I always love reading other couples stories. I asked Elizabeth to share hers and discovered the timing is perfect. She and her Husband have been a couple since Valentine's Day, nine years ago. Enjoy reading and make sure you check out her blog afterwards!
I got lucky. I married not only my best friend, but my soulmate. It really was that fairytale of love at first sight, the kind of thing you read about and assume is just a pipe dream. Valentine's Day marks our 9 years of being a couple (7 years married come July) and for the first time since our daughter was born, we will finally be able to go out and celebrate the special day alone.
Having kids is the best thing in the world, yet it brings unique challenges not only on us as individuals, but also as a couple. We honestly haven't celebrated our anniversaries for nearly five years. We never had anyone to babysit and were always on a budget. I felt hurt and sad and so did Billy. It wasn't one person's fault but more circumstantial. And sure I think we could have planned things better, but being busy with family life and our businesses made us put things off til the last minute, only to realize we had no one to babysit.
My husband is very romantic, but after years of working at exhausting 9 to 5s he stopped leaving the little notes that he used to before work, and flowers came fewer and fewer. And the thing is that he didn't even realize it, he was so preoccupied with making sure we had food on the table and rent paid. And that in itself is an incredible, romantic act. But what we have been through in the past 9 years has made us thoroughly understand:
-the importance of continually dating your spouse
-the need for daily romantic reminders, even if they are tiny ones
-how essential one on one time is
-that having a soul draining job can damage one's health and relationships
Taking the above into context, we decided to make some drastic changes in our lives so as to maximize the short time on this planet together. We know that gradually most couples spend less and less time together when they become parents and have financial responsibilities. So, we decided to both work from home and make homemaking and family time, as well as mama-papa time, a priority in our lives. I work late at night helping with business and he lets me sleep in in the morning and works periodically throughout the day. We go for family walks and take time out to have a cup of tea together. And now, for 2013, we are making sure to have a planned at home (or out) date night each week that will not include anything regarding business or other matters. Most probably we'll watch our favorite 80s B rate movie or play a game together (we are dorks).
It's integral, no matter what the work schedule, that couples date, spend time together, and express their love. It doesn't have to cost any money, words speak louder than any gifts. Marriage, to me, is the most fulfilling beautiful thing I have ever engaged in, and I'm learning all the time how to become a better human and wife. I'm happiest when with him and not on my own, despite my being a loner. Love is worth us making sacrifices, materialistic or societal. And it shows our kids that we have our priorities straight, despite our other flaws and shortcomings.