Your body needs upkeep. Your hair. Your nails. Your mind. Your soul. And certainly, your relationship needs upkeep. In the beginning of a relationship, it’s pretty obvious. If you don’t keep courting, the person assumes you’ve lost interest and they go away. (If you stop courting and they won’t go away, that’s called a stalker not a relationship.) So in the beginning, you’re working the flowers, the food, the trips, the texting. As I thought when Mark and I were dating, Welcome to the Kate Gale party. Or welcome to the madness that is my life. You meet, you whisper, you cuddle, you are constantly planning for the next fun thing you’re going to do.
Most people stop that once they move in and certainly once they get married. I don’t. It’s work, but I keep up the courting and I get pretty excited when I’m being courted. I whisper in French and Spanish, I write love notes, I sing songs. I don’t know if the singing is a good thing or not. But I sing, I cook, I light candles, I play music, and I keep thinking of more things to do to make sure he knows I’m mad at about him. (Or just mad, but I try not to think about that.)
You don’t fall in love with someone so they can fix your plumbing (focus people, on the house plumbing) or change your tires or even to make you breakfast or raise the kids. You fell in love so you’d have someone to live with, love with and have fun with, and I think that unless you’re rich, you have to work on fun. If you’re tight on money, fun is harder, but you can still go to the park, take a walk, cook dinner together, swim, ice skate, climb trees. Most evenings if I had to choose between watching a movie with Mark and having dinner together or going out to something fancy, I’d choose home. But we make home amazing and fun too.
Relationships take work and listening. I’m not good at listening but I try. You can’t expect everything to run smoothly if you are not paying attention.
I’m working on finding new ways to be an exciting wife. I’m always thinking up stuff I can do. Sometimes my ideas are a miss and my spouse gives me a WTF look, but I keep going. I’m making sure he’s never bored. I want him to always be surprised. He’s always surprising me when I come back from trips. I’m on a plane right now and I can’t wait to see what he’s doing while I’m gone.
On this plane is a six foot tall one woman. She keeps walking around the plane and everyone is looking at her; she is exercising and stretching. She’s a looker. No makeup, very simple look. And no bra. She’s German. Maybe Germans don’t wear bras. She’s getting a lot of attention. Maybe that’s something I could try. Be special. Get your spouse’s attention. Whatever it takes.