What I want seems simple. I want to strengthen my marriage and feel closer to G. Rachael said it perfectly in her "new year" post: "...we're still relatively strong, but the day to day business of taking care of young kids has made our connection less personal somehow." But how to rekindle the connection? I'm not quite sure.
One of the major sticking points for G & I is bedtime. Not the kids' bedtimes but ours. I like to go to bed early, G likes to stay up late. Thus, for the past few years, I've almost always gone to bed alone. I hate this. With life being so busy and chaotic during the day, their is no time for us to talk or connect. Then I get a quick kiss good night and lather, rinse, repeat. The few times we have gone up to bed together we've always ended up talking about topics light and heavy, laughing together or reassuring each over the events of the day. I just feel more relaxed and open alone in our room (especially when we have guests/family) than elsewhere in the house. And we can be physical (and I'm not even talking about THAT)...foot rubs, back scratches, cuddling to sleep...that's what happens when we go to bed at the same time (and yes, THAT may also happen more often!). I see this is an important opportunity for connection; for making me feel like I'm married and not just living in the house with a coworker in our parenting job.
Yes, we've talked about it, and usually after we have the talk and I cry and express how important this is to me, he'll come up to bed early for a few days and it'll be great. Then he'll start getting antsy again, sighing when I mention going to bed, mentioning that he's not tired, complaining about "never getting any time to myself". And I start to feel like a nag---and I back off and we are back to "good night see you tomorrow".
I wrote all this to convey how much I value and miss daily connection with G. "Date night" a couple times a month, or even a weekend away isn't what I feel our marriage needs. I want to talk to G (again) and really come up with a daily time to talk and be together for even 15-20 minutes. (Maybe he can stay up late a few days a week and come to bed on others? Or he can come upstairs for a few minutes when I go up, to chat?) And I'm going to try to be more open and honest during those talks...to really discuss what's on my mind rather than planning next week's meals or reminding him to call the roofers.
Now I have to find a time for us to talk about finding a time for us to talk!
I know this is a very individual and personal issue, but any advice or tips you have on staying connected with your partner during busy times is quite welcome!