When I was younger, I was afraid to talk to boys. I never knew what to say—especially around the boys that I liked. (This didn’t actually really go away—ask my hottie hubby about what a dork I was whenever he was around before we were dating!)
One day I had an epiphany. People in movies fell in love ALL THE TIME. So, I could watch a lot of movies and see what people talked about when they were falling in love. It seemed perfect—I could learn all kinds of great conversation tidbits, all the right things to say and the right ways to say them. I could study up!
I watched and re-watched all of my favorites. And came to the awful realization that movie characters don’t talk. They have conversations… but that’s when the scene fades to black. You never hear what people are actually talking about.
We, as a society, watch so much TV and so many movies, and from such a young age, that I think it’s possible to grow up and not realize that a good relationship is built on more than the initial rush, more than the attraction and the getting-to-know-you. Because after awhile, the newness wears off, the attractions waxes and wanes, and you already know each other. That’s where the movies don’t go. That’s uncharted territory—and if it is charted, it seems like it is always shown with the characters going back to ‘rediscover’ each other—and head back to the heady stage of love.
That’s wonderful. And I do fall in love with the husband over and over again—and in different and exciting ways. And it’s awesome and magical and roses and all kinds of wonderful things. Kittens and rainbows and m&ms. All that stuff.
But maybe the more telling part of a marriage—of any relationship—is what happens between the ups. I’m not talking about the bad stuff—the times when a crisis or a tragedy has happened. I think that requires a whole different data set. I’m talking about the blah days. The days that are just days. What do we talk about on those days?
I think those days—when we’re not feeling crazy, passionate, can’t-get-enough-of-each-other in love—those might be the days when the husband and I have the best conversations. Beyond the humdrum ‘how was your day’, we really get to talking. My husband is my best friend, and we talk about politics, we talk about religion, we talk about things that get us fired up. We dream for our son together. We dream for ourselves together. Where do we want to live when we grow up? Where do we specifically NOT want to live?
Those are also the days that we can have the sweetest peaceful quiet together—not talking, but just enjoying each other’s company, perhaps even doing separate things in the same room. It’s okay—because we’re a unit. We are a couple—husband and wife—and our conversation is an ongoing one.