6 Things My Husband Said That Got My Attention

“So, is this phase of life, like, one that you’ll look back on years from now and say, ‘Whoa–our marriage sure was on the rocks then! That was tough!'”

The question came from my little brother, Michael, who has a habit of randomly asking quite deep and often personal questions at the strangest of times.

I looked out the passenger window of his car and thoughtfully said,

“No. Our marriage is great right now; at least I think so. Our life is upheaved, and our future unknown, and our hearts are hurting, but we’re doing it together.”

Fast forward 42 hours.

“How do you think we’re doing?”

That question came from my husband. Sitting across the kitchen table, hands folded, face fairly serious. And I thought, What is with these guys lately? All these questions …

Turns out, according to my husband we weren’t doing so great. Not great at all. I had no idea! I’m just a little clueless sometimes. This conversation happened weeks ago, and I’ve had this blog stirring in my head ever since. I so infrequently take time to write, that I’d just never gotten it down on virtual paper. But let me share some of the things Erik said to me that day that have stuck with me:

  1. I feel like we’re just partners. Partners in parenting, but that’s about it.
  2. I get dressed every day for no one but you. (He is currently job searching and pretty much only goes to the gym, maybe Starbucks and home again.)
  3. Maybe you could get dressed a little more often? And stop wearing those bleach stained baggie sweats?
  4. I want to date. I want to have that spark that I can only–and DO only–have with you.
  5. I miss you.
  6. Please hear me: I’m NOT. But I can more clearly see how a guy might start to chat with other women at the gym, just to connect. I’ve never understood it before, and I’m not saying I am (in fact I keep my ear buds in and my eyes down most of the time) but I can see how, slowly, over time, a guy might end up having an inappropriate relationship, just to have that spark.

You know which statement hit me the hardest?

Yep, you guessed it–the sweatpants one. Probably because it was the easiest to attack and solve. The pants are in the Goodwill box, ready to be dropped off.

Second? The partners in parenting one. Truly, we make a good team. Really, we’re honored to be raising wonderful children. Honestly, when they’re all we focus on and all we talk about, and the only thing we really connect on–that and the state of our unknown future–it’s just a little less than romantic.

Third, the spark stuff. I want to dance in the kitchen.

I want to be dipped and kissed and have our kids make “eewww” faces but secretly soak up every single minute of watching their parents be in love. I want to giggle, and smile, and light up when Erik walks into a room.

But I just … don’t. So I’m working on that. I’m figuring out the dynamics of 8+ years of marriage, a lonely phase of life, my own overly-serious, highly dramatic personality, and Erik’s own traits, quirks and habits to discern why it is we aren’t more silly. More light hearted. More … FUN.

Fourth, well, that comment about being able to more clearly see how someone might possibly end up down the path of an affair. Honestly, it didn’t alarm me at all in the sense that I need to be suspicious or whatever. I trust Erik so much, that even that conversation didn’t cause me to worry. The look in his eyes when he told me, I knew. I knew this was his way of pleading with me. Of helping me understand how vulnerable he was being. Of how dead serious this was. He wasn’t saying, “I’m going to cheat on you.” But he was saying, “I miss you. I need you. I want you.”

And you know what? That was enough to motivate this work-from-home, fairly-lazy-and-inconsistent, doesn’t-like-to-shower-every-day, mother of two, to attempt to get dressed more often. To brush my teeth. To comb my hair. To smile and kiss the hubby when he walks through the door. To see him more.

It’s like a movie or something. I never thought I’d be “that wife.” How funny is that, really? You can know all along that it’s important to try, to keep the romance alive, to date your spouse. But it just creeps. You’re comfortable–of course you are! He knows every single thing about you and loves you anyway! You’re tired. You’re real. So you start to let things slide.

I remember in high school, chatting with a friend, Sarah, and her mom in the kitchen, and Sarah said something to the effect of, “It’ll be great someday when I find ‘the one’ cuz then I won’t have to dress so well, and try to look so nice.” It was an honest comment by a young girl, and I nodded my head. Her mom, however, very wisely said, “Oh my dears, no–that’s not how it works at all. Once you find the one God has for you, that’s when you want to look your best. Be your best. He’ll know you so well, and you’ll love him so much, that you’ll both enjoy the romance of being beautiful together and for each other.”

That has always stuck in my mind. Bleach stained sweatpants and all.

dating my husband

Us in our sweatpants, on New Year’s Eve. Dating can happen on the couch, as long as you’re intentionally seeing-hearing-understanding each other.

Is it all fixed? No. For one, not that it’s all about what I’m wearing, but I’m sitting on our couch wearing plaid socks, snowflake pants, and a magenta hoody. BUT, the difference is, the conversation was had. Erik had the guts. To look at his wife and say, “I miss you. Here’s some little things you could do that would really mean a lot to me.” And I had the humility to say, “Okay. I can try that.”

The day my husband asked to date, was not 10 years ago. It was a coupla weeks ago, and really, I’m so grateful that he did.

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About kristinlindeen

I am Kristin. I am Erik's wife. I am Joshua, Rebecca, and Andrew's mom. I am known nationally as the "QBQ! Daughter" and keynote on Personal Accountability and the QBQ. I am certified in Myers Briggs and am passionate about helping people understand themselves and others better. I am John and Karen's daughter. I am sister to many, mentor to some, friend to others. Most defining, I am Christ's daughter, adopted by God--rescued and saved by grace. And almost every single day, I need to be reminded of that truth. Come say "hi" at www.QBQ.com and of course, browse the blog! I'd love to hear from you, so comment away!
This entry was posted in On Being a Mom, On Doing Life with Erik, On Marriage and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to 6 Things My Husband Said That Got My Attention

  1. Amber Lianne White This is incredible!

  2. Amy Lanser I certainly appreciated the post!!!! And you’ve gone viral! There are people I know from town posting it (when I didn’t share! Why didn’t I think of that?!) Seriously, thank you for the post!

  3. Anne Carmichael thanks for sharing this. Dave and I just went to a marriage retreat and they focused on a lot of the same things you shared. So true. Marriage doesn’t get easier it gets more deliberate and freeing if you handle it the right way.

  4. Lana Collet-Klingenberg And, when (in a heartbeat) you are contemplating an empty nest you will have the joy of rediscovering the “you” you were before children and creating the “you” you will be when its just you two again.

  5. Jessica Sime Wonderful thanks for being so real, both of you, always. Moving quickly into marriage this was a great perspective.

  6. Joshua Skogerboe This is awesome sauce. I’m sharing this with the world. We love you guys. God bless you always.

  7. Mary Vigil I love your blog! Such powerful and honest words. I will be praying for the Lord to bless you guys with new, fun, adventurous love, for Him to honor such an honest, loving, pure and true love. I will also be praying for Eric’s job search. Great blog, thank you for posting it.

  8. Carol Ann Kelly Yep. Been there. Important to acknowledge and have it all out on the table and then discover “new” and “adventure” and “creativity” together again. It’s like you’re plowing the winter ground and planting seeds again that in due time will bloom into an incredible harvest. Proud of you guys and believe in you guys! Praying for both of you to rediscover amazing things about each other and be astonished (in super cool ways) of new things about each other and that it happens all over again, and again, and again in the years to come. That’s the grit and glue of REAL relationship!

  9. Rene Meurette Your writing is so real AND relatable! Keep blogging, girl!

  10. Amanda Schaefer Very nicely put. Something to think about. It is hard to have the “perfect” fun marriage when lil ones are about. Even more so for us, we both had a child when we met. Amber was two and Saira was one. So we have never had any “alone”time where it is just us no kids. We then added 3 kids of our own. Only the past year or so we have had Meredith, the best thing to happen to us. Although she is growing up and graduating college now it is so nice to have someone we trust come over so we can “date”. Big reason why I took Joe to Sundara for his bday, we need time to ourselves sometimes and have been slacking in that department.

  11. Kelly Shaughnessy Little nicely written. It’s a rough patch but I know the two of your will get through it. I am currently counting the days until more sunshine and warm weather. It is so hard for me to have the energy to connect with Mike in the evenings when the kids are finally in bed and it has been dark for hours and its cold out and all I want to do is curl up in my warm bed with a book!

  12. Lisa Moerner Paul That took a tremendous amount of courage to put it out in the mainstream, and I admire you’re strength. My father in law once said, “parenting is easy. Marriage is the hard part”. Yep!

  13. John says:

    Just remember, it’s a 2 way street. He should also be thinking what he can do so you can get a spark from him (and in turn, he’ll feel it). And if you always get sparks from him no matter what, maybe he needs to realize how awesome sweatpants can be 😉

  14. Kristin, thank you for sharing this. I have to admit – one statement really hit me. “I’m figuring out the dynamics of 8+ years of marriage, a lonely phase of life, my own overly-serious, highly dramatic personality, and Erik’s own traits, quirks and habits to discern why it is we aren’t more silly. More light hearted. More … FUN.”

    I’m working on this so much right now. Trying to change my own very serious personality, trying to understand, and appreciate, my husband’s VERY joking personality and doing it while in my own lonely phase of life. It’s hard and sometimes it hurts. Sometimes I get it completely wrong and ask the dreaded “blame” question: Why doesn’t he…

    Then I remember how it’s really supposed to work and that I can’t change him and I’m not even certain about changing myself. However, I know the One who can, and thankfully does, change hearts. So, I go to God and pray. “God, help me to see those qualities in my husband that make you light up and laugh. Change my heart to appreciate his quirkiness. Change my brain to find the humor in things” He does. I’m still who he made me to be but I’m finding that ever time I put it in His hands He gives me strength and courage to face difficult things like this and then grace to be molded into being a bit more like Him.

    It’s empowering. It’s freeing. And it’s a journey I wouldn’t change for the world. 🙂

    Praying God’s blessings for you and Erik and your family during your own journey!

  15. jskogerboe says:

    This is powerful and important. It takes guts to share these things with the world, Kristin. It took guts for Erik to be so open with you, too. God bless you both. This is the path every great marriage must walk. To intentionally live to invest in the great romance with each other. May you dance in the kitchen for all of your days.

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