Greetings, internet friends. I am freaking out this week.
First, I am freaking out because I am in the process of leaving behind my current vocational specialty, where I am Generally Acknowledged as Awesome, and diving into the New Thing Where I Am A Relative Noob. Vocationally-speaking, I learn fast and fall forward, so within a few weeks I should be over that particular anxiety. But still. There are those “this is a new thing” butterflies to deal with.
But that is not the 50 foot cliff of TMI that I was referring to in the title of this post.
Put bluntly, I’m a currently nervous wreck over whether or not to date my husband. [Editor’s Note: My timing, as usual, is impeccable as this is our 19th wedding anniversary.]
My relationship with my spouse is best described by our mutual friend, Facebook: It’s Complicated. See also: this link.
For any Reader Friends who’ve never been married with children, I should clarify the difference between “date night” (not to be confused with the Tina Fey/Steve Carrell movie I still haven’t seen yet) and “a date.”
Date Night (Strictly my personal definition. YMMV.): 1. A family business meeting over dinner, between married parents, so they can work out the administrivia of the household without having to yell “STOP KICKING YOUR BROTHER!! NOW!” five times during the appetizer. 2. An opportunity for a married couple with kids to salvage whatever remains of their respective sanity by leaving the kids with a sitter, going to a restaurant that neither hates, followed by seeing a movie that you can marginally agree upon. See also: comfortable, easy, companionship.
Date (Again, my personal definition here.): Spending focussed one-on-one time with someone with the goal of building mutual romantic and sexual attraction.
I’ve said that I have an amazing relationship with my husband. This is true. Considering our past, it’s amazing that we’re still married and we still like each other a lot. He’s my favorite person to hang out with. Marriage is about so much more than sex and romance. It has to be, because frankly, those things are pretty hard to maintain and ridiculously easy to screw up. But for the past few years, my recipe for marriage has been:
- 1 pt marriage-as-spiritual-discipline
- 1 pt domestic partnership
- 1 pt co-parents
- 1 pt friends-with-benefits
Which sounds boring, but in reality was a wonderful, secure, stable, safe place to be. It was a relationship where I felt comfortable and healthy and happy–three states of being that were conspicuously absent in my twenties.
Friday night, I thought I was going out for Date Night and ended up on a Date.
Like, “best conversation you’ve ever had topped with literal shooting stars” date. Like, still catching myself grinning goofily thinking about it three days later, DATE.
By Saturday afternoon, the panic started creeping in.
Setting aside our peculiar marital history (which, you can’t), I am not a person who typically handles romantic love in a healthy way. They don’t call enneagram 4s the “tragic romantic” personality type for nothing. Dangling romance in front of me is like waving a cosmo under Lindsay Lohan’s nose as she’s walking out of rehab.
I’ve been channeling my passion and my emotionally-centered, heart-on-my-sleeve-ness into work, into my faith, into pretty much anything and everything BUT my marriage. And don’t judge me, because the reward has been two or three years of blissful, wonderful drama-free stability for the whole family. No crazy emotional highs and lows. What amounts to (for me), glorious zen-like calm and serenity. You have no idea how awesome that has been.
Crap. Crappity, crap, crap, crap.
You know where I am now? I’m freaking 15 years old again, trying to decide if it’s a smart idea to continue to date a guy I know deep down I like too much for my own good.
You may now return to your previously scheduled programming. Thanks for letting me vent.
P.S. While I appreciate my internet friends and their concern for my wellbeing, and I LOVE comments, please do not jump into the comments with some trite piece of “wisdom” like “once a cheater, always a cheater,” or alternately “you just need to forgive and forget.” I can assure you, I have been making all my major life decisions for the past several years with the input of all my mental faculties, spiritual leadership from my pastors, and advice from people who know me well off the interwebs.