Guest writer: Ali Prestia
It’s a random Thursday night; the baby is down, dishes are done, toys are away, Netflix is playing in the background, and my husband and I are mindlessly scrolling on our phones, not talking. It gets me thinking that I’ve been feeling we’ve been in a rut the last several weeks. Oddly enough, the show playing in the background was one in which one partner gives another an ultimatum to make the plunge into marriage or not. As the couples talk about their relationships, it sparks a conversation. My husband turns to me and asks, “What can I do better as a partner?” My response, with little hesitation: more quality time. No TVs, no phone, just us.
Now, we’ve had this conversation before. Several times. “We need to be more intentional with our words, actions, intimacy.” We get good at it for a while, and then things fall back into the same monotony. It’s a never-ending cycle. I’ve heard about the “roommate stage” somewhere on social media, likely, and thought that definitely us at times. Ships passing in the night and going through the motions. For me, I thought this was going to fade after the newborn stage. And I was wrong. We both work full-time, pretty demanding jobs. I am in healthcare, and my husband in the military. We have a house to maintain. A 15-month-old toddler constantly on the run. A 3-year-old dog who never seems to be satisfied with pets or attention. Our time together alone is short. Daily? Most days. But sometimes, literally less than 10 minutes, some days before something or something pulls us elsewhere.
So the question remains: does the roommate stage ever end? Or do we keep going through the same cycle time and time again until we’re empty nesters? I think it’s obvious that the seasons of life will ebb and flow, for good and for bad. But the tricks of the trade are to constantly choose each other. Every day in some way. Love languages? They’re applicable in so many ways. Find out what’s your way to give and receive love. For me, it’s acts of service. If my husband does the dishes without me asking, I’m so relieved and at ease for him taking on that task for me. For him? It’s words of affirmation. The hardest part is acknowledging these in ourselves and making the effort to portray them. Date nights? Find a new spot in town, date night at home, or a fun new date challenge. (Our next is the ABC game, and every date activity will start with the next letter in the alphabet). There’s a reason we choose our partner day after day. There’s a reason (or millions) why we chose this life with them. Let them know in a big way or small. I promise you that the roommate stage will pass.
A mom trying to find balance
Ali is a wife and working mom of 1, you can find her on Instagram.