Today I’m publishing a marriage situation post that I’ve re-worked since first writing it three years ago. During a recent conversation about the monotony of daily living and it’s effects on our marriage I suddenly thought….”wait a minute, we wrote about that!” So I pulled this up and re-read it. And then was re-convicted. (It’s always helpful to be convicted by yourself.) And in a fit of excessive concern for all of you and the possibility that monotony is negatively effecting your marriage, I decided to share it again. You can thank me later, after you’ve conversed with your spouse instead of binge watching the best seasons of Parks and Recreation on Netflix (unless that’s just my go-to shows : ). As always my comments will be normal and Paul’s will be bolded.
So here is the scene. It is a Thursday evening – well, closer to night, actually. We’d both come through a normal week. It’s the type of week that makes reaching Thursday evening an accomplishment. Not a heroic effort, but something to be proud of nonetheless. Like most of our normal weeks, Sunday through Wednesday were hectic and Paul and I hadn’t had much time to “veg” much less enjoy a decent conversation together. When we started having children, I always assumed that our dinners together would be the hour that we spent catching up on our days. We’d create wonderful memories of precious family moments spent around the table. All the books say that dinners together are a key component in the creation of a happy family. Well. Those authors must have forgotten what it feel like to eat a meal with three children. Mostly, I felt as though we just erratically jumped from one lesson in obedience and/or manners to another. (“Chew that food!” “Stop afflicting your brother!” “Stop chewing that food and swallow the food!”“If you spit that out there will be consequences!” “Tomatoes are a part of life.”) Once dinner was (blessedly) over, Paul played with the all three while I cleaned up the kitchen. By 8:30 everyone was in bed (with PJ on, teeth brushed, water drunk, potty used, song sung, kisses given and nightlight located and plugged back in) I’d come back down to the family room where I crashed on the couch. A little voice in my head lectured me on the need to do something profitable with my time – like read a spiritual book, or finish checking the budget, or write to friends in faraway places. But I told that little voice to shove it, because all I wanted to do was turn on Netflix and veg.
Thursday. One more day until the weekend. My week had been busy with unexpected needs from some airmen in my units, events to pray for, emails to answer, meetings to go to, events to plan, counselling to schedule and a sermon to prepare. I felt as though my to-do list had done nothing but grow longer during the day. Finally arriving home I ate, spent some time with the kids, engaged with them in family devotions followed by their bedtime routine (which took longer than expected). Afterwards I made coffee (decaf – not a young punk anymore) and made my way downstairs to settle onto the couch beside Liz. At that moment I wanted nothing more than to drink my coffee, read a blog, surf the net, and let my mind wander (even though I know I should exercise, write a blogpost, plan the next day, etc.)
I would hazard a guess that you (reader) are expecting some type of conflict to ensue? Right? Seems like a great setting for conflict; we’re tired, overwhelmed and ready to just crash for a little while.
But no. No conflict. No nothing, really. At that moment there was nothing going on between Paul and me. No interest. No love. No passion. No anger. Nada. Just shared fatigue.
This type of moment happens often over the course of a marriage. And it’s easy to overlook. But the truth is, marriage is made up of thousands of just such moments. The question is, what do you do with them? Or do you even notice them and their significance?