of the projects you didn’t have time to do during the week.
Then, you had kids. Kids are wonderful, but they take up all of your time. The feedings, diaper changing, rocking for naps, rocking for bedtime and feedings…always feeding. Babies are always hungry!
And you quit dating. There isn’t time. There isn’t energy. So, you begin to postpone your life. “We’ll do something when the kids are older.” Or “We’ll go somewhere when the kids start school.” And you know how it goes…someday never comes.
There is nothing more damaging to a marriage than taking each other for granted. The assumption that the other will always be there means that small cracks aren’t attended to before they become canyons too large to cross. Taking the other for granted is hard to diagnose because there’s no anger or blow-up to signal that something is wrong. There’s just a quiet drifting away and suddenly, you’re too far apart to reach each other.
Nothing happens by accident, not even great marriages. There has to be an intentionality. So, ask your wife out on a date. The date doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive. It just has to be a few hours focused totally on her. You can talk about nothing. You can talk about everything. You know, just like you did when you were dating. Give her the gift of your full attention.
Remember, she’ll be a happier wife if you treat her like your girlfriend and he’ll be a happier husband if you treat him like your boyfriend.