I was always told that as you and your partner grow older the marriage becomes more of a comfortable partnership. I will agree that the relationship is ever changing. Our marriage today looks nothing like it did as newlyweds.
As the years have gone by, we’ve learned how to speak to each other. I’ve learned that I don’t have to be right every damn time and that saying “I’m sorry” or “I was wrong” won’t cause the earth to stop rotating.
When our kids were babies, the pediatrician told us, “pick your battles.” He was talking about raising our children, but it applied just as much – if not more – to our marriage.
In our twenties, if we didn’t agree on something it would have been a knock down, drag out, fight. Not so much anymore. We recently bought a new dining room table. My husband saw it and fell in love. I had some reservations. I didn’t like the legs, but I could tell, he loved it. Really loved it. Clearly, we needed to buy it.
Twenty years ago, it would have been a jointly made decision. Because he loved it so much, I would have agreed, but I would have let my dislike of the legs fester. I would have sent little digs whenever I could fit them in.
Somewhere along the line, I realized those weren’t helping anything. They were building a wall between us, a dividing line that kept us on opposing sides. And for what? It wasn’t cute or funny. It didn’t make him happy to have a wife who suffered so he could get what he wanted. It simply took all of his joy and replaced it with rancor.
So how do we handle it these days? For starters, he doesn’t need my ‘permission’ to buy anything. Decisions of that sort are his to make, but he does ask my opinion. Another change that has occurred over the years is I know he’ll take my opinion to heart. So, I told him straight up – I’m not crazy about the legs. Turns out he wasn’t either. What he loved was the table top. We were able to design a base together and now we have a one of a kind table we both love.
I’m so much happier with the way things are now. Have we moved into the ‘comfortable partnership’ phase? Yes, and no. Yes, I do think we’re much more comfortable expressing our opinions. I feel valued. I feel like he listens. But NO, the sex hasn’t evaporated. Just the opposite. It hasn’t stayed the same either. We’ve learned so much about each other’s needs and desires. We’ve learned it’s okay to take a risk and talk about things openly. It’s how we managed to take our relationship into Dominance and submission. We let the walls down. Slowly. Baby steps at first. It took time to take our trust to a different level.
There were a lot of kinks to work out. I went through a phase where I thought being submissive meant just saying yes to everything he said or asked for. Turned out it wasn’t what he wanted at all. He wants a partner, not a dishrag. He values my happiness as highly as I value his. He can’t ensure my happiness if I’m not honest with him.
While I love where we’re at, I know our relationship is ever changing. Looking to the future, I just don’t know how it could get better. As a newlywed, I never dreamed we’d be here, this happy after 32 years. On some level, that’s a little scary, but I’ll do what I always do – put my faith in my guy. I know he’ll lead us through the years to a happiness I can’t even imagine yet.