For a long time, I’ve been pondering what the secret to ever-lasting desire is.
After six years of marriage, three kids, and currently in the morning sickness of throes of my fourth pregnancy, I’m starting to doubt that our relationship will ever boast that spark and sizzle that it once did.
I admit that small things get to me now.
Like how I never noticed how weird my husband smells to me when I’m pregnant.
How we go to bed at completely separate times, every. single. night.
Or the fact that we rarely seem to have more to say to each other than kid-related updates. Sad face.
Nothing really feels like a mystery anymore. I feel so ridiculously cliched that our lives have come to this place of meal planning and mortgages, especially if I confess to you that I actually like meal planning and doing our monthly guess how much have we’ve paid off guessing game on the ol’ Excel spreadsheet.
Yes, sir, the spark in this marriage has not died yet if we can still get some kicks out of budgeting.
But I came across something interesting the other day that promised to help me forever keep my husband intrigued by me — and not just in an irritated, why-doesn’t-she-ever-wear-anything-but-yoga-pants way.
The secret to keeping the spark alive, it would seem, is as simple as keeping your own interests alive.
A fascinating video on YourTango talked about the secret to keeping and maintaing desire in long-term relationships. “Falling in love is the easy part,” the video says. “The honeymoon phase? Anyone wants to get on that ride … ”
But the hard part, as any of us in long-term relationships and marriages know, is continuing to love our partners through the nitty-gritty of the every day. The morning breath, the post-work exhaustion, the week-long flu with the kids. (Oh wait, is that just us?)
The video referenced a TED talk, when researchers traveled the world, asking couples what kept them feeling most attracted to their partners, with a surprising common theme. Turns out, they were the most attracted to their partner when they could see them as other people see them, when they could “fully appreciate them for their whole-rounded individual that they are.”
Honestly, I think the idea makes a whole heck of a lot of sense. I know I love seeing my husband passionate about his craft as a woodworker–I love that he has that desire to create, and I love seeing his pride in his finished work. It definitely makes him more of a “whole” person to me.
I think the theory can be related to how it feels when you mistakenly come across your loved one talking to other people at a party or out in public, or even using their “phone voice.” You realize that they can be this whole other person than just the man who sleeps in his boxers in your bed every night. It’s always startling to see the “other side” of your partner.
And the street goes both ways. It’s always nice when I have the chance to get out in the world or have a non-home-related accomplishment to share with my husband — I feel more interesting to him and therefore, I act more interesting. And that’s not to discourage my fellow SAHM or WAHM moms out there because, obviously, we don’t always get out much, and that’s not a bad thing either. But the key is to have your own passions, interests, and hobbies — and to pursue them, knowing that it makes you and your relationship better.
It’s about creating space within our relationships to let our partners shine individually, and in turn, we will be more attracted to them.
Sounds like a win-win to me.
Which totally means I shouldn’t feel guilty about booking myself a massage, right? Massages are definitely one of my passions …
Image via j&j brusie photography
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