Sunday, July 18, 2010

Boring Married Couple or Happily Married?

When two people become so comfortable with each other that they no long feel obliged to make small talk, does that mean that their relationship is really strong or really boring? When two people are physically together, but doing different things; are they content just being together, or are they avoiding talking to each other? I have spent the last 24 hours pondering that question with respect to my own marriage. Are we a boring married couple, or are we happily married? 

The hubs and I have been spending a lot of alone time together this summer. First, the boys spent a week away with John's dad. Then, just yesterday, Riley left to spend the week with my grandparents. Since Khegan is at his mom's this weekend, it's been just the two of us since about noon yesterday.

This is what we have done so far. John spent the afternoon (downstairs in the family room) watching baseball on T.V., or so I thought. I spent the afternoon (upstairs in the loft) on the computer blogging, tweeting, and surfing Facebook.  When I was finally able to tear myself away from the cyber-world long enough to pay attention to what is going on in my own house, I joined my hubby downstairs. He was watching the history channel and drinking beer. The history channel?! History was my all time least favorite subject in school. Anything that has to do with wars, politics, or government is not my cup of tea.

 After about five minutes of watching hubs watch the history channel, I pick up my phone and start tweeting and checking Facebook. At least we're in the same room, right?

This goes on for a little while, and I turn to hubs and say, "We are so boring. Here you are watching the history channel and I'm messing with my phone. We have no kids this weekend and look at us. We haven't even spent the afternoon in the same room."

Hubs turns and looks me in the eyes (at least he pulled his eyes away from the TV, right?) and says, "How are we boring? We are both enjoying this afternoon doing what each of us like to do. Yes, we have no kids today. We are enjoying it. And we are spending time together. We are in the same house, aren't we?"

Yeah, yeah. We are in the same house. At that point we were in the same room. But, we were hardly talking to each other at all. So I told hubs exactly that. (I have this habit of whatever I am thinking about, at that very moment, comes out of my mouth before I even have a chance to entirely process the thought myself.)

Hubs: "Why do we always have to be talking to each other? We talk to each other about everything! (Do we really?) I know everything about you and you know everything about me. What is there left to talk about?"

Me: "Yes, we talk about everything that has to do with the kids, the house, our jobs, and our schedules, but do we really talk to each other? About who we are as people?"

Hubs gave me that 'here we go again' look and said, "Yes."

I dropped it - maybe we are just really comfortable with each other. 

A few hours later, I find myself at dinner with hubs. We are at this restaurant/bar close to our house - one of our favorite spots to hang out together. He is looking past me watching the Reds game on the big screen T.V. I am looking past him watching the results of the Keno game (interactive lottery) on a smaller T.V. screen. Again, barely talking to each other.

Me: "We seriously are so boring."

Hubs: "Not this again."

Me: "Well, we are. Here we are at dinner together, hanging out, and we're still not talking."

Hubs: "What do you want to talk about?'

Me: Blank face. Heck, I really don't know what I want to talk about. I just want to have a stimulating interesting conversation with my husband. Is that too much to ask? Finally, I muster up the energy to say, "I don't know. I just know that back when I was a waitress I always pitted the couples that would come in to each and not say one word to each other. There were some couples, though, that would laugh and giggle and stare into each others eyes over dinner. That's who we are supposed to be."

Hubs: "Says who? Those happy, smiley, giggly couples - they were dating, not married."

Me: "No, they were married." (Hmmm, were they? I can't really remember looking for rings...)

Hubs: Dramatically staring into my eyes. "You are my beautiful wife. Doesn't that mean something to you? (It does, it so does.) I always want to talk to you. I always want to spend time with you. I am comfortable with you. We have fun no matter what we do. Now stop stressing about being boring and just have fun."

Me: I smile. I drop the subject. I feel childish. There was nothing else to say.

We ended up having a very nice evening. We didn't stay out too late. We came home and took our dog for a walk. John watched T.V. I sat beside him on the couch - tweeting from my phone. It was just lovely.

I've decided that being a boring married couple really isn't that bad. (And really isn't that boring.) What is important is that we are a happily married couple.


DrSnarky said...

My wife and I just celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary, so I understand where you are coming from. Even though our kids are older (17 and 21), it is still pretty rare for us to have an entire weekend without them. Or an entire evening. Or even a couple hours. Sheesh, when WILL they move out? But I digress...

I think that when you work hard at your relationship, you try to avoid falling into the boredom traps. So, when you have those free weekends/moments you almost feel obligated to do some sort of "relationship building exercise" with them. But having that time for individual pursuits is just as important as having time together.

For one thing, as a guy, being able to say to your friends, "Hey, fellas, my wife let me watch the "Band of Brothers" marathon for the third time, and not once did she nag me about mowing the lawn. I am one lucky S.O.B.", is priceless.

Busy Working Mama said...

Being a happily married couple IS the most important thing. We fall into the boring rut every once in a while...but that's fine because we are both OK with it. However, we do make an effort to have a lunch date or an "unplugged" evening every once in a while - no TV, computer or blackberry.

Kat said...

haha we have these conversations sometimes too :)

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure we've had the same conversation umpteen times. Though never so lucky to be without kids for a weekend!
It's only me that worries about this, never my husband.

New Breed Mama said...

Appreciate all the comments!

Dr. Snarky - I try to be the cool wife, but I'll be honest, I'm not. Lol. Sometimes I'm cool with stuff like that, sometimes I'm not!

Busy Working Mama - I LOVE your idea. Shared it with hubs. He did not like. LOL So typical!

Kat - Glad to know I'm not the only one! :)

Kristin - Women are more communicative than men. My hubs says, I show you I love you every single day. Why do I need to tell you too? And as women, we need to be told, shown, and told again!

MamaOnDaGo said...

Hubs & I will be celebrating our 7 year wedding anniversary. Prior to getting married, we dated for 6 years. We've managed to grow together and not apart. Honestly, I spend the entire day talking and/or yelling at the kids, that sometimes I just want to sit there in silence, doing something I enjoy. Love is shown in many ways, the most powerful are often wordless.

Anonymous said...

Hubby and I have been together for 10 years married for 2 of them, some days are like that and some days we are the lovey dovey make you want to throw up couple. Its a happy balance and it works for us.

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