Falling in love, with the same person, over and over again…

I once read that the secret to a lasting marriage was to keep falling in love, again and again, with the person you first met. Along with that, communication has to be way up there – never stop listening, never stop talking, keep the lines of communication well and truly open (as my Dad jokingly said, as father of the bride, in his wedding speech, repeat the words ‘Yes Dear!’ and you’ll be fine – he was looking more at his son-in-law, than at me, when he said those words!).

When my husband and I first met we were young, carefree, students at University. We played cat and mouse games – a lot – attracted to one another, good friends, but not ultimately convinced about being a steady item. There was a good reason for one of our top three wedding dance choices being, ‘Back For Good’, by Take That.

It took us a few separations before we were both ready to be ‘Back For Good’ and walk down the aisle. In fact, it took us seven years from when we first met – and we had a lot of fun in that time!

It was actually this song, that started playing at a Ball, that brought us back together after one of our little separations. I hadn’t planned on going to the Ball, but was offered a ticket at the last moment and had nothing better to do that evening. I didn’t know if Dan would be there or not. I walked into a crowded room, scanning the crowd as I waited at the bar for a drink. The words blared out, ‘In the twist of separation, you excelled at being free….‘ and then my eyes set on Dan’s gaze. He mouthed the next words of the song, ‘… can’t you find a little room inside for me.‘ It wasn’t long after that, we moved towards each other, confirming with a kiss what we both had been too stubborn to say, ‘We’ll be together‘.

And we’ll be together, this time is forever,
we’ll be fighting, yes forever we will be,
so complete in our love,
we will never be uncovered again.

Of course we have to work at being together – in the past ten years – since we became parents – we’ve worked the hardest of all. I didn’t feel ‘free’ – and I really do thrive on having moments of freedom in my life – freedom to go bush for days on end, to climb mountains, to ski, to sea kayak for days and sleep on beaches in a tent, to dive into the sea for a swim when I feel like it.

Dan had his work, his nights out, his games of tennis, golf and soccer. But I was heavily wanted in the first year, especially, of each of my three daughter’s lives. I breastfed each of them exclusively till they were around six months old and ended up choosing to co-sleep with my second and third born daughter in particular. I became, what can be termed, an ‘attachment parent’ and though I loved embracing motherhood so fully, I did so at the sacrifice of my freedom. If I could turn back the clock, I would never have done it any other way – it was just how I felt instinctively and I was powerless to fight my feelings.

But now, ten years on, with my youngest daughter having just turned three, I’m beginning to feel that moments of ‘freedom’ are going to start opening up again – and just in time for my forties (okay, I’ve got a year and a bit to go). So, now, finally, I find myself ready to fall in love again.

Alice is now three

We’ve kept the love there, simmering away, with moments of passion between the madness of life with a young family. Naturally there have been peaks and troughs in the ‘ole sex drive (surprisingly peaks came most when I was pregnant – and then a good year after giving birth!).

I won’t deny there weren’t fantasies of old flames and what ‘might have been’ if I’d walked down different paths. There has been some erotic reading and escapist novels are dotted on my book shelves. There have been desperate moments of wanting to bury my head in my duvet and pretend the world outside my bedroom did not exist – or actually considering jumping on a plane, by myself, to an island in the pacific ocean without any notice to anyone of my whereabouts. There have been occasions when I really thought, ‘I should not be driving a car right now’. Thankfully, common sense overruled (and a visit to the doctor for a sanity saving prescription of anti-depressants).

I also have to thank my husband, for being so amazing and supportive. Those little kisses on the neck, when we pass in the kitchen over making school lunches and breakfast, the surprise coffees, a warm hand to hold when I least expect it and a hug when I need it most. He also has a good way of making me laugh at myself when I’m at my most sulkiest!

“Whatever I said, whatever I did,
I didn’t mean it,
I just want you back for good
(want you back, want you back, want you back for good)
Whenever I’m wrong,
just tell me the song and I’ll sing it,
you’ll be right and understood,
(want you back, want you back, want you back for good)
I want you back for good.
(want you back, want you back, want you back for good)
I want you back for good.”

It’s with great relief that we are where we are today. I’m thankful for the time we had together before children. Those ten years of adventuring, through Europe, New Zealand and Australia, and excelling at ‘being free’, have given us so many strong memories to keep us strong when days with young children have, at times, felt relentless.

Now, at nearly 39 years of age, I feel free to be me, to the core, again. Yes, I’ll always be a mother and a wife, but there’s a bigger window of time now – and energy – for loving too! Time to treat myself to the occasional pair of high heels and stockings, to treat myself to fancy lingerie and burn the nursing bras! I’m falling in love, again (and getting my wild streak back too… watch out Dan – now I’ve taken your BRZ for a spin there’s no stopping me!!).

Taking a spin in hubbie's car!

P.S. – All of the above has been written under the influence of two glasses of wine, a long, exceptionally sunny (and non windy) summer, a very good run yesterday, a full moon, and a few flirtatious games of ‘Words with Friends’ (new age ‘Scrabble’)!