By Zsofia McMullin
It is so easy to get into a rut. The toenail clipping, burping, morning-breath kind of rut of busy days and exhausted evenings. The no-sex rut, the no-talking rut, the not-holding-hands rut follow quickly behind. It doesn’t take long to get there—not as long as you’d like to think.
I am sort of baffled by this. I married for love. I married for great sex. For friendship. For a deep connection. We were mature and intelligent and in love. Isn’t that all you need?
But now it all seems muddled and not so easy. I feel like it’s unfair, because I can’t even put a finger on that nagging feeling between us. It’s everything. It’s nothing. I remember that sweet tingle, the antsy anticipation, the burning lust. But now love just feels like a promise we made a long, long time ago that we’ll stick with this, even when it’s so, so hard. And it’s hard on most days.
So we work at it, because that’s what we are supposed to do—and because we want to. I buy the lingerie and wear makeup and we schedule date nights. But it all feels forced and not like the real thing. So we settle into that feeling—that the real thing will never be ours again. And I start to wonder: would it be different with someone else? With the young men I knew way back when? Are they still sweet and caring and romantic? Are they still funny and horny? Am I? Or is it inevitable that we are all tired and comfortable and settled into life with soft bellies and graying hair?