How a Popular Hashtag Made Me Question My Marriage
Finding time for each other those first five years of marriage didn’t require much effort. Simply being in each other’s presence came with little interruption. On top of that, being working adults with no kids, and living in a large city, there was always something to do. We had adequate time apart and we had abundant time together. Everything flowed seamlessly.
But then life changed.
We had our first child. I quit my job to stay home. We moved from a city with a population of 100,000 to a small town of 140 people. Truthfully, our life was going exactly how we had planned. We had a healthy baby, financial room for me to stay home, and the opportunity to raise our family in a small town. But somewhere in the midst of trying to control all areas of our lives, we had lost a bit of ourselves as a couple.
We started living on autopilot simply trying to survive until bedtime.
We slowly stopped communicating because of all the interruptions.
We inadvertently forgot about each other’s needs because we were so focused on the children.
On top of that, being home all day, I developed quite an addiction to social media scrolling. It provided a constant stream of picture-perfect moments of my friends (or let’s face it, total strangers on Instagram) living the dream with their husbands. My heart would twinge with jealousy.
The hashtag #dateyourspouse started making me question our marriage. I started believing my husband didn’t want to spend time with me and over-analyzing the lack of hashtag worthy moments we were creating together.
Am I still desirable?
Are we drifting apart?
Am I lovable?
This stage of life makes #dateyourspouse really hard. Hear my heart, friends. I’m not discounting the value of dedicated time for just you and your spouse. It is absolutely needed. But dedicated evenings away? Sometimes the time, energy, and resources it takes to actually get out of the house just adds to the exhaustion.
Sometimes couch time with sweatpants and reruns is all we can muster up. Maybe date night right now looks more like intentional unplugged time together at home. Maybe it’s game night and a glass of wine. And guess what? That’s ok.
Dating your spouse sounds great because it is great. But sometimes, it’s not what you ‘do’ on your date that matters, it’s who you choose to invest in.
It’s easy to think that someday things will straighten themselves out on their own. But if your heart is longing for more time with your husband today, communicate your feelings and make a plan to invest in each other.
In our case, my husband came home from a long day of work and wanted to unwind at home. I stayed home all day and craved going somewhere at the end of the day.
It wasn’t until we communicated with each other that I realized we had different needs. The reasons we weren’t going out on hashtag worthy dates weren’t any of the doubts I had imagined.
No matter what season you find your marriage in – whether the kids are out of the house and #datingyourspouse is common, or whether the baby is #stillnotsleeping and parenting has you exhausted, let’s remember that investing in your spouse is what creates deeper intimacy and connection. Hashtag or not.
Wife Step: If #dateyourspouse makes your heart twinge, suggest to your husband a night this week where you’ll spend time just the two of you. Whether it’s off your phones after the kids go to bed or out to dinner, plan a chunk of time to invest in your marriage this week that doesn’t feel overwhelming.
Tracy Fixen is blogger, podcaster and lover of social media. On a mission to live big in a small, Midwestern town, Tracy helps women revive their lives from soul to skin. She’s a solution finder full of big ideas and is humbled by God’s grace daily. One of Tracy’s greatest joys is making others laugh through her sporadic Facebook LIVE videos and her daily real life musings on Instagram. Find Tracy on Instagram, Facebook, or follow her website at tracyfixen.com. Be sure to say hi! She loves connecting with new friends.