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Love & Marriage

October 5, 2014

I’m sure by now everyone out there has seen that Facebook article titled something like “I kept dating after I got married!!” Despite the attention grabby headline, the whole point of it was how the guy kept dating his wife – kept trying to find ways to impress her; working to do things he thought she would like (as you do when you are dating someone new).

On the one hand, it’s a great look at what we should be doing with our spouses – not taking each other for granted; not giving up because we are (gasp!) married.

But I’m never entirely comfortable with the idea of “dating” my husband – I actually prefer to think of investing in the relationship. It’s just…a bigger word, I guess. A more meaningful word; a word that recognizes that in order to give to someone else you need to take something of YOURself to do it. There’s sacrifice involved; there’s a really big and meaningful connotation that says “I have eighty-five jillion things I SHOULD be doing, and another four hundred trillion things I WANT to be doing….but I’m choosing you. I’m setting aside the other pressures and things and I’m choosing you.”

The relationship itself is almost a “third” entity – investing in the relationship is something a bit different from investing in your partner. Like, I might invest in B by giving him the space to go off hiking for three or four days with a friend. Does that require sacrifice from me? Yep, absolutely – I have to manage all four kids along with activities and things. Is it feeding my relationship with Brandon? No, not really. He’s in a tent in the woods; I’m in our house with many children. But is it investing in him? Totally – it makes him happy; gives him a break; allows him to do something that he loves away from the kids and I.

Maybe that’s the part that’s missing in the idea of “dating” your spouse. When you are committed to each other there’s an acknowledgement that the relationship is there as a thing that needs to be cared for and built on and nurtured. When you are still dating you are still basically figuring out if there is a relationship to be created in the first place.

By the way, I’m in no way trying to say that I think marriage is the magical ingredient that takes your relationship from “frivolous” to “real” – not at all. It’s a progression, and for most of us somewhere along that line marriage is an acknowledgement that the relationship is now A Thing That Is There rather than a Thing You Hope Will Be There Sometime.

Where on earth was I going with this?? OH RIGHT. The Beer Run.

No seriously – stay with me. Brandon and I have come through a rough period this past year, as all married couples are wont to go through from time to time. We’ve had some off the hook ridiculous pressures on us – preemie twins (cannot be understated just how hard that is), impossibly difficult and ugly work situations, moving (and no time to actually settle into our house properly) – just pressures. Pressures on time; pressures on space; a lot of demands. No time for each other; no time for ourselves; and certainly no time for the relationship.

This is not okay – we are pretty good at talking about The Things and we both acknowledge freely that this wasn’t sustainable long-term – we needed to figure out ways to prioritize each other.

Our 12th wedding anniversary was in September and for B I planned 12 dates – one per month for the next year. Not typical “let’s go eat dinner at ye olde local restaurant” dates….but things that were different; things that encouraged us to be together and laugh and have fun. Be a bit silly; enjoy each other’s company.

Enter the September date – the Beer Run.

BeerRunStartUsOkay so the basic premise of the beer run is that it raises money for a charity – in Ottawa’s case it was for the Candlelighters (child cancer research). You start at one pub and run 13.5km, finishing at another pub. You also have three stops along the way at various local breweries and pubs.

startGetting instructions pre-start.

Our run was broken up into a 5K, a 2K, a 4K, and a 2.5K. This was a very good thing because in “training” for this run, I don’t think I ever made it further than an 8K, and it was entirely on a treadmill (see: many children). Also, very impressed with the event organizers who (a) had the sense to make the run long enough to discourage true pub crawl devotees, and (b) had the even GREATER sense to put the longest running segment at the beginning.

We got so lucky with the weather – total random bonus summer day; it was warm and sunny and not horrifyingly humid.

Us_KitchessippiMade it to the first stop! Decidedly sweatier and blurrier than before the start.

I didn’t honestly think that we’d be able to run together particularly – I’d hoped we would, but the fact is that B is 6’1″ and I am decidedly not. His stride length is very different from mine. But you know, we did okay in the end! He pushed me a bit in a few places; he probably slowed down and shortened up his stride so I could pace him better. We weren’t always right beside each other but we were pretty close.

B_rehydrates_KitchessippiBrandon rehydrates. It just makes sense. Safety first!!

At each pub or microbrewery we had a 20 minute planned stop, where we were given a sample of the local beer (seriously a sample – like 5-6oz ish, nothing that was going to make it challenging to continue running. GOOD CALL beer run people). They also provided snacks which was awesome.

ClocktowerMade it to the Clocktower! An easy run compared to the first leg….fun to run faster!

I think our favourite stop was at a pub called the Clocktower, which was serving an awesome pumpkin spice lager and had pumpernickel ham sandwiches for us. SO great.

clocktowersnacksBrandon thoughtfully removing the cheese from my sandwich. Thanks to Talia’s recently diagnosed allergies, guess who is off dairy again?? Parenting FTW.

It was a wonderful afternoon. We had fun and pushed ourselves. We chatted with all kinds of lovely random people. And we crossed the finish line holding hands, which pretty much sums up the point of the whole thing.

LaststopLast stop before the end….okay NOW we are tired.

So I don’t especially want to date Brandon (though I definitely like going ON dates with Brandon). I do, however, want to invest in him and in us. After all, he is The One I am meant to be with. How do I know? Because I married him. I chose him. He chose me. We are soul mates because we choose to be, and we keep choosing to be…even when life is kind of a handful.

Brandon_finishI mean, right???

beer_run

 

 

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. October 5, 2014 10:25 pm

    Well done, you two. In more ways than one! (Though, I would have lobbied for more beer.) xo

  2. Hubby permalink
    October 5, 2014 11:40 pm

    Oh you totally put the pic in that you promised not to. Careful, I might start a blog one day….

  3. October 6, 2014 7:29 am

    Awesome post…

  4. October 6, 2014 7:34 am

    donformayor did not leave the last comment…Rob, aka daddy did!!

  5. Lisa permalink
    October 6, 2014 8:07 am

    Love this. And you guys! You both deserve more days like this one! 🙂

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