Military Special Needs Network

Proudly Supporting all Military Families with a Special Needs Dependent

Exercising Your Marriage Muscle

459154471All too often, our marriages fall into complacency. We forget the special aspects of our spouse, those million different reasons why fell in love in the first place. With children and deployments, work ups and therapy schedules, we fall into a routine. And that routine becomes comfortable. Too comfortable.

We may not remember exactly when it happened, but we know that it’s been ages since we’ve gone on an actual date. Or even had a non-special needs OR military-based conversation. Long gone, too, are the days of dressing up special, slopping on the war paint, and smelling of anything other than baby wipes or chlorox. Old t-shirts and yoga pants are the comfy and practical choices for daily wear. In fact, many moms I know have so many yoga pants, they have ones they consider to be “dressy” yoga pants and “everyday” wear.

The reality is that our lives become extension of our therapies: living rooms are decorated in the latest OT equipment style, bedrooms are treated as open closets for storing resources, old IEP and medical paperwork, and don’t even get me started on the state of our family car turned taxi cab. It’s often not worth the effort to shower until the kids go to bed, especially if you’re going to be scrubbing poop off the walls anyway.

But the other reality is that marriage takes work. It takes effort. It means that occassionally, even though the last thing you want to do is to curl your hair or put your face on, it’s a fairly simple thing to do to give your marriage a smidge of the effort and work we put towards our children. Our servicemember spouses put in long days, too. We know that. We desperately appreciate that, even if at times we are jealous as hell that they get to talk to other adults – even if it’s about the lube oil samples! Both adults in the relationship need to exercise the “effort muscle” in regard to making the marriage healthy. Because, like any other muscle, the effort muscle can whither and atrophy without use.

Now, how do you do that? How do you do what you know you should do? How do you find the time to strengthen your marriage? Pick a date. Put it on your master calendar – you know what I’m talking about. Circle the day. Whether or not you actually get to go on a date, get fancified. Flirt with your spouse when s/he gets home from work. Cook a special meal, even if you have to wait until the kids go to bed to eat alone. Have a bottle of something, if that’s your thang, and turn on the DirecTV music station. Dance. Romance. Be.

Your marriage is worth the effort, after all.

Kelly_stars

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