Where do you eat? Sleep? Revisit the table and bed to help restore your relationship.
A wise man once said that a marriage needs only a table and bed.
Communication is key!
Consider, courting. Most new couples relish in going for dinner. We have conditioned ourselves to have our most intimate conversations while dining or entangled in bed. Sharing meals and pillow talk are essential to a successful relationship. When one or both of these are not being met it is usually a true indication of trouble.
It was during a wedding ceremony that I experienced this enlightenment. My husband was an usher and I sat alone in the pew listening to the minister. He began by gently poking fun at the young couple’s blissful obliviousness to their future struggles. This, of course, earned a chuckle or two from the more mature members of the congregation. In fact, I remember my husband finding my eyes to share a knowing glance.
At the time, we were secretly seeing a marriage counselor. So we were no strangers to the struggles of which the minister spoke. Somehow we managed to squeeze a few kid-free hours out of our already hectic weeks to see a therapist. After a month and a half of faithful sessions, many tried exercises and countless dollars the one thing we could agree on was that the therapy was not working. Yet, fifteen minutes into a wedding, I learned all I needed to know to recognize the markers of a troubled relationship. Who knew? That advice came at the cost of a pedicure and an appliance from the bride and groom’s registry. Little did the new couple know that they had given us the greater gift.
I do not cook and my second-hand table has been hurting to be refurbished for years.
That aside, ever since I realized the importance of the table, I consider it our meeting place as a family and as a couple. It is there that we share meals, talk about our day, play cards, drink wine and pour over the weekly fliers.
At times, it is with great effort that we fight the urge to flop in front of the television with our plates on our laps. This we used to do all too often. Now, I understand that our meals are sacred. When we know beforehand that we will not be home for dinner, we try to outdo ourselves with brunch. And on those ‘eat in a hurry’ nights my husband and I try to remain at the table and continue to connect while the kids rush to get ready for whatever extracurricular they have. This is just a simple concept made more difficult with the hustle and bustle of everyday lives. But it is important to find the time and worth it in the long run.
I seriously considered that minister’s words and they all rang true. I do not regret divorcing my first husband but I often reflect on how regularly we ate in front of the television and slept in separate beds. For the most part, we got along just fine. This happened because we had nothing to talk about. Perhaps, if I had understood the importance of the table and bed to communication; the cornerstone to any relationship, we never would have married.
Now my greatest fault is that I am guilty of the silent treatment. When I am giving my husband the cold shoulder everything breaks down. The first thing to go is sitting at the same table which further fractures our connection. Then one of us resigns to the couch or the spare bedroom which physically severs our ability to communicate. By not sitting at the table or sharing a bed we have annihilated any chance of coming together. Eventually, one of us will prepare dinner and purposefully set the table. When we meet there we know not to discuss the tender issue at the crux of our argument. To sit at the table is a silent agreement to push past for the sake of a meal. There will be time enough to rehash the conflict once the dishwasher is on and the kids are in bed. Or not. Some arguments can pass without convincing the other person that you are right.
Pillow talk, however, needs no explanation. It is inherently intimate and not only because of its simplistic correlation to sex. We are at our most vulnerable when in bed. It is where we sleep, retreat to when we are unwell, make love, lounge naked or wear pajamas not suitable for public display. Nowhere else are you as truly yourself than in bed. There, couples share everything and bare it all. Meet there.
Let it be said, a marriage needs only a table and bed.
Still not convinced? Then consider the most popular advice given to couples undergoing a rough patch. The two of you need a weekend getaway, a vacation, a night out. This implies going out for dinner and getting a hotel room. Strip it down…
reconnect by sharing a meal and engaging in pillow talk.
First of all, make it happen. Be present. Turn off the television.