I’ve been with my husband for almost eight years now.
That’s not an especially long time, but it’s long enough for me to finally understand what people mean when they say ‘seven-year-itch’.
It’s not that I don’t love him to death. I do. Very much. It’s that I’ve learned what the ‘long-term’ component of a long-term relationship looks like.
We’ve been having some problems these past six months. Nothing dramatic; it’s more that it feels like we’re communicating on slightly different wavelengths and things are not quite fitting together as well as they did a few years back.
We've fallen into the terrible habit of forgetting to talk to each other about stuff that isn't the daily logistics of hustling the kids around and staying on top of deathly dull domesticity.
And I've felt like he’s even stopped seeing me. Of course he looks at me, but I'm not sure he sees me.
For several months, I've been silently sheeting the blame for all of this home to him.
Why do I have to ask him to do the washing up? He doesn't have to ask me? Why won’t he come to me for a chat after the kids go to bed? Why won’t he offer me a moment of romance, intimacy, a kiss from nowhere, a surprise to remind me he still wants me? Why won’t he plan the baby sitter and the movie and the dinner arrangements for a date night?
I swing wildly between accepting this as the future of our marriage and seething that I'll be stuck in this until death do us part.
I know that love changes. It moves from the anticipation and excited passion of those first few years to a quiet calm joy in the presence of your partner. It settles down and becomes, not comfortable but comforting. Home will truly be wherever I'm with you.
But love should not be complacent. It might not be exciting, but it shouldn't be boring. It shouldn't be a chore. Not all the time.
I don’t want to feel like I'm being taken for granted. I will always be here, but I don’t want there to be an expectation or an acceptance that I will always be here.