Say you have a dress. You love this dress. you wear this dress as much as possible. You feel sexy, confident, happy, or maybe even just content in this dress. One day you notice a stain on the back. Now you only worry about this stain. How long has it been there unnoticed? You suddenly feel self conscious. You are no longer confident when you wear it because all you think about is that stain. It is amazing how when unnoticed, it was the best thing in your closet and now today you just let it stay on the hanger.
This just happened to my marriage.
My wonderful husband and I, after 3 LONG years without one, went on a date. For the first time since April of 2013 we went without kids to do something together. We are a very happy couple. I do not mean it in a cliche way when I say we truly are best friends. I think we are a perfect partnership. We argue very little, we laugh very often, and we have a healthy sex life, which is the key to a healthy marriage right? …Wrong.
Very shortly into this date, stains began to uncover themselves on the fabric of our marriage. We sat in silence for an awkwardly good bit of the hour drive. When we did speak, what did we talk about? Kids and bills. We discussed disciplinary areas that needed work, the current insurance claim on my totaled car, how we felt bad leaving his parents to handle our rambunctious little crew.
Once arriving at the the theatre (we saw Broadway’s Beauty and the Beast) the situation became even more obviously apparent. Our discussion once again fell to kids, how I couldn’t wait till the boys were big enough to appreciate the theatre. We even found ourselves looking for the best Belle inspired princess dress on one of the many little girls running around. Kids, kids, kids.
While standing in this exquisite and almost surreal theatre lobby the answer hit me hard. I watched two other couples near us, one stood very close, leaned into one another while talking to friends, another couple holding hands and snapping selfies, both with those ridiculously adorable puppy dog grins. The answer was right there; my husband was no longer my boyfriend.
That is not to say he is at any fault, as I am no longer his girlfriend either. I found myself standing next to a very attractive partner and friend. We are a team, Mommy and Daddy. We are business partners running a home for the Wicker bunch. We are friends who share interests and can keep the other one entertained and out of trouble. (Seriously, the only thing keeping us from being the perfect bro-mance couple is my lack of a penis.)
The stain was suddenly so vivid it could not be ignored. When I started the day I felt totally confident in my wonderful marriage, by the end I was completely taken aback by how we could let this “stain” go so long unnoticed.
On the ride home I tried to think of ways to act like a girlfriend but I was stumped. In the early years my girlfriend behavior was all just my reactions and responses to his boyfriend behavior, which I’m sure he feels the same about on his side. Luckily, on the ride, a friend had added us to a new very risqué Facebook group. We spent the ride checking out photos and laughing with one another, but before we knew it, we were back in the friend zone, laughing, discussing other people’s lives, being…. well… bros.
How did this go this long unnoticed?
Sex, that is how. Sex had become the big bow trying to cover the stain on our marriage. Of course the kids do occasionally nap, though its never for a very long period. In those rare short moments of being alone together we do one of two thing. 1. Sleep 2. Have sex.
Sex after kids is always rushed or extra quite and sneaky. It is almost job like, not to say it isn’t a pleasant experience, it’s just less build up. There is no time for playful banter, flirting, build up. It is “take it while you can!”. Because every second we were ever alone was spent trying to fill it with physical pleasure, once we were alone and sex was no longer an option, we didn’t know what to do.
Sex was not an option on this date night for reasons of a personal nature, so even the flirting and little innuendos of “I can’t wait to get you home”, were taken off the table. That left us naked and exposed to only each other’s company. Since this date night last week it has been a festering stain. What was once my favorite “dress” turned out to be my comfiest pajamas in disguise.
Yes, I am comfortable. Yes, we have fun. Yes, I am happy. Am I satisfied? Not even close. I want a boyfriend. I want to be a girlfriend. I have the perfect man for the job, but how do you date somebody you already know everything about? How do you rekindle the spark in what has become your dearest friendship? How do you step out of Mommy and Daddy an into lovers again? More importantly, how do you do this with kids always present?
I just want to be his girlfriend again….. and I will be.
***UPDATE*** How this Married Woman got her Boyfriend Back
My Best Friend, husband, partner, and soon-to-be boyfriend.