Attending a wedding is like signing up for a free seminar on how to be smitten with your spouse. I was recently a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding and had the front row seat to a reminder in sweet, blissful, young love. Ironically, that’s the way humans work, we forget why we did things in the first place, the kind of life we wanted, and how to enjoy the one you love- you know the important stuff. It seems easy and simple when you witness it firsthand, such as in a wedding with two people who are oozing with love for one another, but somehow 1 year, 2 years, 5 years in, the reminder is a shock in how much your own marriage has drifted from the days of constant smiles and affection.
Since I was a part of the bridal party, my husband of three years attended the rehearsal dinner in addition to the ceremony and reception. The rehearsal dinner was a parade of love. Toasts and speeches from friends and family depicted the individual bride and groom as the wonderful, faithful and loyal people they are and how their love for each other is the perfect juxtaposition of character. I know my husband heard and saw at least some of the expression of love, and I was hanging on every word. I could practically feel the palpable love swelling in the air. I wanted to hold hands, cuddle by a fire and write a poem…in that order. I’m not sure if my husband felt the same, but I did notice more physical touch and an attention that felt distinctly romantic.
Of course all these feelings are due to immediate circumstances and whatever chemicals in the brain are responsible for the feeling effect of the “lovey dovies.” But I don’t think they are without value! Marriage is built on the foundation of choosing to love your partner day in and day out, unconditionally. That’s how marriages survive through the hard times, but the feeling of romance, affection and bliss are a great addition to a strong marriage. It’s like having a dense chocolate brownie of marriage with years of ice cream on top and then adding sprinkles. Sprinkles, like sweet displays of affection, are infectiously happy things.
I know my husband and I at times become complacent and comfortable after nine years of being a couple. I’m living with my best friend and sometimes I forget that he’s a friend that I get to have the deepest, most intimate relationship with (what a gift). I want to feel that treasured young love my whole life and what better way than to attend weddings and absorb the love from the newlyweds themselves, similarly making the commitment of marriage. I can also choose make the “lovey dovies” a priority in how I demonstrate my love. I’m learning to believe that the human need of a little romance and affection can sweeten marriage over time as the deepest feelings of love and commitment grow.
So, to you and yours: More Sprinkles Please! (both literally and figuratively)