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There was no way I could keep that dating fire burning as practicality invaded our lives. Something I haven’t wanted to admit for a long time, but is undeniable. And even worse, it seemed that the harder I tried to be sentimental and lovey-dovey, the less it was reciprocated. Or, once we had a daughter, when I shared the responsibility of watching over her. Because as our marriage progressed, I found myself offering to help out around the house more and more. It took me longer than I care to admit to understand what was happening. Through giving, through doing things for my wife, the emotion that I had been so desperately seeking naturally came about. An emotion that, once had, somehow magically stays within a marriage forever. And I’m saddened to think about how much those messages bounced around in my head for so long.
She moved in a daze through my father’s shouted words and hid for hours in the bathroom, planning the escape she’d execute later that fall. And even when I let it out of my chest, it wasn’t love. Telling someone you love them doesn’t mean that you do. ” I ducked through the screen door, letting it bang shut behind me.Unlikely friends, proximity brought Carrie and I together more than anything else.We were the only two girls our age in the neighborhood. Why wasn’t I getting reciprocal lovey-doveyness when we were first married? From Disney movies to my favorite shows like “The Office” to practically every pop song released, love is constantly sold as an emotion we have before we’re married.
And that’s why my wife just gave me that half-smile. And now that I’ve tried to change the way I look at love, the more I become shocked at the messages of love I had gotten when I was younger.
Ripe juice dripped down our arms, staining our cutoffs red.
We rode our bikes in circles through the crushed glass and burnt stubs of fireworks left at the elementary school’s concrete yard after the Fourth of July.
The day she moved out, I opened the back door and walked into a bare kitchen.
There were no chairs in the breakfast nook, or around the dining room table.
I wanted to tell her on the first date, but I knew that would probably be weird. She kind of gave me this half-shy, half-amused smile. But as time has gone on, I also realized that she knew something that I didn’t. I tried so hard to keep that fire going, to keep that emotion alight, but it got harder and harder. And what was even more interesting was that once I realized this on a conscious level, and started trying to find more opportunities to give, the more we both, almost intuitively, became lovey-dovey. From the excitement of dating a woman I felt like I could marry. Imagine a whole nation of people constantly chasing the emotions they had when they were dating. That’s a recipe for disastrous marriages; for a country with a 50% divorce rate; for adultery (the classic attempt to turn the fire back on); for people who do stay together to simply live functional, loveless marriages. How many people are in pain simply because they’ve been lied to.