And maybe it’s true, to a point.
Boy and girl meet (sometimes, meet again)
OH NO, they’ll never make it!
Nevermind they will.
Happily Ever After.
That’s a bit overly simplified, but you get the gist.
What I want to focus on today is the “OH NO, they’ll never make it!” part.
In our romance novels, we call that “conflict.”
Sometimes our hero/heroine are enemies. Sometimes they just have this great big problem that keeps them apart. Other times it’s their own insecurity.
But in our real life romance, what is the conflict that impedes our romance?
WOW, now that’s a loaded question. I know in my own marriage, it can be as simple as a fight over the remote or as complex as words spoken in anger that wedges distance between us.
It can also be big things. Like, oh, say having a child born with a complex heart defect. Or Post Partum depression (combined with PTSD) taking over your life. Or money—or lack there of.
When doctors told my husband and I that our daughter, then six months old, would need a heart transplant, they also surprised me by stressing the importance of working on our marriage. Evidently they see a LOT of parents’ marriages fall apart as their children are going through the transplant process.
The reasons probably vary, but I’m fairly certain that much of it is because of a lack of romance. I mean, who wants to be all OHHH-la-la when your child is sick in the hospital? And when that hospital stay lasts ten months…. It’s brutal.
So what do you do when life comes in and messes up your romance? It might not be something as horrible as a sick child. It might be a stressful job that takes over your life. An in-law who moves in. A trust that is lost. Or a whole list of other things.
I say, YOU FIGHT BACK.
Yup, a GOOD relationship is worth fighting for, and romance? Yup, you gotta work at it sometimes, too.
Here’s a few tips from my hubby and I.
1.) DATE. Sure, you’re already married. But you can still date! Ladies, get dolled up and WOW your man. Men, spiffy up, brush your teeth, control the burping, and take that woman out for dinner and a movie, or whatever floats your (or her…) boat.
2.) GET CREATIVE. Sure, you might not have money for a dozen roses. But one time, during a “poor season”, my hubby got a book on origami and FOLDED me a dozen roses. Sometimes you have to think outside of the box, and you know what? The TIME and thought meant just as much if not more than clicking a picture online and punching in a credit card number to have flowers delivered.
3.) PDA, GO FOR IT. Seriously, don’t roll your eyes at me! Hubby and I frequently hear “eeewwww”‘s from our kiddos when they walk into the kitchen and see us kissing. Of course, that just make us giggle and go in for more to make them groan more. This accomplishes two things. It keeps the spice alive… and shows our kids what a healthy romantic relationship looks like. And a quick make-out session in an empty elevator…finishing a half a second before the door opens to a crowd of people… that can be fun too. *ahem*
4.) SEX. JUST DO IT. I know, I know. Nuff said. But seriously. I know us women tend to joke about “the dog house” or “the couch” when we’re mad at our hubby’s. But instead, how about you duke it out before bed, make up, and then you BOTH get to enjoy makeup sex? Romance, CHECK! Withholding sex because you’re mad at him? Romance… NO check. (and yes… I’m a Christian… and I’m talking about sex. God made it for us married folk… and the Bible talks about it in great detail in Song of Solomon… so it’s all good!) And if you’re not married? Take notes for later:-)
5.) PRIORITY. I guess this encompasses the other four, but I figured that makes it four times as important. Make your marriage a priority. In fact, behind your relationship with God, it should be your MOST important priority. A good marriage = happy man and wife = happy kids/boss/friends/coworkers/random-person-on-the-street-who-sees-you-smiling-instead-of-frowning….
So, what about you? If you’re married or “involved” what things do you do to keep the romance alive? How do you overcome those crazy conflicts that life throws at you?
If you’re not, what are some conflicts you’ve seen in books that you thought, WOW, how in the world will they overcome that?