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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Romance is Overrated

I was reading some posts over on the local mommies board that I belong to(yes, I still gag when I hear the word "mommies"), and I came across a young mom who was asking advice about leaving her husband.

She said that her marriage is not what she thought it would be and that she wants to have a chance to find someone else, someone who is more attentive to her and is more romantic.

I paused, seriously considering if I should reply.

I considered: I don't actually know this girl and being "more attentive to me" might be code for "stop sleeping around with every woman that he meets at the titty bar" or "admit he's gay."

"More romantic" could possibly mean "stop beating the shit out of me and the kids" or "stop spending all our grocery money on booze."

Besides, she was asking about how to leave him, not if she should.

So, I clicked on out of there before I opened by big ol' mouth and inserted one or both of my feet.

But, now that I'm safely back on my blog, where I say what I think, I'm here to tell you: romance is overrated.

We don't live in a chick flick where there are grand sweeping gestures of romance on a continuous basis.

This isn't some Nicholas Sparks novel where everyone weeps at the beauty of the love between a couple.

It's life.

Before you go get all huffy and tell me all about the romance in your life, let me clarify a bit.

I DO love my Hubs. He loves me.

And we do romantic things for each other.

They have just changed as our family has grown.

He did used to do big sweepingly romantic things for me.

Most of the time I laughed at him and told him he was a big cheeseball, though I did appreciate them.

But, flowers, gifts, spontaneous trips, love letters, and other such romantic gestures have been replaced by more practical things.

It's romantic to me that Hubs chooses to come home every night to a house full of children under the spell of the witching hour and a wife who is exhausted. Because no one is making him.

That he works his ass off to provide for us is romantic as hell to me.

He's held my hair as I puked my guts out(morning sickness people, I've told you, I'm not really a lush).

He lets me fall asleep leaning on his shoulder, even though it means that his shoulder will be soaked through with my drool.

I'll even take that he doesn't always fluff the comforter after he farts, as romance.

It might sound boring.

And he does still occasionally throw in a big romantic gesture every now and then.

But, the real romance to me is knowing that I have a husband who will always be there for me and the kids. Who loves us through our worst days and moods. Who is a true friend to me. Whom I don't worry that he'll ever leave us- we're in this for the long haul.

Really, anyone can be romantic in the beginning of a relationship. It's time that is the test for how a relationship really is. I believe that love is a decision and that we'd never stay with anyone if we left every time the romance seemed to fade.

Romantic comedies and novels...well, they can suck it. I have my own version of happily-ever-after here.



Blogger danita said...

mmmhmm, i hear that! :)

December 31, 2009 at 8:09 AM  
Blogger Eternal Lizdom said...

You and I could so hang out. I preach this same message a lot on my own local mommy board.

Love is a choice. Love is an action. Love is the verb in the sentence "I love you." You don't say "I happy you" or "I angry you" because those emotions are fleeting, come and go, reactionary. Love is something you do. Love is something you work on and tend to and focus on. And the more you give out, the more you get back.

December 31, 2009 at 8:30 AM  
Blogger Ma What's 4 dinner said...

Amen girl! You know you're my fave! My man still farts and thinks it's hysterical. He's teaching the kids too...damn him.

Happy New Year babe. Talk to you soon. Wish we lived close and someday you're going to give the url of your "real" blog. :)


December 31, 2009 at 9:06 AM  
Blogger MommyLovesStilettos said...

Love is a decision. I agree :)

We're not married, and my boyfriend does do sweet romantic things for me still (we've been together going on two years). BUT - the things he does without thinking - that's what gets me the most. Like, cleaning off my car in the morning when it snows. Or, taking my car to get the oil changed cause he knows I'll forget. The romantic trips, gifts, dinners - they are great - but that doesn't last. If you can last beyond that - that's when you know it's real.

But, it's probably a good thing you kept your mouth shut, cause you just never know what she really meant by those words. I insert my foot in my mouth more often than not, so I understand. haha

December 31, 2009 at 9:21 AM  
Blogger Meg @ Higgins Happenings said...

I'm not married yet, but I have been with BF for going on 3 years now - he never was a hopeless romantic which I love - it's the small things that mean the most and when they do send you flowers "just because" it means more to you gestures like these do not happen on a regular basis! I think the girl on the board just wants to sleep around - if you love someone, you LOVE them and you will no matter what.
And we do NOT fart around others in my household - I know it's a natural bodily function - but personally I think it's disgusting! If you gotta let one rip - please kindly excuse yourself to the bathroom! :)

December 31, 2009 at 9:55 AM  
Blogger The Mommyologist said...

I LOVED this and you couldn't be more right. I think that the movies/TV sometimes actually hurt our relationships more than helping them because they paint a false picture of what real marriage is like. It is hard, but that is just part of the deal! And I know what you mean about the little romantic gestures. It totally makes me hot when my husband clears the table and loads the dishwasher after I've cooked the meal. It shows that he loves and appreciates me. Flowers? No thanks. I'll take him doing dish duty anyday. Happy New Year!

December 31, 2009 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger mintifresh said...

I totally concur! Romance to is when my hubby does housework without me asking or the fact that he has never once told me to get a job! Now, that is true love!

December 31, 2009 at 10:37 AM  
Blogger carissajade said...

Aww i love your outlook on love and romance. I think we all do get caught up in the "idea" of what romance is supposed to be, rather than what to love someone really means. Great post Shell. Happy New Years, and may your love continue to grow and evolve!

December 31, 2009 at 10:39 AM  
Blogger Kmama said...

How true. you need to find romance in the everyday things. Love letters have been replaced with "love you" at the end of an email. Opening the car door has been replaced with automatic start and keyless entry. I could go on and on.

But I tell you, I'm just happy that we're together, loving each other, and making the best of what we have.

December 31, 2009 at 10:41 AM  
Blogger Brandi said...

Right on! Nothing is more romantic than my hubby doing the dishes! ;)

December 31, 2009 at 10:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a book that every wife and mother needs - it's called "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman. It's all about different ways people show love (i.e. different ways to hug other people) and expect to receive it. Someone in my office left her husband because he didn't tell her verbally he loved her. Yet, he was always "doing" things for her - that was his way of hugging. He was probably hugging her to death and she just couldn't "translate" that language. There are two books I recommend where I candidly tell people that if I didn't know my a couple of my son's love languages and spiritual gifts, I would have no clue they loved me. However, these books opened my eyes to the way they do show their love for me!

P.S. I love the description of how your husband loves you - He sounds a lot like my husband!


December 31, 2009 at 10:45 AM  
Blogger Evonne said...

Very well said!

December 31, 2009 at 10:51 AM  
Blogger Queenie Jeannie said...

Amen sister!!! You have sooo nailed it!

Happy New Year and thank you for visiting me on my special SITS Day!!

December 31, 2009 at 10:57 AM  
Blogger Working Mommy said...

I couldn't have put it better myself!! It really makes you think about what you have and ultimately be thankful for everything!


December 31, 2009 at 10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love it. It reminds me just what I have in my own life & marriage. Thank-you.

December 31, 2009 at 12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have it a 100% right! That is romance to me. Hubby comes home to grumpy wife and whiney kids after working 10-12 hours a day to support his family. I don't need love letter and gifts. I love when he just says he appreciates everything I do around the house. That's love!

December 31, 2009 at 12:08 PM  
Blogger I'm a full-time mummy said...

I love this post! We're not a fan of Valentines or doing romantic things, we're into practicality of things after almost 10 years of going out with the same guy after high school and who's my hubby now :D

I mean, especially now that we have a baby of our own, every thing we do is proof of our love to each other! :)

December 31, 2009 at 12:15 PM  
Blogger Lifeofkaylen said...

Yeah, life is not a romance novel. And in most romance novels, the people aren't married for 17 yrs with 3 screaming children. That's reality. Screaming children, messy houses and a lot of waves of bitterness/resentment/irritation. That is a real marriage!!
The romantic part about marriage = not killing each other.

December 31, 2009 at 12:40 PM  
Blogger Masala Chica said...

Life is not a romance novel. I am not a weepy eyed heroine with a heaving bosom and my husband is not Fabio waiting to sweep me off my feet. BTW - I saw Fabio in a bar once and he is way, way overrated.

Moral of the story - romance novel heroes aren't as cute close up.

Love your perspective Shell and yes - its probably good you did not leave a response!

December 31, 2009 at 1:40 PM  
Blogger Foursons said...

Hear, hear.

December 31, 2009 at 2:01 PM  
Blogger The Princess of Sarcasm said...

Oh I love it!! You are so right! I'd take my stable, dependable, hard working, little league coaching, keeps me laughing every day husband over one that brings me flowers ANY OLD DAY!!!

December 31, 2009 at 3:09 PM  
Blogger Mary Freaking Poppins said...

Good stuff here!

December 31, 2009 at 3:21 PM  
Blogger Sarah and the Gentlemen said...

I agree with you, Shell. Love and romance are not the same thing. Well said.

December 31, 2009 at 3:37 PM  
Blogger Secret Mom Thoughts said...

Well said.

December 31, 2009 at 4:36 PM  
Blogger The Grasshoppa:Triplets Plus Two Momma said...

17 years and triplets plus two later----I worry more about surviving on a daily basis and remembering to breathe!

I do love it when he brings up the fire wood for me, though :)

December 31, 2009 at 4:58 PM  
Blogger anymommy said...

I agree 1000%. Ten years and counting and a wonderful life says that butterflies and drama are overrated. I love my steady, boring husband with all my heart. Flowers are overrated - they die. He puts my car in the garage for me every single night.

Happy New Year!!

December 31, 2009 at 5:00 PM  
Blogger Twincerely,Olga said...

great post!! Thats why we have date night once in awhile!!

December 31, 2009 at 5:08 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

Worst movie of all-time? The Notebook. It bored me to tears and I couldn't get past the first 25-30 mins. of it. Sappy chick flicks for some reason turn my stomach...but then there are the occasional ones that I actaully fall in love with....anyhoo- everyone, every couple has a different definition of what being romantic is. My first thought as I read you talking about this mom is that she must be very young and/or hasn't been married for very long. Not sure why, it just did. (No offense to anyone :) Maybe she's waaaay too obsessed with 'Twilight' (b/c we both know I'm SO not *snicker*) and is longing for an Edward to come and save her from her horrible, wretched human life!! *Rolls Eyes* Tell her to go buy a romance novel and leave it at that ;)

Thanks for stopping by!!

December 31, 2009 at 6:47 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I couldn't have said it better!
My husband was very romantic to me today. I mentioned wanting a wii a few days ago and today I got a text saying " The new tv and your wii will be here on the 7th." I didn't even know he was doing it...heck I wasn't sure he was even listening when I said I wanted one.
OK He got a new tv too....but I got my wii!!

Yep...might be duh to some folks but it's pretty darn romantic to me.

December 31, 2009 at 7:29 PM  
Blogger Art of Ordinary Living said...

omg, i couldn't agree with you more! i sometimes find myself forgetting all the "romantic" things my hubby does for me especially now with two kiddos to chase around. i thank you for reminding me! i have a short attention span, but actually read your entire entry. loved it.

p.s. thank you for dropping a note on my page to help me discover your blog. you have a new follower.

December 31, 2009 at 9:59 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

Couldn't agree more! Once the kids arrive, romance changes soooo much! I think it's romantic now when my husband cleans up the living room bc he knows I'm too tired too or unloads the dishwasher. Or how he calls me first when he's excited about something. The little things. Although I do love to watch chick flicks, it's just that now I realize and am okay that those big romantic gestures are not happening in my house! :)

December 31, 2009 at 10:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

True. Love is an act of the will, still you need motivation. Anything worth doing takes some fundamental motivation. Sometimes you have to look REALLY hard. Good stuff, mama.

December 31, 2009 at 11:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right on. Hubs and I are soul mates and we don't need any big romantic gesture to reflect that. Sure, it's nice every once in a while, but expecting it all the time is a fantasy.

Happy New Year!

December 31, 2009 at 11:36 PM  
Blogger Karin Katherine said...

Yes, love is a decision.

And how telling it was that she stated she wanted to find someone else who would be different. It sounds like the classic "grass is greener on the other side."

But what if you are just profoundly unhappy and not interested in being with anyone else. In fact, you imagine your life alone and you are thinking that someone how being alone wouldn't be as lonely as being with the person you are married to?

Ah, and then you have my situation.

January 1, 2010 at 10:19 AM  
Blogger Vivianne's Vista said...

"Love is a decision" You are absolutely, 100% right on that. Everytime my love pisses me off, I "decide" to move past it and get back to the lovin and visa versa. In the end, our commitment to each other is what keeps us going.

January 1, 2010 at 1:27 PM  
Blogger JaelCustomDesigns said...

This is a great post! I've been with hubbs since I was fifteen. We met in High School and it hasn't been a perfect journey but, we're still together after fifteen years in love and raising our four children.

Marriage is definitely something to work at. Once in a while I like to get away for an hour or two and go to dinner or event without the kids. It's nice to connect one on one sometimes and just have time with one another.

I have read the five love languages and it's a really good book. I also read The Love Dare, I got really frustrated with that book but, there are valuable lessons to be taught.

I did a post a while ago called "The Wisdom of Love" Check it out and give me your thoughts...


Thanks for stopping by today! Happy New Year & I'll try no calorie flavors with water and see how that works. Wow! You weaned cold turkey? I'll email you on that matter.

January 1, 2010 at 1:48 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I totally agree with you. My hubs was so romantic this morning, he keep the children from bothering me when I slept in!

January 1, 2010 at 3:22 PM  
Blogger adrienzgirl said...

I think there are too many people out there, women and men alike that aren't in a marriage for the good and the bad. They are only satisfied in the good. I got news for them, there is always bad. There are always rough patches. There is no such thing as happily ever after, you only read that in books, that you find in THE FICTION section.

January 2, 2010 at 1:43 AM  
Blogger beenomom said...

Very well put my dear!! You are a very smart woman!! Two thumbs up from me my friend!! I find myself in the same boat as you.

January 2, 2010 at 5:31 PM  
Blogger Suzanne Incognito said...

I love your writing style and outlook on life. Very similar to my own, but with a saucy-er twist. :)

I grabbed your button for my blog.

Also, if you're interested I still have an opening on my Advisory Council. It's for experienced bloggers (like yourself) who stop by from time to time and give me a little advice/encouragement. If you're interested I'd be honored: http://incognitosoapboxconfessions.blogspot.com/2009/11/launching-isc-advisory-council.html



January 2, 2010 at 11:59 PM  
Blogger Tami G said...

I absolutely 100% whole heartedly LOVE this post!! I mean - SOOOOO much love and respect for you for saying all of this! :)
Though I am not married yet - your days that you describe - THOSE are the romantic days that I look forward to! :)
coming home and going to bed with the one I love - THAT is the MOST romantic thing I can think of.......just having him there :)

January 3, 2010 at 12:15 AM  
Blogger Corrie Howe said...

I agree. My husband cleans up puke. He knows I'll puke if I have to clean it up. We were only married four months when he was cleaning up after me (morning sickness) and my oldest son who was puking from a bad reaction to medication. Then my husband had to insert an enema up my son's rear end. Now that's romantic.

January 3, 2010 at 7:59 PM  
Blogger Sarahviz said...

I completely agree with you.

January 6, 2010 at 9:37 AM  
Blogger Michelle @Flying Giggles said...

My husband was so romantic this morning. He let me sleep in and when I woke up I heard the sound of dishes being put in the dishwasher. That is how I know he loves me.

I am sure if this young mom leaves her husband, she will find someone else that will sweep her off her feet and then when the "romance" in that relationship fades, then what? On to the next?

January 11, 2010 at 11:05 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Ah, romantic comedies. Those bastards. It should always be remembered that you never see a romantic comedy follow the magical couple through life...The fights that WILL happen, the children that WILL drive them crazy, the money troubles that WILL keep them from spontaneous vacations. Romantic comedies really can suck it. Good call.

February 11, 2010 at 7:46 AM  
Blogger supahmommy- somethin's wrong with that girl said...

No one said you had to reinvent the wheel ! This post is perfect !
Love the new look!
do you need help with your button??

TV romance = where our husbands GET their ideas from.


we need to write a new tv romance show.

one where the hubby comes home and starts unloading the dishwasher. :)


February 11, 2010 at 8:33 AM  
Blogger The Princess of Sarcasm said...

You're not reposting....you are a "green blogger." I say don't exert more energy than necessary!!! I read it the first time, and enjoyed it again. Thanks for participating!! *smooches™

February 11, 2010 at 9:32 AM  
Blogger Miss. C said...

I couldn't agree more with you!! My first husband didn't come, my second is brave enough to come home every night to our crazy house!!! I love him to death!!!

February 11, 2010 at 11:17 AM  
Blogger Karen and Gerard said...

I agree with you--romance is overrated. In fact, my husband is much more romantic than I am. Marriage is a decision and in reality, things we see on TV aren't all they are cracked up to be. I saw a very funny and insightful post about this at the church of no people and would like to share the link to it here: http://www.thechurchofnopeople.com/2010/02/love-month-the-doctor-is-in/

Congrats on your SITS day!

May 10, 2010 at 6:30 AM  
Blogger LisaDay said...

More people need to realize things change and romance is all of the things you have mentioned.

Happy SITS days.


May 10, 2010 at 8:42 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I literally have tears in my eyes from laughing - it is romantic that he comes home to all of that - I love it! So glad it's your SITS day and I got to read that! :)

May 10, 2010 at 9:23 AM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

This is fantastic and wonderfully written. Romance is definitely in the eye of the beholder.

Happy SITS Day.

May 10, 2010 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger Ronnica said...

Not in a relationship, but I know this. I just will have to remind myself when the time comes...because love IS a choice.

May 10, 2010 at 9:48 AM  
Blogger MrsJenB said...

Amen, sister. Couldn't have said it better myself. My husband is so gross sometimes, and we pick at each other and we get on each other's nerves. But when I'm a wreck and totally stressed out over some silly thing, he's supportive. When I get a new follower on my blog and do a little dance, he claps for me. When I wear my holey college t-shirt to bed, he says he thinks it's cute that I still have it.

And I love him for that!!!

May 10, 2010 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger chele said...

That was a great post. Happy SITS Day!

May 10, 2010 at 10:26 AM  
Blogger lori said...

the blanket thing made me laugh! the 50 considerate things my husband does everyday is better than two dozen roses. happy sits.

May 10, 2010 at 10:28 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Rob and I have only been together two years (but have known each other awhile) and I agree with all of this!

He's a lovely person and I'm grateful that we have each other. I could care less about romantic gestures.

He makes me laugh...constantly! And that is enough for me : )

Both of us are practical people, so instead of flowers and candy, he knows I'd rather spend the money on something we actually need or can enjoy together.

May 10, 2010 at 10:37 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Match said...

This is so well put. I feel the same way! Love is a decision that you have to keep making, especially when things get rough. I think it's romantic when my fiance cleans the house for me without me asking. I'll take that over flowers any day!

May 10, 2010 at 10:57 AM  
Blogger Lourie said...

What a great post. I admit to getting a bit whiny about romance--even after nearly 17 years! Yeesh! But your post shows me what I have forgotten. **Just a side not here...out of three kid only one caused me to actually be physically sick and he wasn't there to hold my hair he was out of the state at a school for military** that being said, had he been there he would catered to me the whole day. Cause that is the kind of guy he is. Okay...off to give hubs a kiss and a hug.

Have a great SITS day!!!

May 10, 2010 at 11:16 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

This is soooooooooooo very true (both in the part where you stopped to ponder the "code" of the poster at the beginning of your post, and the meat of the post, this whole "romantic" thing) and I love this!

My husband didn't get me a card for my birthday or Mother's day this weekend, but he did praise the heck out of me in front of the company we had Saturday night, which really told me how he felt and I was a-ok with it. Hallmark doesn't own romance - couples have to reclaim it and make it what true love is based on: hard work, dedication and commitment.

Happy SITS day!

May 10, 2010 at 12:24 PM  
Blogger Young Wife said...

Happy SITS Day! My husband has a debilitating chronic illness, so I'd have to agree with you. Love is a choice.

May 10, 2010 at 12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love this post.

My fiance is not romantic at all, but I wouldn't have it any other way. This way, his gestures seem much more genuine.

I hear ya on the drool. He thinks it's the cutest thing when I drool in my sleep (I think it's gross, but whatever)

Whenever he goes to the store, he'll buy me something.

He comes to my house whenever he gets out of school early.

When he goes out with the guys, he always texts me a few times to see what I'm doing, even if I'm just hanging out at home.

He walks me home.

He opens car doors for me.

We're not the flowers and candlelight dinner kinda couple, but he shows me he cares every single day.

Thanks for this post!

May 10, 2010 at 1:41 PM  
Blogger Kimi said...

You could not be more right!!!! I loved the honesty in this post and like you'd I would have said something to the "mommy" that would have come across badly. I just have no tolerance for whining, lol

May 10, 2010 at 2:56 PM  
Blogger Miranda said...

I totally agree with you. Romance is not real life. But flowers on occasion (like having my uterus cut open to deliver his toddler-baby) would be nice.

Stopping in from SITS!

May 10, 2010 at 4:09 PM  
Blogger jules1219 said...

Seriously. Totally agree with you!

May 10, 2010 at 4:57 PM  
Blogger April said...

I completely agree!!

May 10, 2010 at 6:14 PM  
Blogger SimplySandi said...

Stopping by from SITS. I agree with you wholeheartedly! Unfortunately, life is not a fairytale, and while I love all things romantic, I love stability even more

May 10, 2010 at 6:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exactly. Ditto. I agree. It's the same with me. I wholeheartedly know where you're coming from on this one. High Five!! ;)

May 10, 2010 at 8:47 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

AMEN! found you through sits and find your blog very refreshing.

May 10, 2010 at 11:38 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I aspire be express myself as accurately and as openly as you do! I love your blogs! They validate me! You rock! I did a full Butt-On grab!

July 1, 2010 at 7:41 AM  

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